Small, individual private brands are no longer being seen as cheap alternatives to big well-known brands in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) category, as new unknown brands are suddenly enjoying consumer approval.
This is according to the recent Ask Afrika ICON Brands survey which found that year on year, fewer people are finding big brand name products preferential to store brands and that brand loyalty in South Africa is diminishing.
“The danger for FMCG brands is that consumers originally saw private label brands as cheap, but now they are trusting retailers to bring them quality brands,” said Paida Mugudubi, Director of Commercial Markets at Ask Afrika.
‘Crazy for the new’
According to the survey, in which consumers voted for their favourites with their hearts and their wallets, clean slate brands also saw a rise in popularity.
Clean slate brands are either new on the market, quickly acquiring substantial market share because of innovation that existing brands are not offering, or they are heritage brands that innovate to zero, wipe the slate clean and re-create brand associations that are aligned with the current consumer landscape.
“Thanks to social media, everyone wants to be the first to discover and share new trends”
“Humans are hard-wired to resist change, but that is changing. New unknown brands are suddenly enjoying consumer approval. Consumers are crazy for the new because, thanks to social media, everyone wants to be the first to discover and share new trends,” says Sarina de Beer, MD of Ask Afrika.
Ask Afrika identified five criteria which included universal appeal, authenticity, standing out, fresh ideas or newly represented values, and relevancy.
The Gautrain is an example of a South African clean slate brand that has built quickly and has increasing uptake in the commuter market. The growth in passenger demand has been attributed to the project’s focus on key customer satisfaction criteria. A feasibility study conducted by Ask Afrika revealed that they are tightly delivering on the criteria defined by the consumers.