Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Bakwena, the concessionaire for the N1and N4 toll roads, has won an international road safety award for its marketing campaign in conjunction with Wheel Well, a non-profit organisation that aims to reduce child fatalities caused by car accidents. The UK-based Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards are presented to companies or organisations around the world in recognition of their contribution to improving road safety. The also recognise marketing achievement and innovation in the field. Peggie Mars, founder of Wheel Well, and Charmaine van Wyk, Public Relations Manager for Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire, received the award at a ceremony held at The Savoy, one of London’s most prestigious hotels, on 13 December. The ‘Car Seats for Kids’ campaign encourages parents to donate their used car seats to Wheel Well, which then restores them and verifies that they still meet safety standards. Thereafter, they are provided to less fortunate families for a nominal donation. Wheel Well is the only non-profit organisation to focus exclusively on road safety for children in South Africa. Its objective is to raise awareness, educate and affect changes, and promote the enforcement of legislation pertaining to the safety of children in and around vehicles. “This award will do wonders for the efforts of Wheel Well to raise awareness for child road safety,” says Mars. “The judges assessed the programme to be a significant contributor to child safety and one which could be replicated elsewhere. The award is a rare privilege for a South African road safety initiative,” adds Van Wyk, who explains that Bakwena’s support for the campaign arose from concern over the high rate of infant deaths from road accidents. According to the most recent Medical Research Council study, released in 2013, road accidents cause around one-third of non-natural, or injury-related deaths, among under-fives in South Africa.
Online retailer Amazon has made its first commercial drone delivery as it seeks to revolutionise the supply chain aspect of online shopping. The delivery was made in the English city of Cambridge and took 13 minutes “from click to delivery” the company says.
.Brand South Africa has welcomed the country's improved performance in the 2016 Anholt-GfK Nation Brand Index. SA went up by three places in the latest survey and now stands at 35 out of 50 nation brands. “South Africa’s improved performance can be attributed to improved perceptions of our governance, immigration and investment, and people. This speaks directly to the work we are doing as a country in implementing the National Development Plan and programmes like Invest South Africa,” Brand SA CEO Kingsley Makhubela says. “In addition, our Nation Brand continues to be admired for our unspoiled natural beauty, with 13 nations ranking South Africa in the top 25 countries being assessed. Moreover, we are recognised internationally for our efforts to preserve the environment. In this regard, South Africa moved up six places to stand at 29 of 50 nations. This resonates with the brand of the country as a good international citizen.” He continues: “We can say with confidence that our country is going in the right direction as a globally competitive Nation Brand.” The study ranks the US as the strongest global nation brand, followed by Germany, the UK, Canada, France and Italy. However, all of the Top Ten suffered falls in their global reputation this year – with eight of those being classed as ‘significant’ drops. Notes GfK senior executive, Vadim Volos: “How a nation is perceived is a function of both long-standing attributes (such as stereotypes of its people or region, and images of its natural and social environment) and short-term influences (such as positive or negative news coverage or dramatic events). Each nation has some ability to impact either of these areas, by promoting the nation’s key positive assets to drive up inbound tourism and investment.”
Digital media remains a big driver of growth in global advertising and is likely to capture 33% of the global advertising pie in 2017. This is according to a forecast by GroupM, the world's largest advertising buyer. TV continues to attract the largest share of ad spend, although this will decrease slightly from 42% in 2016 to 41% in 2017. “Digital keeps surprising us,” says Adam Smith, a senior GroupM executive. “What's surprising is [that] the bigger the appetite for digital is, the bigger it gets.” He believes that digital’s growth is being driven by big increases in paid search, e-commerce and advertising on mobile devices. “If you look at the growth trajectory of digital, if it carries on taking a point or two of share from other media. Is TV threatened and, if so, what can we do about it?” asks Smith. He says more data and technology should be introduced to support TV marketing – including creating addressable ads that allow marketers to target consumers by household. Many TV executives in the US have argued that momentum is swinging back towards television as marketers become more wary of digital advertising problems such as click fraud. However, it appears that this may not be the case. Total advertising spend worldwide for 2017 is predicted to be US$547-billion, an increase of 4,4% on 2016, notes GroupM. The US and China will be responsible for half of the net growth next year. Emerging market India continues to be one of the fastest growing countries in the world when it comes to ad spend, with the country's ad growth forecast to be almost 13,8% this year and 12,5% for 2017.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 08:55

KWV takes a Southern African gin to the British

It’s not quite selling snow to Eskimos, but South African liquor giant KWV is attempting something similar as it takes on the British market – the home of gin – with an African boutique gin brand. Cruxland Gin, a product that is infused with signature botanicals including Kalahari N’abbas, was launched this month in the UK and is being sold through major retail chains such as Morrisons, which has 400 outlets nationwide. N’abbas is a species of truffle indigenous to the Kalahari Desert and Namibia. They only grow for a short time after the first rains of the season and it is said that only a highly experienced ‘truffle hunter’ can find the right location to dig for them. “It is not something consumers will find in any other drink, anywhere in the world,” KWV claims in a media statement. The company adds that a product development team took three years to create the gin from botanicals typical to Southern Africa. This provides a distinctive point of appeal, notes Anneke Mackenzie, KWV’s Global Portfolio Manager for Spirits. “Experts say the gin revival has been sparked by unusual flavours and launches of small [product] batches, which are adding vitality to the category and the re-emergence of a cocktail culture.” Mackenzie claims Cruxland offers gin consumers something that is unique and, more importantly, something that has a ‘taste of origin’. “[In South Africa] the response has been phenomenal and we are happy to report that the introduction to the UK market is showing signs of equal interest.” The product was introduced to the UK liquor trade, media and other influencers through an event at the Whistling Stop, a trendy gin and cocktail bar in London.
Despite experiencing an African summer Christmas, shoppers in South Africa still seem to prefer decorations in the country’s shopping malls to hark back to a cold and snowy European-style winter wonderland. An article published last week by the international news website, ‘Quartz Africa’, ponders the seasonal disparity between Northern and Southern Hemisphere Christmases and the vexing question for SA mall managers as to what constitutes appropriate festive season decorations – given that most customers would never have experienced snow, never mind sleigh bells and reindeer. “Even as the country’s consumer base has become more diverse and sophisticated, Western visions of Christmas still appear to be a huge draw to the country’s multitude of malls,” observes the publication. “For mall managers, this wholehearted embrace of ‘atmospherics’, or the Western-perfected practice of using decor, sound and smells to put people in the mood to shop, has taken on an even greater importance during an economic downturn that is seeing consumers adopt more measured, rather than merry, shopping habits.” Jan Griesel, co-owner of a specialist decorating business The Magic Christmas Co, says there has been a growing effort in the last 15 years to recognise local traditions. These range from using Ndebele tribal prints to replace ribbon, a giant baobab tree instead of a fir tree, and handmade wire reindeer, sheep, and cows. “What we’re trying to do is incorporate more local people to produce more local things, so we can put it together in one statement,” he tells ‘Quartz Africa’. But while some malls have tried to find a balance between African and Western traditions, it seems the white Christmas approach is here to say, the publication reports. Even though malls might be catering for more diverse communities, religions and races, “… there is an expectation for beautiful, traditional stuff,” Vanessa Fourie, Brand Manager at the new Mall of Africa, says.
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 10:28

Chicken brand celebrates African milestone

.While new fast-food and quick-service restaurant brands continue to enter the market in sub-Saharan Africa, the long-established operators are not resting on their laurels. KFC, for example, has announced the opening of its 1 000th outlet in the SSA region. The new restaurant is located at the Lemo Mall in Bloemfontein and represents a major milestone for the company, which arrived in 1971 via an investment in a store in the Johannesburg suburb of Orange Grove. It now has a presence across 16 SSA countries – among them Swaziland, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Angola, Ghana and Kenya. “We are thrilled to be celebrating this significant milestone, which emphasises our growth and expansion strategy in sub-Saharan Africa” says Doug Smart, Managing Director of KFC Africa. According to a media statement released by the company, a localisation strategy has been key to its success. In addition to the traditional global menu, KFC develops new menu options that appeal to local tastes by drawing inspiration from Africa’s diverse flavours. Over the last five years, for example, it has introduced products tailored to local markets which include jollof rice in Nigeria, morogo in Botswana and nshima in Zambia. Founded in 1940 in the US, KFC now has a presence in around125 countries and operates more than 20 000 outlets worldwide
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 09:54

From greenwashing to sustainable business

Growing consumer concern over the environment too frequently translates into greenwashing strategies instead of a corporate culture that has genuine concern for the planet. This is unethical and must change, says Angelo Nicolaides, Professor of Business Ethics at Unisa.. Writing in the latest issue of the ‘IMM Journal of Strategic Marketing’, the magazine of the Institute of Marketing Management (IMM), he observes that this approach is not surprising, given that there’s ample evidence of consumers being willing to pay more for products and services that they deem to be friendly to the environment. For example, a 2008 survey of US restaurant customers showed they were happy to pay 10% or more for food and beverage items sold by businesses engaged in green observances. Sadly, says Nicolaides, many companies are tempted to promote their highly questionable claims in the knowledge that consumers may not easily be able to assess the validity of their claims. “Honesty is undoubtedly the best policy in dealings with all stakeholders and even ‘white’ lies are unacceptable, no matter how insignificant they may appear to be,” he states. The most famous recent example of a greenwasher being found out is that of Volkswagen, which rigged 11-million diesel engines with software that tricked emissions tests, allowing the cars to spew out far more pollutants than allowed. Noted the ‘New York Times’: “No matter how hard Volkswagen works to resolve this crisis, the episode is likely to live on in infamy as the latest and perhaps most egregious example of greenwashing.” Says Nicolaides: “Businesses need to substantiate all the claims they may be making about ‘green’ products and services, ‘environmentally friendly’ goods and ‘sustainable’ practices, since these will be scrutinised by environmental watchdogs, certification agencies, consumers and other organisations bent on exposing unethical practices.”
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 08:55

Grocery store with no queues and checkouts

It sound too good to be true: a bricks-and-mortar grocery store without checkout tills or queues of customers. Yet that’s what online retailer Amazon has done in its home city of Seattle in the US. Called Amazon Go, it uses sensors to detect what shoppers have taken from the shelves and then sends a bill to their Amazon account. The store is currently only open to employees as it is in the trial phase, but the company intends to open several similar stores for public use next year and, if successful, could open as many as 2 000 grocery outlets across the US. Items on offer to customers include bread, milk, and ready-to-eat meals that are made on-site. While Amazon is primarily an e-commerce business, it does operate a bricks-and-mortar book shop in Seattle and often has pop-up stores at malls to sell items such as the Kindle e-reader. It also has an online grocery offering called AmazonFresh, and the intention is that the physical stores will complement this service. A report by Reuters news agency quotes retail research expert Neil Saunders as saying: “The checkout lines are always the most inefficient parts of the store experience. Not only would you save a lot on labour costs, you actually make the process much quicker for consumers and much more satisfying.” He added that the grab-and-go approach would take getting used to, as some people might feel like they were ‘stealing’ items from the store.
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 08:49

Foschini Group innovates in e-commerce space

Retail giant The Foschini Group (TFG) is trialling a ground-breaking new delivery service for its products being sold online. Called ‘Deliver 2 Me’, it uses a geolocation tracking system – similar to that used by smartphone tracking systems or the Uber taxi app – to enable customers to pinpoint exactly where they want their purchases to be delivered. The ‘Deliver 2 Me’ system sends an SMS to a customer when their online order is ready for delivery and the client then selects a ‘Deliver Now’ option that enables the order to be delivered to the customer’s location, typically within three hours. The location need not be the client’s home or work address, but can be wherever they happen to be located at the time. TFG is offering the service in conjunction with WumDrop, an app-based courier service that operates in much the same way as Uber. The service is currently being trialled in Cape Town, but will go live in other cities in South Africa in the early part of 2017. Traditional retailers like TFG are facing increased competition from online retailers in SA and are now moving rapidly to counter the growing threat. After a slow start, fashion retailing is one of the sectors that is moving increasingly online
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