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The NOW Project 2014 update - a future proofing segmentation tool

The 2014 update is ready to roll.

The NOW Project is a unique segmentation that delivers insights into the hearts and minds of the people of RSA, enabling marketers to read change and position brands with a future facing perspective.

The original NOW Project was launched in 2007 as a journey into the hearts and minds of South Africa's people - across the spectrum. Instead of limiting focus to peoples' income or assets, in the NOW Project the Consumer Insight Agency (CIA) explored prevailing mindsets and life motivations (which we then clustered into 12 'archetypes').

This humanising of the consumer found traction amongst marketers keen to connect brands with real people, not just stats and graphs. Among those early NOW believers were brandhouse, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Media 24, Kraft (now Mondelez), Engen and Johnson & Johnson. Subsequently Standard Bank, AVG, PEP and JWT also bought into this archetypes model of society.

Indeed, the NOW Project has fuelled ground-breaking strategies, ideas and helped identify opportunities for many brands over the years.

The 2014 edition of the NOW Project has taken our original vision a step further.

The Consumer Insight Agency has streamlined the project making it easier to identify change and the strategic opportunities that follow. The agency has balanced the need for the necessary depth without drowning the viewer in hours of experiential video.

This new version is certainly more cost effective, leaving the room in budgets for tailored brand research into selected archetypes. But ultimately, it's the real life, real world human truths that make this project so special for brands wanting to connect with the people of RSA.

Revolutionary as the NOW Project was when it launched seven years ago, the world was a different place - Thabo Mbeki was still president and Facebook was in its infancy! Things have changed. CIA has of course done a few updates and archetype add-ons subsequently, but clearly it was time for a complete refresh: hence NOW 2014 Edition.

Although one can only truly experience the essence of each archetype by watching said updated NOW presentation, there are some standout insights that warrant sharing. The biggest change since 2007 is the racial blurring of certain archetypes. Add to this the fact that lifestyle and headspace are shifting at an immensely rapid rate, and thus are opening opportunities for brands ready to fill these new spaces. Another key shift across our landscape is that although bling is most certainly not dead, it has sobered up somewhat. In a twist of irony, for some archetypes, understated sophistication and discernment IS the new bling. In the words of one of the agency's respondents: "Coins make a lot of noise, but notes are silent."

To sign off, it seems appropriate the final word should come from a person interviewed for this project. This was in reply to an email sent by a CIA fieldworker thanking a respondent for the interview:

"Wow! What a 'lekkerte' to read your mail. It was no issue to make time to chat... I seriously think we do this thing (talk) not enough. Actually it's not the talking that does anything, it is the listening!!! That does the trick. You would make a great Psychologist (no kidding) in the way you do what you do Dave. It is seldom that people get a chance to chat about their beliefs, way of doing things, and issues; without threat, interruptions or someone who cannot wait to top the last story with a better one. In your going around, doing what you do, you give people (like us), without you realizing it, time to stop the 'rat-race', sit back and re-think where we are on our way, doing what we do!

Anyway, have a great day, and you are welcome for a cup of coffee if you pass this way again.


Consumer Insight Agency's press office

Consumer Insight Agency
Born out of rebellion against conventional qualitative research approach, the c.i.a began in 1996 with just a curious mind, a pair of dirty boots, a camera & a philosophy...