Patrick Kutumane, national brand development manager of Lucky Star, is a firm believer in the value of life-long learning.
With a decade of experience as brand development manager, mostly acquired with his previous employer Distell, Kutumane first graduated in 2002 with an IMM Graduate Diploma in Marketing and later in 2005, obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing qualification.
Graduating from Stellenbosch University business school with a post-graduate diploma in Project Management in 2015, Kutumane was voted "most inquisitive mind" within his group. He also recently completed a digital marketing course through the University of Cape Town's GetSmarter.
What's more, Kutumane also has a certificate in South African wine through the Cape Wine Academy and Advanced SA Brandy Training.
Here, Kutumane unpacks Lucky Star's marketing strategies and brand campaigns, including the rationales behind them, as well as brand sustainability initiatives and more.
Tell us about your career: what you studied and why, and how you ended up where you are today
I completed my marketing degree at the Institute of Marketing Management and graduated with Honours. Since the marketing landscape is ever-changing, I completed a Digital Marketing certificate and a postgraduate diploma in project management to remain relevant in brand marketing.
I started my career in sales and quickly moved into brand management, including brand activations. The magic of art and science is what attracted me to marketing. I have worked with different alcohol brands, ranging from spirits, wines, and cider categories.
The move to join Lucky Star was a great one because it allowed me to challenge myself and put my skills and brand marketing knowledge to practice.
What's the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is collaboration - I am in constant contact with all areas of the business. In my role, I work with sales, finance and legal, to name a few. Through collaboration, I can gain valuable experience and insights to build our marketing and business strategies further.
I also love being innovative and developing marketing solutions that deliver results and build relationships within a constantly changing consumer base.
Purpose-led campaigns genuinely inspire me. One example of this is Lucky Chow Enterprise Development Program which targets youth and trains them on business skills and culinary skills. These campaigns add value to South Africans' lives, and I consider them valuable in a country where unemployment is high, especially within the youth segment. You can read more on Lucky Chow EDP
Can you share with our readers your recent brand campaigns and the rationales behind them?
Lucky Star - Get in the Mix Promo
Last year was a challenging period to conduct promotions due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Lucky Star teamed up with YFM encouraged South Africans to "Rise Up" as they come out of the high lockdown levels. We invited our local musical talent to come up with an original song that can get South Africans to dance and stand a chance to win a prize. The campaign ran for two months with promo mechanics for different online platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Tik Tok).
The campaign was well-received, with many entries covering popular South African genres like kwaito, hip hop, amapiano, gqom and soulful house. The winning track was awarded to "Siyacela Nkosi" by Dlala Mlungu and Break Law featuring Terrence McKay.
Which consumer sector does your brand predominantly play in?
Lucky Star is an iconic South African brand that has been around for many years. Our consumer base is quite broad, but the youth segment aged 16-30yrs is one of our key markets.
The brand provides nutritious meals from lunch boxes for the young ones and convenience meals for young moms to students and elders who always remind us of the real "The Taste of Home meals."
What other sectors impact your industry?
Lucky Star plays in the protein environment, and our challenges come from other protein products perceived to offer value, such as soya, chicken, canned meat and processed meat.
What do you think are the most successful channels for getting your brand message out there?
Lucky Star has a broad consumer base, and as such, we believe in an integrated through the line approach for impactful campaign messaging. The challenge lies in the percentage allocated per media platform due to digital media growth and new trends in content creators, i.e., influencers and bloggers, especially when targeting a young consumer base.
Consumers are increasingly favouring green and sustainable brands; do you have any plans or purpose to increase sustainability in the next 12 months?
At Lucky Star, we are part of the Responsible Fisheries Alliance
, and we are governed by strict fishing quotas. We create a sustainable fishing cycle by sourcing our products from other areas where the fish populations are not at risk to ensure that the future is filled with tasty Lucky Star meals.
If you were mentoring a future you, what career advice would you give to aspirant young marketing and branding professionals?
The marketing landscape is ever-changing. Therefore, never consider that you have done enough for the brand. Try and discover tomorrow's trends and jump on it.
Embrace and enjoy working with new technology to ensure that the brand remains recognisable and exciting to potential clients. Marketers are storytellers, continue to create remarkable customer experiences.
What professional development, musical, cultural, literary, or leisure activities do you engage in?
Marketing and advertising are fast-paced careers, and whenever I get an opportunity to rest, I do that by camping with my family and close friends.