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Promoting to South Africans

With the rise of the ‘black diamond' and emerging middle class consumer market, marketers need to take a fresh look at how they conduct in-store brand activation and promotional campaigns.
With the blurring of racial class and residential boundaries, as well as the growing buying power of all South Africans, marketers need to stop targeting classes of consumer and ensure they have a holistic platform to communicate to all consumers, who may frequent the more affluent malls in South Africa.

The potential of your product is greatly limited by stereotyping your promoters. In today's South Africa it is not the colour of the promoter that is important, it is the credibility of your product, the promoter and the message they are communicating that is of the greatest importance. Basically, it is no longer about the promoter, the focus needs to be on the product and every member of the Rainbow Nation needs to feel that they are being spoken to on equal terms.

Proper, in-depth training, appropriate dress, competence and knowledge are all factors that are required by promoters today, not only a pretty face. Preferably, the promoters exposing your product to the diverse consumer base that is prevalent in South Africa should also be able to communicate the key messages of your product in more than one language.

Marketers and brands also need to take cognisance of the growing ‘township' culture that is being introduced into the historically ‘white' metropolitan suburbs, through the black diamonds and emerging middle class. This culture brings with it various trends, brand associations and perspectives, which all need to be understood and catered to when developing messaging for a brand.

The segmentation lines are truly gone in South Africa. There is a great deal of cultural crossover, as the country's metropolitan areas are now truly mixed. Promoters need to accommodate this through their messaging, design, selling and communication platform in order to successfully reach all segments of the South African consumer market.

21 Oct 2007 12:40


About the author

Alicia Nyuswa is Director at brand activation and transit media communications company, Provantage Media.