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WATCH | Loving local brands: how to resonate with SA’s youth

Young people spend their money in a way like no other demographic, so marketing to this segment must be knowledgeable and focused

18 June 2021 - 07:49
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Join us for the next episode in the Sunday Times GenNext online webinar series, in partnership with ProudlySA, on the value and desirability of supporting local brands that resonate with young people.
Join us for the next episode in the Sunday Times GenNext online webinar series, in partnership with ProudlySA, on the value and desirability of supporting local brands that resonate with young people.
Image: Pexels/ Porapak Apichodilok

In a country with a population of almost 60-million people, more than half of whom are under the age of 29,  SA is one of the youngest countries in the world. This youthful trend also prevails across the rest of Africa.

It's a clear indicator that brands and marketers need to be focused on this demographic if they plan to remain on top of this group’s shopping and spending priorities in the years to come.

Local is lekker. Somehow those three words never get old, especially when South Africans have acquitted themselves so well on the global stage to raise the country’s profile: the Ndlovu Youth Choir, My Octopus Teacher, Master KG and Jerusalema, Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, Charlize Theron, Springbok rugby, Johnny Clegg, Wayde van Niekerk, Trevor Noah, Black Coffee, President Nelson Mandela...and even one of the world’s wealthiest people, Elon Musk. There’s a lot for South Africans to feel proud about, and for today’s youth to aspire to.

SA can deliver the finest quality products and lead African innovation in many sectors where our local brands are lauded for their excellence and are even preferable to imported options.

However, in keeping our trusted SA brands top of mind so that they continue to stand out above those of international competitors', marketers need to recognise the emerging youth demographic and strategise to reach them effectively. Their spending power will be sizeable, and brands will need to position themselves cleverly to get in on the action.

It’s an exciting time for brands, particularly if they’re geared to understand a new wave of consumers whose purchasing decisions are complex and fickle. Young people's motivations to buy come down to more than just price: as a socially conscious generation, provenance of a product matters. Sustainability, ethical resourcing, fair trade — they all count.

For advertisers, the way they market to this segment is also vastly different from their approach prior to the explosion of the digital age, with its proliferation of mobile devices. Engagement platforms and messaging are critical for young people who are wholly exposed to international brands via media and the internet, where they can shop online and order with a mere click. The internet has levelled the playing field for many brands, but it’s also upped the ante in terms of competing for attention.

How do we create campaigns which stress the value, importance and desirability of supporting local brands that resonate with the youth and change the perception of locally produced products?

Find out by joining us for the next instalment of the Sunday Times GenNext online webinar series in partnership with Proudly South African, as we speak to local brands, ad agencies and the youth about the strategies and models used when marketing a local product.

Don't miss this episode:

Date: June 30

Time: 11am-12pm

 

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