Youth Support Meaningful Brands – Ask Afrika’s Youth Brands Survey

Updated on 30 June 2017

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Today’s South African youth market consists of 29 million consumers and has 55% of the spending power, which is more than the previous generation’s consumers at the same age, however, less than 20% of advertising budgets are directed at these young consumers in South Africa, according to research by Ask Afrika, a market research company.

This is despite the fact that the youth spends over R100 billion per annum and approximately 20% of the youth between 25-34 years are heading households and are also making household purchasing decisions.

“Business has never had a more talked about or researched generation than Millennials, yet brand owners still don’t get them, the biggest mistake is to either oversimplify or get too complex. Marketers often tend to focus so much on the difference between generations that they miss the commonality,” says Sarina de Beer, MD of Ask Afrika.

The Survey

The Ask Afrika’s Youth Brands benchmark takes a deep look into loyalty in the youth market and what it means for brands. The survey explores South Africa’s future and loyal brand usage amongst youngsters aged 15-34 (inclusive of sub-sets of this range), irrespective of background or living standard.

The Youth Brands winners will only be publicly announced in September, but the topline insights from the survey were shared by Ask Afrika for the first time; they reveal the following:

1. The youth support brands that stand for something more than bottom line, 37% will pay more for a brand that supports a cause they believe in. 80% want brands to entertain them and 69% say they crave adventure. 40% want to participate in the co-creation of products and brands and 70% feel a responsibility to share feedback with companies after a good or bad experience.

2. The main loyalty drivers in the youth market are an increased emphasis on individuality; constant engagement and interaction; digital platforms that create opportunity for increased self-expression; emphasis on a strong and authentic brand personality and looking for innovation and change.

3. All of this requires a need for brand agility. The youth are loyal to their favourite brands until a newer and more innovative product or brand is introduced. Sustainable loyalty requires building a relationship with them. The youth have opinions and want to provide feedback to a brand and expect the brand to take the feedback seriously and be willing to change.

4. This broad youth segment is, however, not a homogenous group and should be divided into smaller age segments. Individuals within the broader youth segment find themselves in different life-stages, such as school, university, marriage, parenthood and so on. To fully understand the youth and how their age impacts their behaviour, emphasis must be placed on the different life-stages consumers find themselves in coupled with the life values and brand loyalty drivers behind choice.


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