#EXPLORE

Date of publication: July 15, 2022

Abstract:

Brands that have core users that are mostly older than 30 can easily lose their relevance over time, and fail to be aspirational to a new generation of users. Brands such as Victoria's Secret, Gap, UK retailer Debenhams, South African retailer Edgars and cliche example Kodak are all examples of brands that have failed to take the right action to stay relevant. Today's 18 to 24-year-olds form part of the Gen Z generation, and are a key influencer and precursor to the next age group (25 to 35). Therefore, understanding and reaching this demographic potentially has a significant multiplier effect for the business. Much is written about the pressures this group is under, how they "live online", are financially astute and more focused on a sustainable world. It is easy to fall into a trap of viewing this group through a lens of generalisations. Instead, let us focus on the life stage that they are in and what would be important for them in this life stage. They have just been through two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, at a stage of their lives where socialising is a significant priority; consequently, they have had to do much more of their socialising online. In South Africa and Kenya, we see double digit growth in social media usage over the last two years (Kemp, 2022), fuelled by the pandemic. TikTok is the number one downloaded app in Q1 2022. Particularly popular among younger consumers, it has grown exponentially over the last few years, and forced competitor Meta to adapt style and user experiences to keep up. Online retail in both countries have also grown exponentially, with new quick delivery options for food and groceries from existing brands, faster turnaround online shopping in general, expansion of delivery areas and a host of new online stores appearing. TikTok is also growing as an e-commerce channel, making it easier for young entrepreneurs to start and to promote their businesses. 

Charlene Van Zyl

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David Wright

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Karlien Kriegler

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Marguerite Steyn

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Research Papers

Research Papers

Research Papers

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