Marketing & Media trends
Marketing & Media trends
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- Key legal trends in Africa - Part 3Darryl Bernstein, Johan Botes, Kieran Whyte and Lerisha Naidu
- Key trade and investment trends in Africa - Part 2Ashlin Perumall and Janet MacKenzie
- Key trade and investment trends in Africa - Part 1Lodewyk Meyer, Marc Yudaken, Mike van Rensburg and Virusha Subban
Logistics & Transport trends
Tourism & Travel trends
[2013 trends] Out-of-the-box branding
Integrated branding for brand survival
Integrated branding strategies, where all the elements are cohesive, complementary and consistent, will be crucial to brand survival - let alone success. All elements, from advertising campaigns and staff training to digital footprints and shareholder relations, have to be created and implemented as integral parts of a holistic branding strategy, otherwise there's real danger of the brand promise being broken.
And a broken promise can be a death knell.
Forecourt retail - the new frontier
3D design and corporate art
Transparency and integrated reporting
Cometh the hour, cometh Africa
Africa's consumers flex their muscles
Rise of the corporate brands
Brands as media houses
Garage forecourts will be the new branding battleground. Oil companies will make increased use of sophisticated modelling and research methodologies to redesign their retail spaces and their shopper marketing strategies to capture and keep customers.
Retail is theatre and, if the paying customers aren't happy with the production, they'll walk out. We'll see a greater focus on retail tribalism, where brand owners and retailers build loyalty and strengthen bonds by offering customers value-added services in-store, at the point of purchase.
Loyalty is built when consumers experience consistent delivery on the brand promise. Larger businesses can absorb adverse consumer reaction to inconsistencies more easily than smaller ones, and brand managers across the board will be focusing their efforts on consistently fulfilling customers' expectations and delivering on their brand promises.
Just as a choir can't sing in unison if the members don't know the words, neither can companies have a strong culture of service and loyalty if their employees don't know what's expected of them.
Employee motivation campaigns will be much more focused and designed specifically to meet brand objectives, plus organisations will be more actively committed to training their staff to be brand champions and empowering them to take responsibility for integrating the brand values into their workplace policies, practices, attitudes and behaviours.
Innovative thinking is required when it comes to finding ways for organisations to communicate and connect with their culturally diverse workforces. More and more organisations will use workplace entertainment and gamification to spread their brand message, engage and motivate their employees, and build loyalty and commitment.
Workplace design can be the differential between mediocrity and success - and we will see a strong focus in this area as more and more organisations realise its importance as a marketing tool.
3D design will become increasingly prevalent in all aspects, from interiors and signage to displays and exhibitions, as workplaces take shape as important brand communications platforms.
Beneath the surface of corporate South Africa, many brands are in disarray. There's often little correlation between a company's business strategy and its brand strategy and ineffective structures - and a lack of focus on sustaining brand awareness is a serious barrier to growth.
However, there has been a wake-up call and we will see a much greater commitment to integrating the various departments within the organisation and aligning them all seamlessly with both the brand and the business strategies.
Technology will play an even greater role in brand-building, delivering fast, smart and effective communication with target audiences. Developments in mobile devices will break new ground in the retail space and the brands that are prepared to 'techno-pioneer' will prosper.
A word of caution, however: with consumers being constantly bombarded with measurable layers of information, it will be the simple, compelling messages that will resonate.
Africa's resurgence will continue - and so, too, will the continent's branding success stories. Experience shows that success doesn't come from imposing brands on a new market, but rather from adapting brand strategies to meet the needs and environments of this unique and complex continent.
A tsunami of Chinese, Indian, Arab, South African and genuinely global brands will continue to wash over the African market place in 2013.
The African consumer is better informed than ever before and, as a result, far more discerning. The key issue remains quality and consistency - in product, in service and in experience.
Surveys continue to show that African consumers will favour local brands over the tsunami on the condition that global quality standards are met, with the flip side of this being that they are far less willing to act as a dumping ground for sub-standard products from over the seas.
Corporate communication is poised to surge in scale and activity. Non-consumer-orientated businesses need to communicate better because the market now necessitates it; they want to communicate better because it's clear that communication has become a source of competitive advantage in categories where it hasn't been previously.
Corporate brands have traditionally been hostages to their reputations, rather than masters of them. Businesses that can adapt to become responsive and make meaningful connections will benefit significantly.
As content is the fuel of social media and other forms of digital engagement, brands that have traditionally stood at arms' length from the content in their communication are now becoming content authors, curators and managers - even if this often outsourced. Watch the growth in content agencies.