Briony Brookes is head of PR and communications at Cape Town Tourism. Spending the best part of her career in radio as head of Brand for KFM and Cape Talk, she then spent some time in the investment industry with Sanlam and Old Mutual before joining the exciting world of tourism just over two years ago.ByRobin Fredericks
Kate Owen is Uber SA marketing manager for Rides and Eats, based in Johannesburg. Having been at Uber for over four years, Kate has covered the marketing for Uber South Africa, the brand campaigns for Uber SSA and now research and strategy.
Prior to this, Owen gained through-the-line and digital marketing experience working for Ogilvy and Mather Johannesburg where she operated in a client service role working with international brands across the retail, FMCG and broadcast sectors.ByRobin Fredericks
As co-founder and managing director of Silvertree Brands, recently rebranded from Silvertree Holdings, Manuel Koser knows a thing or two about identifying promising brands and helping them reach their potential.
Manuel Koser, Silvertree Brands
The disruptive brand builder has been instrumental in scaling some of South Africa’s most pioneering digital brands – among them UCook, Faithful to Nature, Pet Heaven and Skoon.
So, what convinced Silvertree to invest in these companies?
"They’re all entrepreneurial-led brands that can share infrastructure like warehousing, business intelligence and marketing initiatives. They're also all purpose-driven brands focusing on digital distribution first and then omnichannel, and they tap into category trends like craft, natural, ‘good for you’ and ‘good for the planet’, and the humanisation of pets," Koser told Bizcommunity.
With his company's track record in building innovative digital brands, Koser doesn't need to be convinced about the potential of e-commerce to drive business growth.
He rightly pointed out that South African e-commerce penetration lags far behind international counterparts like the US and UK, claiming 2-3% of total retail sales locally versus above 20% in those international markets. But he added that while growing digital adoption in SA is inevitable, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this by two to five years.
“Fundamentally, digital and mobile are more efficient channels to sell and communicate with consumers, if that is paired with a superior value brand proposition. This creates room for exponential growth,” explained Koser.
He added, “We are betting on further channel shift from offline to online and a focus on ‘good for you’, ‘better for the planet’ type categories, humanisation of pets and natural, craft and local.”
To drive the sustainable development of e-commerce in SA, Koser said the following is needed:
• Lower internet costs so that it becomes a commodity • Great entrepreneurs building winning solutions that customers love • More corporates that consider online/digital in the top three CEO priorities
Omnichannel all way
Koser said that Covid-19 will continue to plague the retail industry, with visitor limitations and regulations around social distancing and hygiene to remain in place for a while. “I wish I knew what life will look like when it normalises. We are planning for more of the same as 2020 for the next two years or more.”
What he does know, is that omnichannel is the future of the industry, as digital and physical worlds continue to merge to support each other. This amalgamation is already giving rise to innovative new retail concepts like Egg, he added, which are filling the vacant spaces available in shopping malls.
"The world is not as it was, and neither is retail. A new approach was needed that challenged the status quo and offered a way for local brands to be seen and bring excitement back to shopping malls..."
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This Message Board accepts no liability of legal consequences that arise from the Message Boards (e.g. defamation, slander, or other such crimes). All posted messages are the sole property of their respective authors. The maintainer does retain the right to remove any message posts for whatever reasons. People that post messages to this forum are not to libel/slander nor in any other way depict a company, entity, individual(s), or service in a false light; should they do so, the legal consequences are theirs alone. Bizcommunity.com will disclose authors' IP addresses to authorities if compelled to do so by a court of law.