South Africa’s youth today is a very progressive and powerful buying market, who value authenticity, a balance between working, living and making a difference in their immediate and greater worlds. They are also very particular about which products and experiences they engage with – which will be heavily influenced by these core values.
When researching a brand, this younger buying market makes a point of seeing if a brand’s products, ways of doing business, and/or company values, are kind to the planet, and not just the pocket. They actively seek out brands that care as much as they do.
While very ambitious – wanting to build a life that is comfortable and holds space for adventure, experiences, and personal growth – SA youth see the brands/companies/products/services that they engage with as an extension of themselves, and as such should hold the same core values as the individual.
Brands with hearts stand apart
Brands that stand apart from others in the eyes of this buying market have initiatives that support the sustainability of natural resources, as well as having as little impact on the planet as possible in the process of production, operation, and disposal.
This extends to their mobile devices too – how they are manufactured, the eco-friendliness of replaceable (such as batteries, charging cables, etc), and the care of people as much as the planet.
So when a brand achieves a high sustainability ranking, as did HMD Global, the Home of Nokia phones, this younger and very aware buying market stands up and takes note. HMD has a powerful mission to lower its carbon footprint on the planet, including extending the longevity of its products so that they last longer without losing operational capability, requiring less production of new products. This is highly attractive to this market.
Authenticity is gold
A brand that is transparent, personal, honest and “real” with its audience will capture their hearts – and that share of the market.
The younger SA buying market is very shrewd consumers that aren’t attracted to “fluff” created around a brand and its offerings. They want a brand partner that tells it like it is, that listens to what their consumers want, and that cuts through the clutter of marketing noise with an offer that is simple and “real”.
Feeding into the SA youth market’s priorities
This is why HMD has reduced the noise and clutter, bringing phones and tablets to the youth market that support them in what is important to them in life.
SA youth don’t “do” overcomplicated, and in a world where things are becoming more and more complicated, they are leaning decidedly towards the simplicity of older times, and the comfort and “escape” that these bring.
Because this market is prone to worry, they are looking at removing things from around them that fuel the worry – like overcomplicated processes, products and features. They want things that are easy to use, dependable, that last, and that give them exactly what they need, as opposed to handfuls of other things that they will have to wade through.
A simple phone like the Nokia 105, for example, offers calling and messaging, a torch, some games, FM radio and a very-long-lasting battery. And this young market is seeing a device like this as taking them back to that safe and simple past and stripping them away from an overcomplicated lifestyle.
Work meets life
Supporting a balanced lifestyle is also a very important consideration for SA youth. As much as they want the comfort and stability of a good income, they also want to be able to save money to travel; experience and own things that interest and excite them and bring emotional value to their lives.
A brand that supports this holistic approach to life is one that this market wants to be associated with. And one that has a bouquet of products to choose from, with each product having a specific collection of features that talks to this market’s priorities, will gain additional traction in their esteem.
The Nokia T20 tablet, for example, talks to the young working SA professional who need long-lasting battery time to cater for online meetings, the ability to stream movies and good sound for quality listening. Because quality is also desired for the holistic experience.
Of vital importance to enter this market is access. Access to the internet; apps that support their need for inspiration, community, information and connectivity to peers and the workplace.
Access is what opens up this market’s world – from virtual travel and exploration, enhancing their education, to catching up with someone abroad. And they want their access to be immediate.
The world has become more fast-paced than ever, and this generation that wants their finger on the pulses of everything in their realm of interest wants it immediately with near-instant gratification.
Aum Namah Shivay!
Till next time...Aashish
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