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  • Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko to step down
    Telkom has announced that its CEO and executive director Sipho Maseko will step down on 30 June 2022. The telecoms company said the process to appoint a successor is well underway and a designated group CEO will be announced in the not too distant future.
  • #BehindtheBrandManager: Meet Tamsin Darroch of Kellogg's South Africa
    Few food brands have the historical connection with consumers around the world as Kellogg's does, having held meaning at the breakfast table for over a century. By Lauren Hartzenberg
  • How cooking oil brought a moment of joy during a dreadful week
    It is possible that cooking oil prevented more looting in South Africa in the last week than the president, the ANC, the intelligence community, the army and the police combined. This, without question, says something about the versatility of the product. It says even more about the state of the state. When you are shown up by canola, you might want to revisit your strategy. By Howard Feldman
  • Park Advertising launches digital performance unit, Lucid Media
    Performance Media across Search, Social and Programmatic platforms is the single fastest growing area of digital media in South Africa. Combine that with the detailed analysis of campaign management, tagging and ad operations, and it becomes apparent that these highly specialist functions require a highly specialised unit.
  • Transnet hit by cyberattack - Operations disrupted nationwide
    The Transnet Port Terminals website has been hacked, implying that all companies under Transnet have been affected. All Transnet websites were down at the time when reporting was done for this SA Trucker article. The publication cited sources who requested to remain anonymous because they are not allowed to speak to the media.
  • Business unusual for small enterprises on the road to recovery
    The Covid-19 pandemic has hit South Africa's small business sector hard and there are grim statistics to bear this out. Those statistics will not be repeated here. After all, if you are a small business owner setting out on the road to recovery, the last thing you probably want is more details of the toll the pandemic has taken on small enterprises. Far more useful would be some good, solid tips on how to build back better after any business setbacks. By Ameen Hassen
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#BizTrends2019: The speed of culture

A lot happens in a year, and as our population and their access to the world and each other grows, our collective innovation and productivity will continue to grow exponentially, making each passing year increasingly dense with 'trends' and 'disruptions'.
Yatish Narsi, chief experience officer at Grid Worldwide.

The African continent is, by some margin, the youngest continent on earth. By 2050 we will have 1 billion under-18s equating to 40% of the world’s youth. Presently only 24% of our continent is connected. Imagine the radical innovation and culture that will be created, generated and shared if we successfully connect the other 76%...

The net effect of this is almost painful to consider for any marketer or business owner.
The speed at which culture moves is dizzying, with no apparent sign of slowing down, with new trends, hashtags and ideas seeming relentless.
Rather than create a greater sense of panic with more disruptive thinking, and simply give you more trends to react to, let’s consider how we make sense of the growing reality of a marketplace that is constantly upended and disrupted by itself. The biggest trends this year, irrespective of what they are, will force us all to ask these questions of our businesses:
  • How do we make a new brand famous?
  • How do we make an old brand relevant?
  • How do we enter and capture a new category?
  • How do we create culture, rather than just respond to it?
  • Simplifying our expectations to a core set of questions will help us think slow but act fast.
Grid has never seen itself as just a brand or design business, but rather an ideas company – an open source creative collective. If the idea takes us to a spatial, brand, communication, experiential or even technological space, then that is what we do. We, like the businesses we serve, are also subjected the same pressure to constantly evolve and shape shift – increase productivity, decrease cost, automate and improve value-add and user experience.

Hey, Siri, Alexa and Google...

The trend of smart speakers is interesting for numerous reasons. Creating content specifically for kitchens or the bedside and not just living rooms or mobile or the effect on shopping behaviour, by just asking Alexa to stock up on my milk. We, however, are interested in looking at this as a combination of underlying ideas that have greater implications for many industries.

Where are the fonts when you are asking Alexa to buy your milk? How about the colour, photography and logo placement? Where would a traditional design and brand company design for a brand in this interaction?

As technology starts to mature and automation moves deeper and deeper into every aspect of our lives, what a brand is will challenge the traditional agency. Arguably brands have always been about the whole experience, but the point of reference for customers was always an asset that a traditional agency developed. Now its potentially just a voice.

Reinventing the wheel

The other interesting space is the automotive sector, if you can still call it that. Tesla turning a profit this last quarter has been a significant milestone for them. Whether they succeed long term or not, they have materially transformed the automotive landscape. Almost every other vehicle manufacturer has announced or released a self-driving car project.

One of the more interesting projects this year was, however, one from Ikea. What does a furniture company have to do with cars?
As more and more software and technology drive the future of the automobile, the side effects of automation and intelligence are bound to follow suit. If you no longer need to drive something you essentially sit in for hours, it looks less and less like a car and more and more like a room.
As a complete flip to this, Mini (the car brand) has been developing new living space and working space concepts for urban environments. What brands like these teach us is to constantly ask ourselves a simple set of fundamental questions:
  • How do we make a new brand famous?
  • How do we make an old brand relevant?
  • How do we enter and capture a new category?
  • How do we create culture, rather than just respond to it?

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