Having just completed my annual off-the-beaten-track, 3800km road tour of South Africa, I can report that, compared to a year ago: Many small towns are showing further visible signs of decay and even collapse

It feels like you just can’t win with brand health tracker surveys.

Just a few years ago many South African companies had large databases of customer details and they didn’t know what to do with them. They used them to send out various communications about uninteresting and unpleasant things like ‘confirmations of contract renewal’, ‘terms and conditions of new policies’ and the dreaded ‘notifications of late payment’.

An article published yesterday by Inc. Magazine tells us that “teens are leaving Facebook in droves” (and defecting to Snapchat). This is interesting because the findings of our soon to be published 2018 SA Youth Survey indicate that many young South Africans aged between 16 and 25 are wary of social media and worry about…

White South African dinner party conversation inevitably gets around to the topic of how hard it is for white kids to get jobs after they have completed their education because BBBEE forces employers to favour black kids.

Analysis of the data we are using for our soon-to-be published report on loyalty/reward programmes has yielded some very interesting insights about exactly how these programmes work.

The bottom line is that they work extremely well.

Your customer database is potentially the most powerful weapon in your marketing armoury. You should be seeing the people in that database as important members of your “brand community” and start conversing with them as you would converse with your friends. Do this and amazing things start to happen.

We are about to publish the latest Brand Atlas Frugality Report. This is a large sample (n = 8264) survey of economically active South Africans designed to measure the steps that they have already taken, or think they might take in future in order to make ends meet.

On a recent trip to the bush it occurred to me that for all creatures other than birds, the best strategy for survival in the wild is to keep dead quiet. Making noise attracts the attention of predators which inevitably leads to a brutal and premature death.

Brand Atlas is a tool for marketers designed to give them the ability to describe specific customer segments in a very high level of detail.

Brand Atlas is a tool for marketers designed to give them the ability to describe specific customer segments in a very high level of detail.

If Mr BMW had to walk into the room, what type of person would he or she be? I bet you’re thinking they’d be somewhat debonair.

Brand Atlas data has started to come in and we have started sifting through if for interesting snippets.

Be careful about how you spend your money on print advertising. Brand Atlas core data has started to come in and we did a quick analysis.

A Gucci T-shirt sells for hundred times more than a Mr Price T-shirt. Why does this happen? Is it because a Gucci T-shirt is a hundred times better made, or made with materials worth hundred times more?

We recently came across a rather obvious but interesting notion. If you ask people whether they shop online, they automatically make the assumption that you’re talking about shopping online for tangible items that need to be delivered to them.

If you look at how consumers rate their levels of satisfaction with a cross-section of the different products and services they use, you will see that the cellphone network operators are at the bottom of the satisfaction pile. Even the banks are more loved.

The market research world is abuzz with the topic of mobile surveys. The advent of smartphones has put the Internet into the pockets of millions more South Africans.

You wouldn’t go to the hairdresser to have your teeth straightened. You’d have to have a screw loose to get your car serviced by a carpenter and you wouldn’t buy your vegetables from a bottle store.

Back in the 1980’s conventional wisdom had it that advertising built brands whilst sales promotion stimulated brand purchase. Improved brand image led to improved brand equity which in turn created an improved climate within which to sell.

The recent BMI survey (n = 11 828) shows us some fun facts about the 60% of economically active South Africans whose BMI indicates are overweight. They are more likely to be better off than their underweight cousins And more likely to worry more about what’s going on in the world (probably because they are…

These days more and more purchases require online payment. Paying online is more convenient for the purchaser and better for the profit margins of the seller. But the media is full of horror stories about a cybercrime underworld that preys on hapless online shoppers using techniques like phishing, identity theft, hacking, and data theft. Estimates…

Humans are hardwired to resist cutting back on their lifestyles. Lifestyles are only meant to get better and better – never worse. In the recent Frugality survey (n = 11828) we see that a whopping 96% of economically active people who aren’t already doing so like the idea of starting an income generating sideline as…

In our recent online shopping survey (n = 11 828) we asked respondents how they would feel if they had bought a TV set from an online retailer, and a few days later the same online retailer was sending them advertising messages for blue Blu-ray players, TV stands and other TV accessories.

From BrandMAPP (a very large sample survey of 27 000 economically active respondents) we see that 28% no longer buy and read printed magazines, (for 16 to 24 year olds it’s 38%) and 39% say they are buying them less often that they were a year ago. From the same survey we see that 34%…

According to Urban dictionary instant gratification is defined as “the quick attainability of happiness or of contentedness”. We humans are programmed to want to satisfy our needs, wants and urges immediately, but we are taught that delayed gratification is a virtue. Our digital devices have greatly exacerbated our desire for instant gratification – they are…

Based on the census 2011 data, it is estimated that there are 15 million households in South Africa. 70% of households exist on a monthly income of less than R6400 a month. On average each household comprises four people. That means there is just R1600 per person per month – or R53 per person per…

In our recent frugality survey (comprising 11,828 economically active South Africans) we discovered that 40% of respondents do not have any money left over after paying all their bills.

From our online shopping survey we see that when it comes to shopping online for tangible products, the biggest worry that shoppers have is the concern that that there will be something wrong with the delivered product that will necessitate it having to be returned.

59% of online shoppers have abandoned online shopping transaction! That’s according to our online shopping survey of 11 828 respondents.

In our online shopper survey with 11,828 respondents, we discovered that 30% of people who shop online for tangible items only started shopping online in the past 12 months.

Although 79% of online shoppers say that a website on their laptop or desktop is their preferred platform for shopping online, 58% say that they have used a smart phone to shop online and 65% say that they very or quite likely to shop online using a smart phone in the next six months.

70% of households in South Africa somehow manage to survive on less than R5000 a month. Arguably things can’t really get much worse for these people who have probably already done everything they can to cut back on the expenses that go beyond the basic necessities of their frugal lives.

Some people believe, and we agree, that it’s just a matter of time before everybody on planet Earth is shopping online. Up to now the biggest limiting factor to getting South Africans to shop online has been a lack of access to the Internet.