Kantar’s COVID-19 barometer is the largest study of its kind exploring the marketing implications of COVID-19 across the globe. 500 South Africans were surveyed in each wave, representative of the connected population of South Africa.

The survey was conducted over 8 waves from March to August 2020

South Africans are struggling

South Africa remains one of the most concerned nations in the world, 56% of South Africans say “The situation concerns me hugely”, the focus of the concern is mostly financially driven – about an economic recession. This is significant as in other countries surveyed, the biggest concern was about health. While, impact on daily life stabilises, people continue to learn how to adjust. Disapproval of government actions increased from wave 5 onwards and coincides with consumers needing brands to be practical, realistic and to offer consumers help in their everyday life

South Africans have high expectations of brands, 28% believe that brands have a responsibility to be an example and guide the change.

Invest in Mzansi

There has been a marked increase in desire to support local brands and initiatives, motivated by a desire to drive employment and support the economy. 79% of SA say shopping at local stores is important for the local community and as a result 48% of SA now pays more attention to the origin of the products. 21% believe that brands should bring their production and factories to SA.

As consumers shop with local intent, it’s imperative to develop a “close to home” and “local marketing” strategy to humanize your brand. Local papers can assist brands in doing just this. 70% of shoppers use the local paper to plan their shopping. Learn more about how Local newspapers drive hyperlocal shopping and local business

Be part of the “”planning ahead” mentality

The crisis has had a major impact on how people shop in physical stores. 80% say it’s more important now to make a shopping list before going to the store and 54% feel pressured for time when entering the store. So brands need to ensure that they are talking to shoppers in an environment used to make planning decisions.

Shoppers want the familiarity of trusted brands and will go to lengths to find them. But when their brand is not available, they are trying new brands – and 60% state that they will stick with a new brand post Covid.

South Africans continue to seek value, yet two-thirds manage to purchase the same brands as always

Staying at home & in-home activities set to increase

The financial fallout of COVID-19 is huge, so most shoppers have become more value-sensitive.

Travel and spending are expected to decrease, in-home occasions, increasing use of online and ecommerce, supporting local and planning for the future will increase.

Build desire to secure future demand

From a longer-term brand health perspective, we need to balance the need for promotions and pricing with the imperative of building strong brands that will recover quicker.

Kantar’s BrandZ™ Top 30 Most Valuable South African Brand of 2020 show us that brands that continue to meet consumer needs in difficult times and make a real difference in people’s lives are the ones best placed to survive. The advocated approach is therefore to focus on building long-term brand salience and short-term sales activations (reasons to buy now

Why local papers?

Local newspapers have been offering consumers help in their everyday life, with locally relevant content and advertising delivered to the home, weekly.  According to ROOTS research 7 out of 10 shoppers use local papers to plan their shopping.

This is why they are still a critical component of many South African brands’ communication strategy.

Advertisers and media decision makers are urged to use the available evidence of how people currently behave locally and how this impacts brand decisions.

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