The age of transparency is becoming more apparent each day as consumers hold brands to be more accountable for the health benefits or lack off in their products. What this means is that the South African consumer has become more health conscious and looking towards healthier lifestyle habits and diet.
However this does not mean that your brand has to be a health product or even a food item. Consumers are not just looking at only the nutritional benefits of products brands produce, most importantly their brand values around the consumers wellbeing and lifestyle.
Automotive brands such as Hyundai through their Hyundai Rock the run initiative are encouraging a healthier lifestyle even though the product (vehicle) is not directly linked to health. This attitude in brand values is what makes the difference regardless of the category your brand is in.
As a brand manager or marketer, one does not need to first wait for government regulations before they act. Showing your consumer that you care about them will give you greater leverage over your consumer’s heart – as it that emotional attitude and connection you build with your consumer. You are not just providing products and services for just merely profit margins but as a brand you are adding a meaningful purpose to their lives. After cigarettes and alcohol being forced by regulation to put warnings and disclaimers on their product packs, sugar products are now the subject under scrutiny. Now the South African consumer is looking closely into sugar related products with a sense of mistrust that they have been lied to and health compromised from brands. That are only seeking to gain profit margins.
However if you take the first stand towards promoting a healthier lifestyle, even if it is not directly through your primary products, but through initiatives and healthier lifestyle activities that encourage people. Your brand will gain much more relevance in people lives and hearts. Even if government regulations and policies come to the surface about your category, your consumers will already have gained much respect towards your brand. Willing to overlook some issues as the brand has shown a sense meaningfulness to peoples lives.
Article by Mogorosi Mashilo
TrendER Insights’ Founder and Trend Analyst