As we settle into the new year and continue to ride the wave of optimism, fresh thinking and enthusiasm, we find ourselves emerging out of a marketing cycle triggered by a flood of trend reports and market predictions - and whilst some of these 'trends' ignite our creativity and spark some ideas, understanding and implementing them can be more challenging than sticking to our new year's resolutions. 1 Feb 2016 Read more Relevance is a minimum requirement
When looking to grow in African markets, many business owners have a vague understanding of how truly diverse and complex the continent really is. While they can appreciate this complexity on a theoretical level, many fail to uncover deep insights into these markets and therefore find practical and successful implementation of market propositions difficult. As a result, many brands miss the mark - and fail to resonate or carry any relevance with African consumers. 28 Aug 2015 Read more
I know a guy who thinks he is a gift from the heavens. There's a strut in his step, and a cock of the head anytime his opinion ("fact") is questioned. I've heard that when challenged in primary school, he would interrupt, "I'm right, my dad's a doctor!" While this anecdote got me giggling, it also got me thinking. Do people really think their parents' accomplishments guarantee their own expertise or success? We often hear about social 'anomalies' like whizz kids from underprivileged areas pioneering life-changing technology, or brands that started as struggling nothings and now set global trends. We look at these cases as outliers that escaped their otherwise doomed fates. But how did they manage to transcend the expected? 29 May 2015 Read more The law of supply and demand has been understood since the 14th century, when Mamluk scholar Ibn Taymiyyah wrote: "If desire for goods increases while its availability decreases, its price rises. On the other hand, if availability of the good increases and the desire for it decreases, the price comes down." 16 Oct 2014 Read more It's no longer new news that global brands are moving into Africa. African expansion is on the agenda of every major CEO and CMO, as the region continues to grow at a staggering rate and early movers lay the groundwork that makes the continent seem less risky. One industry that is about to be massively disrupted is financial services, says Paul Drawbridge, Yellowwood's business lead in Nairobi. 12 Aug 2014 Read more The news of "a significant downward revision of South Africa's economic growth forecast for this year" will be setting off alarm bells in many marketers' minds. With Stats SA reporting that the economy contracted by 0.6% in the first quarter and inflation still on the rise, things are going to be tough for a while. Consumers will be under pressure and business will be responding to decreased spending by cutting costs. Marketing is often first to have its budget cut. And many businesses will respond to the financial pressure by slashing prices to drive up volume or raising prices to make up for lost volume. 8 Jul 2014 Read more Building powerful brands is like investing in the stock market - you need to anticipate and respond to important shifts in context, but you also can't panic with every market fluctuation. It is important to distinguish between fads and game-changers, to get the fundamentals right, and to hold a long-term view. 4 Feb 2014 Read more "Where your unique talents and the needs of your world intersect, therein lies your purpose" Aristotle. 23 Aug 2013 Read more To identify what it takes to build a brand that will survive and thrive into the future, we shifted our focus from the present day to the world in 2020. By imagining what the world will look, feel and sound like in seven years' time, we could separate the important social shifts from the marketing fads that generate so much buzz today. 3 Jul 2013 Read more Traditional brand equity measurement has a bad reputation these days. Often, there isn't enough correlation between equity scores and actual sales figures. But the problem isn't in the accuracy of the tracking. The problem is that traditional brand equity models don't measure all the drivers of modern consumer behaviour. 29 May 2013 Read more "A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world" goes John le Carré's famous saying. It's an important lesson for marketers to remember, as they grapple with sophisticated segmentation studies and sit in on powerpoint presentations about their consumers. 13 May 2013 Read more According to a news article in Target Marketing, 41% of consumers said they would consider ending a brand relationship because of irrelevant marketing - and 22% already have. That only leaves a little more than one third of the market, who are likely to be indifferent. The significance of this one fact means it's vital that marketers understand it's a 'know me or not me!' consumer world. 22 Apr 2013 Read more Relevance is such an easy word to say but a very difficult word to be. Why? We think that marketers spend too much time looking to other markets to see what is new and exciting 'over there'. Terms like Big Data, Gamification and Predictive personalisation abound but how relevant are these trends to South African brands? 27 Mar 2013 Read more Marketing is confronted with a stark choice. To avoid losing its place on the business ladder, it must either step up and become an integrated hub of insight and innovation or fall down to the rung of catchy tunes and pretty pictures. Marketing risks are being replaced at executive level by disciplines with a real ability to move the business needle - those departments with measurable intelligence and predictable or tangible business case delivery. Today customers are informed, connected and powerful. They will not accept irrelevant messaging or mediocre products; they will not be hoodwinked by vague or veiled promises. People generate data wherever they go, through their purchasing behaviour, online search history and their conversations - and they expect that business will use the information they give knowingly to provide products and services that they want, when they want them. Marketing is faced with a world of opportunity and its next move will decide whether it climbs or slips on the ladder of influence. 11 Feb 2013 Read more Once the recession started to recede, many struggling shopping centres expected consumer spending to pick up. This didn't happen - instead, a new shopping context has emerged in SA with many recessionary shopping patterns having become habitual. 28 Jan 2013 Read more Shopping has always been a sensory experience: The brush of the fabric, the aroma of the store and the buzz of the people all stimulate the senses. In the constant human pursuit to make things more convenient and accessible in our busy lives, the shopping experience is starting to lose its touch. Is the new 'avenue' of shopping online causing brands to lose existing and potential connections with customers? 1 Nov 2012 Read more We as marketers are obsessed with the concept of differentiation. Perhaps it's because this piece of brand wisdom has been drilled into us from an early age or maybe it's because we cannot conceive of developing a marketing strategy or campaign without it? The heightened importance could even be attributed to Jack Trout, one of marketing's godfathers who wrote a no-holds-barred book about it entitled "Differentiate or Die." Whatever the reason, differentiation has become our holy grail - a sacred something that we hope to find and implement in order to guarantee brand success. 4 Oct 2012 Read more In 2012, a brand of customer activism that is unprecedented and more aggressive than ever before has spread like wildfire across the globe. Household brands like McDonald's, Starbucks, KFC and many others have come under worldwide public scrutiny via Facebook, Twitter, blogs and now, petition sites. In this way, citizens acting as customer activists have, for example, forced companies to change manufacturing processes in a matter of days. 1 Aug 2012 Read more So much has changed over the last 25 years - both business and consumers have changed significantly - especially in their expecations of brands. Yet for the most part, the structure and the role of the marketing department has essentially stayed the same. 12 Jul 2012 Read more Yellowwood - leading marketing strategy consultancy has announced two promotions in their Johannesburg office. Dhatchani Christian has been promoted to Strategy Director and Nicole Zetler to Senior Strategy Consultant. 9 Jul 2012 Read more The concept of brand consistency is nothing new and has become a buzz word among marketers and brand specialists. However, the interpretation of 'brand consistency' seems to differ considerably from one individual to another. It is precisely this discrepancy that may explain why some brands succeed and others fail to truly create sustainable brand value. In today's hyper connected socially-driven and omni-channel environment, it is essential that marketers realise that they are custodians of the entire brand experience, not just the corporate identity. 30 May 2012 Read more Social media - #whatisit? Depending on your school of thought, there are a variety of definitions - from tech-smart guys who focus on the logic behind it all define it as: "a set of technologies which make it possible for two or more parties to exchange information freely and easily" to those who refer to it as: "a web of authentic, real time conversation, thought, opinion and influence, in a digital space we can't see or touch". What this article serves to explore, is why people use social media and what this means for brands. What motivates the need for social media and what value do people and brands derive from this platform? #Whatisit? 11 May 2012 Read more "Most CEO's believe that marketers lack business credibility. Moreover, they feel marketers are not the business growth generators they should be, and are not focused enough on effectiveness." 16 Mar 2012 Read more There has been a shift in society's expectations of how we interact with our world. This has been driven by social media - making us a lot more communications savvy. It is little surprise then that companies are being challenged to translate this experience into how business interacts with its employees. 5 Dec 2011 Read more Yellowwood, a leading brand strategy, research and design consultancy, has appointed Sonja Sanders as the new managing director of its Cape and Coastal region. 9 Nov 2011 Read more There are at least four national annual surveys that try to provide insight into successful brands in the South African market. All of them effectively celebrate the brands' commercial performance; however none of them accurately pinpoint exactly what drives this success. 23 Aug 2011 Read more For many years we have said that marketing and brand building is customer driven, but never before has this been more true. The challenge of building great brands and enabling customer decision making has become more complex. This, combined with uncertainty as an entrenched reality and the tech-led behavioural change, is at the heart of Yellowwood's changing business model and search for new sources of growth and opportunity. 19 Jul 2011 Read more Shanduka Black Umbrellas is a non-profit, enterprise-development incubator. The organisation was battling to inform struggling entrepreneurs about their services and attract potential funders. They approached Yellowwood Future Architects to help them better package their offering and maximise their chances of success. We immediately recognised that the organisation had all the fundamentals in place to become a leader in enterprise development in South Africa. 28 Feb 2011 Read more Yellowwood Future Architects, leading brand strategists based in Johannesburg, recently partnered with Open Africa to assist the dynamic non-profit organisation in revitalizing its brand image. Working on a pro bono basis, the Yellowwood creative team provided fresh strategic direction and transformed the look and feel of the brand with innovative design work. 2 Nov 2010 Read more 2010 and the rise of localization: Why we should be building city brands as much as our national brand. 7 Sep 2010 Read more What does status mean in a world falling out of love with consumption? 14 Jul 2010 Read more Having survived the global financial crisis, marketers are breathing a collective sigh of relief. Yet it is imperative that we don't forget the valuable lessons learned from the recession when the good times roll around again. 31 Mar 2010 Read more What a wonderful time to be alive. People the world over are hitting the reset button as they begin to realise that the modern model of life is not sustainable. They are re-evaluating their purpose. Values are changing and so must brands if they are to remain relevant to a changing audience that wants to contribute to a better world. We need to be looking for sustainable solutions to building ethical brands, and what better place to start than with our own uniquely African context, and what it has to teach us? 28 Sep 2009 Read more The economic meltdown has bred a new type of consumer with a new set of values. The successful brands of tomorrow will be those that have given thought to how they should be responding to what is a very different market. 20 Aug 2009 Read more People have woken up (and some may say it's about time) to the realisation that irresponsible private and public consumption is not a good thing - for anyone. And with this has come the rise of ‘triple-bottom-line responsibility'. It's a buzz-word that peppers corporate sustainability reports, but it's also an idea that's filtering through more and more into mainstream consciousness. It's underpinned by the belief that what's good for the pocket needs to be good for the planet and good for society as a whole as well. 19 Jun 2009 Read more The youth of South Africa command billions of rands in spending power, directly and through their influence over household consumer decisions. Today's young adults have more disposable income than the generations that have come before them. While marketers want to draw in the under-23s, they need to be aware that this is a heterogeneous group with mercurial tastes. They need to know these youngsters are tech-savvy and are hyperconnected, with the ability to make or break a brand overnight. Marketers and employers shouldn't try to engage with the Millennials and Generation Z consumers without truly understanding them first. 6 Nov 2015 Read more With sluggish economic growth and low morale leading to reduced spending among consumers in many markets across the world, businesses are looking for opportunities for expansion in high growth African markets. Yet countless examples have shown that few marketers have a deep understanding of African markets, and are truly able to harness opportunities for brand reach and relevance. 27 Jul 2015 Read more Sadly, for many organisations, marketing is the job of the marketing department. It operates in its own silo, with very little influence on business strategy or operations. It rarely has any representation on the board, and without an executive voice, it just becomes a 'nice to have'. Marketing strategy gets dropped on the CEO's desk with a 'thud', and from there on out it gathers dust. 7 May 2015 Read more As buds start opening on trees across the country, spring is also bringing renewal and rebirth to two of South Africa's favourite radio stations. 3 Sep 2014 Read more For many ambitious South African businesses looking to expand their footprint across Africa, Nigeria is an obvious choice. With a population of 175 million, it is Africa's largest market and has more consumers than anywhere else. The Nigerian economy is growing at an average 6.8% per annum, dwarfing South Africa's modest GDP growth rate. And the country has a rising consumer class that is ambitious and aspirational, with smaller families, higher incomes, better education than previous generations and increasing connectivity to digital and mobile channels. Nigerians are highly receptive to western brands and very brand conscious. It sounds like a marketer's dream. 18 Jul 2014 Read more Yellowwood, one of South Africa's leading marketing strategy consultancies, has recently completed a seventeen-country segmentation and cluster analysis project for a leading financial services client. The pan-African strategy outlines how to win in each market. It clusters countries together based on similarities across various indices, using bottom-up consumer data and modelling. Based on this, it identifies opportunities in product, service and customer experience. 18 Mar 2014 Read more Bigger is not always better. In the past, vertical and horizontal integration were the guiding principles of business, and that led to mammoth businesses with control over the whole value chain. South Africa, as a result, has some very big business and this can be inefficient and costly, diverting resources away from core competencies to peripheral and historical assets, and slowing down the business when it needs to innovate to keep up with new global competitors. 21 Nov 2013 Read more In a bottom-line driven world, purpose may sound like a fluffy, vague thing to focus your energy on. Many organisations are still of the view that purpose and profit are mutually exclusive, but some of the world's most remarkable businesses have been built with purposeful intent. In fact, it is becoming increasingly clear that to be a leading brand today you need to be fully in touch with your why. The world's most profitable brands understand why they exist, and why their employees and customers should care about them. 8 Jul 2013 Read more In a past life, I worked as a researcher inside a team of specialist innovators for a large corporation. I attended dozens of innovation sessions, most of which were of the old-fashioned brainstorms where 'no idea is stupid' and where we should think 'out of the box'. What I realised after a while, was that we tended to come up with the same ideas over and over again. 18 Jun 2013 Read more Brand purpose is one of the most powerful tools for growth and sustainability in a global marketplace devoid of trust in business. A brand's purpose is its reason for being - it goes beyond what you do, or who you're doing it for. Purpose is the why: why your business exists, and why that should matter. 17 May 2013 Read more Every marketer should know that getting relevance right ultimately drives brand preference and sales. Yellowwood has therefore recently published a white paper on the topic titled "How to Know More About your Market than Anyone Else - The Guide to Relevance" which explains how brands can use and generate insight to be more relevant to their consumers. 2 May 2013 Read more Nothing is as important in marketing as relevance. If your products, services, communications and experiences are not relevant to the people you are trying to reach, you may as well pack up and go home. Yellowwood recently published a white paper on the topic entitled 'How to Know More About your Market than Anyone Else - The Guide to Relevance', which explores what it takes for an organisation to be relevant in today's marketplace. 3 Apr 2013 Read more Ask 50 marketing professionals what branding is, and you're likely to get 50 different answers. Likely variations will include building a reputation, and positioning an organisation perceptually to address a perceived customer need relative to competitors - relevant definitions, but perhaps too narrow and too externally driven. 5 Mar 2013 Read more One of my favourite logos of all-time must be that attentive little Jack Russell pooch cognitively listening to a gramophone. A bit contrived? Difficult to reduce? Too detailed? Yes, yes... 4 Feb 2013 Read more It is no secret that marketers spend a small fortune on studying shopper behaviour and use that information to shape the shoppers in-store experience. But what is required now is to translate that same effort to the online store. 4 Dec 2012 Read more Change is both terrifying and exciting... but most importantly, it's inevitable. It is the driving force behind the growth that allows brands to capitalise on current and future market opportunities. But for marketers, change can be a tough task to tackle, especially when it comes to rebranding. 11 Oct 2012 Read more In the last year, shopper marketing has enjoyed a bigger piece of the marketing budget than ever before. In fact, it is expected to show 21% year-on-year growth in budget allocation in 2012 globally. But what is the value of shopper marketing to different brand categories and how should marketers interpret this trend in the South African context? 10 Sep 2012 Read more Vital has been the leader in the South African vitamins category since 1947 when Jack Grieve founded South Africa's first health foods company. This family-owned and managed business is a trusted brand with a rich heritage. 17 Jul 2012 Read more Being successful in the property industry is all about achieving the right balance. You can only offer tenants what you have available in your portfolio, and you constantly have to balance your tenants' needs with those of your investors. This challenge is by no means easy to overcome, but Redefine Properties, a property loan stock company listed on the JSE and the second largest company in its industry, is shaking things up, thinking differently and, literally, redefining the nature of key business relationships in the sector. 10 Jul 2012 Read more Darwin's Theory of Evolution says that for a species to survive, it must develop advantageous traits specific to its environment. "In a nutshell, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism's genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival, a process known as natural selection." 28 Jun 2012 Read more I'm about to show my age and related ignorance of teen pop culture when I say that a couple of days ago I knew little about Justin Bieber other than a teenage boy with floppy hair that sang a song called "Baby, Baby, Baby" that most young girls in the Western world seem to be crazy about. 24 May 2012 Read more What do Coca-Cola, Cadbury, Levi Strauss & Co., Volkswagen, KFC, Marlboro cigarettes and Mrs Balls Chutney all have in common? They all have lived through at least one World War, the rise and fall of Communism, the 'flower power' 60's, the first man on the moon, bad hair of the 1980s and not to forget the most recent financial crisis. 11 Apr 2012 Read more Yellowwood - marketing and research specialists with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town - recently appointed Matthew Glogauer as Group Head of Research and Analytics. Glogauer joined the company in early January 2012. 8 Feb 2012 Read more Statistics suggest that South Africans go shopping at least 30 times per month. That's, in effect, once a day. So, if we thought of ourselves as a sports mad, 'outdoorsy' nation - we might have to redefine our perspective. 28 Nov 2011 Read more An ancient Chinese proverb says, "Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand." The Chinese obviously knew a thing or two about engagement marketing, which is where our industry is now headed. 31 Oct 2011 Read more Client Challenge:
Cobb is a locally developed cooking system that has found favour across the globe. Winner of the Vista Design Award, as well as the Spoga+Gafa Innovation Design Award, the Cobb is unique in its class. The system is aspirational, engaging and innovative. However, the product packaging left much to be desired and the brand identity was out of step with the contemporary and innovative nature of the product. Yellowwood was thus tasked with repositioning the brand as a whole, but also to refresh the identity and develop a packaging system that could be applied to the complete range of accessories in the Cobb offering. 26 Jul 2011 Read more
Rapid digital innovation and the technological revolution are demanding dramatic changes to the way marketers and brand experts approach our profession. The brave new world of digital seems incredibly complex, and many daunting questions and answers are being thrown around. In an attempt to simplify the complexity and ask what it really means for brands, I have summarised a few issues we are grappling with as an industry, and proposed simple ways of succeeding in this dynamic and ever-changing environment... 23 Mar 2011 Read more As companies tackle the prospect of a new year which is shaping up to be as challenging as the last one, marketing will most likely not be appearing near the top of boardroom agendas. At least not here, in South Africa. A quick peek at companies in Europe and the US will reveal a very different approach, where tremendous value is attached to marketing campaigns. These developed markets have long since embraced a marketing-driven culture, closely linking their brand messages to their general business strategy. The benefits are consistently reflected in annual reports, making it easy for shareholders to recognise the impact of marketing on the bottom line. So why do we continue to underestimate and undervalue marketing? 21 Jan 2011 Read more Yellowwood Future Architects, strategic brand and marketing specialists based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, was recently approached by DairyBelle to revitalise their brand. As an ageing but iconic South African brand in a now commoditised dairy category, the company wanted to ensure that it could continue to grow profitably. Essentially, DairyBelle needed creative guidance on how the brand should look and what it should offer consumers. 19 Oct 2010 Read more Power has shifted to individuals. What does this mean for attracting a new generation of talent? 24 Aug 2010 Read more A young marketing strategist is likely to be more sensitive than most to the familiar accusation that what marketers do is "try to sell people things they don't need." Just about any generational study you could find would back me up that nothing is more horrifying to a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Gen Y than the concept of working for a Big Bad Corporate with no soul. Selling people things they don't need is not only 'selling out,' but it's responsible for everything from ecological collapse to societal malaise. 14 May 2010 Read more I remember a time when one heaped spoon of powdered chocolate would change my simple glass of milk into a delicious chocolate drink. Now I need three. When my packet of chips was not filled with air ‘to stop it from getting crushed', but with chips. When a piece of gum and a sucker cost a couple of cents, was bigger and the flavour seemed to last longer. And when I knew what I was getting. According to a definition by Warren Buffet, an Investment Entrepreneur from 1930, this is value. Price is what you pay and value is what you get. 20 Oct 2009 Read more Our obsession with speed has fast led to the death of slow, meaningful interactions between people and brands, and the breakdown of bonds between the two. Now is the time for slow cultures to overtake fast. 15 Sep 2009 Read more Where does consumer ethics leave your company - and does it create any opportunities for a new way to differentiate your brand? 1 Jul 2009 Read more Do you ever wonder if people like Nkhensani, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson, who are responsible for some of the coolest brands we know ever said to themselves, "I'm going to create a cool brand that's going to make me rich and famous." I doubt it (and no, it wouldn't be cool to ask them). 23 Mar 2009 Read more
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