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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.
  • 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.
  • #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
  • 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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Youth vs. brands: Who wins?

The idea of interacting with digital natives, who have been swiping on touch screens since they were in diapers, can be intimidating for companies and organisations, bu there is simply no way out of this arena for any brand that wants to capture the youth.
Source: Jonathan Petersson from Pexels

Brands these days must face the challenge of speaking to the sensibilities of these device wielding, opinionated and impatient humans who are always ready to move on to the next thing. After all, young people have the potential to bring forth fresh ideas, groundbreaking inventions and leadership that can change things for the better.

As American professor David Aaker puts it "the brand is the most valuable real estate asset in the world, a corner of the customer's mind”. The young mind, according to me, is the most precious of all corners to occupy because it represents the future of our society.

This asset is so precious that during every election, the Independent Electoral Commission releases messaging aimed at enticing young people to vote. The fact that South Africans observe the month of June, to honour the youth of 1976 for changing the cause of history by fighting against an unjust system, is another reminder of how important it is to consider the youthful voice.
Are African brands out of touch with Africans?

African brands are not getting enough love from home and we need to resolve this....

By Pat Mahlangu 1 Jun 2021

In the past, companies could spend millions on ad campaigns to capture people’s attention, and this was nearly enough to get the job done. But the audience has evolved into one that can choose to ignore your loud ad or colourful poster and move onto other business. Mobile phones, tablets and laptops have created a situation where people are forever plugged in and exposed to an avalanche of information.
An information intensive world means that brands need to be more innovative to stay relevant.
People will always gravitate towards brands that they love. I repeat these words incessantly at the expense of sounding like a broken record. A generation that is said to be more self-absorbed than any other in the history of humanity is bound to expect to see a better reflection of themselves in a brand.

This is the generation that invented the cancel culture, a phenomenon that has seen prominent personalities get fired from their jobs over a hashtag or tweet. While public protest in the traditional sense still exists, people do not necessarily have to spend months making submissions to governments and picketing outside of buildings to get what they want.
The rise of cancel culture

Tyrone Van Heerden, head of strategy at Iris, looks into the continuous trend of the cancel culture, the impact that it has on brands and how communications professionals can try and reduce the risk...

By Tyrone Van Heerden 17 Sep 2020

Brands that allow young people to lead the conversation instead of trying to dictate to them will win the day. Those who are hell-bent on creating conversations based on what they imagine to be best, will fail in this exercise.

As a young person myself, I will tell you this: you cannot dictate to us. Instead, join in on our conversations and allow us to create the story with you. Marketing guru Seth Godin says you should be empathetic to the people you are trying to reach and if you have the keyboard, you can touch the culture. But it's how you choose to use that keyboard that matters. “Put yourself in the shoes of the people you are trying to serve,” Godin says.

In this arena, the youth wins. The best brands will allow this win to happen effortlessly, as they explore the stories that are waiting to be told.

About the author

Pat Mahlangu is a marketing expert and the founding CEO of Lerato Agency

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