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Sunday Times Generation Next Awards to reveal coolest brands

The Sunday Times Generation Next awards are set for 31 May 2012! With Bonang Matheba (2011 Coolest Local Female TV Star) as host, and entertainment provided by award-winning local band Liquideep, the event that awards the country's coolest brands promises to be a dazzling occasion.
Sunday Times Generation Next Awards to reveal coolest brands
Over 500 VIP guests, including the coolest brands, 100 cheering kids and teens, and some of SA's top celebrities will witness the crowning of over 45 top brands across various categories.

This year's survey, which polled over 5 500 urban and peri-urban youths across the county in February and March, promises some exciting revelations in what youth aged eight to 22 view as the country's top brands.

The Sunday Times Generation Next Survey is an annual study which provides marketers with insights on how the local youth market, dubbed "Generation Y" perceive their brands in the pool of the countless they're exposed to.

The study illustrates young consumers' brand preferences on what they think is "cool" irrespective of financial constraints and offers key insight into trends likely to affect brand profit, whether in present or future consumption.

Sunday Times Generation Next Awards to reveal coolest brands
With an annual youth spend of over R98.7 billion in 2011, the expansion of advertising and marketing budgets directed at youth, is perhaps a direction that youth relevant brands might benefit from investigating.

With the run-up to the release of the 2012 survey results, it will be interesting to see how the tables have shifted (or not) in the country's "Coolest" brands, and if earlier predicted trends for this year hold up.

Youth marketing specialists, HDI Youth Marketeers collect and provide numerous insights as part of their product offering, to companies who aim to make their mark in youth marketing.

Sunday Times Generation Next Awards to reveal coolest brands
HDI Youth Marketeers' Managing Director, Jason Levin says, "Marketing to youth is more about marketing with them - it's a dialogue, it's about being brave enough to try and embed your brand into their lives and letting them use (and sometimes abuse) it as they see fit...they don't see brands as owned by corporates, they see them as owned by consumers. There are ways to win with this market, but classical marketing approaches are unlikely to do it."

According to Levin, the top spending categories in 2011 were snacks and fast food, clothing, cold and energy drinks, entertainment, toiletries, and airtime.

Insights such as these give marketers an opportunity to improve their campaigns and focus their strategies in gearing towards growing their reach.

The 2011 Sunday Times Generation Next Survey's "Coolest Overall Brands" were Blackberry, BMW, Coca-Cola, KFC and Mr Price respectively.

Sunday Times Generation Next Awards to reveal coolest brands
On a closer look it's easy to see that what these brands have in common are traits like youth appeal, accessibility, innovativeness, Brandholism (a holistic look at how consumers find and create meaning in brands; explores the fundamental conscious and unconscious elements that connect people with products and brands) and a clear brand identity.

The reveal of the Sunday Times Generation Next Survey on 3 June 2012, will be a great opportunity to see whether or not these brands managed to maintain their youth strong hold, or if they lost lost their way... and their place in the hearts of the SA youth.

It's about time to start asking whether or not your campaigns are gaining your clients as much value as they could, in addition to considering if you're using the right lingo to attract this large slice of the marketing pie.

11 May 2012 12:00