Thursday, November 26, 2009

Brand Strategies for 2010

Being South African has suddenly become hip and it’s not only due to those lekker accents in District 9. With the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup just a few months away, the global spotlight is focussed on the country, its sport, its culture and its people and there is a heightened awareness of what it means to be South African.

Not only are our athletes in top form, smashing world records and grabbing international headlines, the Springbok rugby team is officially the best in the world whilst the Proteas cricket team are jostling to regain the top position amidst much local and international attention. Supporters today pay a premium for a variety of official merchandise, and stadiums and taverns are packed with people showing their support and patriotism for their teams.

In only 15 years of democracy South Africa has achieved macroeconomic stability in sharp contrast to the tumultuous apartheid years, which has created opportunities for investors, laying the foundation for increased economic growth. Until the global economic crisis hit South Africa in late 2008, economic growth had been steady and according to Statistics South Africa, GDP rose by 2.7% in 2001, 3.7% in 2002, 3.1% in 2003, 4.9% in 2004, 5% in 2005, 5.4% in 2006, 5.1% in 2007 and 3.1% in 2008, clear signs that South Africa and its people are forging ahead.

So why do local brands gain such vehement loyalty? For most South Africans, it’s a feeling they have in their soul, the “local is lekker” flavour of being part of a culture that makes up our DNA. This is according to Nadia Lang Strategic Marketing Consultant. “Patriotism and brand loyalty go hand in hand. South African products and services have an emotional dimension with which people can identify,” She says, adding that traditionally, international brands were perceived as superior to those produced in South Africa, but this has changed drastically as South Africa’s fortunes have improved.

“Locally, there is definitely a shift in mentality amongst South Africans from only wanting international brands to now buying South African brands as well, especially in light of the 2010 World Cup. These brands provide a sense of self-worth, particularly amongst the youth as it defines their social status and how those around them are perceived. They are starting to realise that we are just as good as international counterparts and such a notion is rubbing off on our beliefs in all things South African, be it brands or products,” She says.

It was with this in mind that Proudly South African, a “buy local” campaign was launched in 2001 by government, organised business, organised labour and community organisations to boost job creation and pride in all things “local” by promoting South African companies and their ‘home grown’ products and services. They know that by buying Proudly South African, both consumers and businesses are making a personal contribution to nation-building. The initiative is similar in concept to the highly successful 'Buy British' and 'Buy USA' campaigns, which urge their citizens to support the local economy to foster job creation.

Earlier this year, luxury market analyst firm, Ledbury Research reported that 50% of Britons buy local, while 92% of the French, 64% of Americans and 61% Germans preferred to buy only goods that originate from their countries. Certainly, anyone who has been to France would not be surprised by the high percentage of “Proudly French” consumers in a country renowned for a remarkable sense of self-worth.

Commenting on how local brands are standing up against international rivals, Sylvia Becatti, Editor of Marketing Mix, says locally, South African brands are doing very well in recent times, particularly in the fashion and retail arena. South African companies need think on their feet and promote their products as challenger brands. In many cases, South African products are superior in quality compared to their international equivalents, so it is therefore important that companies promote that fact heavily in their campaigns.

This is the ideal time to have a game plan to build your brand. Invest in Smart Marketing. It is not a necessity but a strategic imperative.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Recessions come and go Brands are for Life!

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There have been nine major recessions in the U.S since 1907, each one lasted on average 14 months and each was followed by a lengthy recovery. It has been seven years since the last recovery.

This is the perfect time to build market share because some of your competitors have gone into hiding. When your competitors cut back they surrender their share of the market. This creates an ideal opportunity for you to grow and conquer your market share.
If we look back in history we will see some really successful global Brands used proactive marketing and Brand Strategies during recessionary periods to achieve a lion’s share of a shrinking market. Winning Brands such as Sears stole the market from Wards during World War Two, Revlon gained market share in the 1970’s recession whilst Avon lost share. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut strategically stole share from Mc Donald’s during the 1990- 1991 recession.

Winning Brands all have something in common; they uniquely position themselves strategically to entice the consumer in Brand experience .Michael Jackson has shown remarkable consistency in his Brand over the years. His Brand has spanned several decades beginning in the 70’s and lasting into the new millennium. He recognized Americas need for really good entertainment and was remarkably successful at positioning and re-enforcing his key values as the King of Pop. Jackson understood Brand image and how to build it with his fans; the moonwalk, the glove, the uniform, neverland. The Brand icon succeeded because consumers could relate to the brand and liked what the Brand portrayed.
This is an opportune time to have a game plan to build your Brand. Remember Stay visible, Fight bravely and history will remember your Brands Legacy.

Winning Brand Stategies in Tough Economic Times

In challenging times like economic recessions many brands run for cover. They scale cut budgets batten down the hatchets and wait for the storm to pass.

Winning Brands do the opposite. They leverage the dynamic and emerge fitter, stronger and far ahead of the competition. They connect with their target markets, engage around issues of concern, focus on the end goals and pursue excellence in the area of campaign delivery. Winning Brands are visible and offer solid value.

At the beginning of April 2006, President Zuma admitted to showering in order to reduce the risk of getting HIV/AIDS. To many people, this statement was the low point of his political career. This weekend, he was inaugurated as our President and reached a high point in his political career. He did it by campaigning for at least three years. No matter what side of the political divide you're on, you have to admire the man's turnaround strategic approach, courage, perseverance and hands-on leadership.

This is the ideal time to have a game plan to build your Brand. If your brand goes into hiding when times are tough, it will drop off the radar of prospective clients. Fight bravely and history will remember your brands legacy. Invest in Smart Marketing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Strategic Solutions During an Economic Downturn

During periods of downturn, consumers view the economy as uncertain and risky they delay buying durable goods and switch to buying basics rather than luxury items and generally become more prices sensitive.

The challenges of inflation and downturn go hand in hand yet downturn requires different marketing strategies.

The benefits of a downturn
A recession helps companies streamline their operating practices and procedures and improve customer service
It is a good time to prune unprofitable items from the product line
This is an excellent time to build market share because some competitors are struggling to make ends meet

Intelligent, astute marketers can find opportunities to exploit during downturns. They utilize skilled
Strategic tactics to position you ahead of your competition and ensure success.

Strategic Tips
· Improve existing products and introduce new ones
Customers with less to spend will seek quality, value for money, durability and satisfaction to make their money go further
· Maintain and expand customer service
Add a unique service that has not been offered previously
Emphasize your product value.
· Use special offers to stimulate demand
Special pricing tactics are necessary
Make the demand for your product or service ‘unbelievable’ and “unprecedented
· Target New market segments
As consumers ‘trade down” during downturn periods appealing to more price sensitive customers will make your company prosper

Strategy is about the art of winning the work you do to ensure organizational success

T: 0027 11 883 3036 C: 0027 73 607 0437 E:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Keeping a cool head

Businesses which invest in Intelligent Marketing in a downturn generally do exceptionally well in an upturn. This will position you well ahead when the tides turn as most companies do not do this.

Let us evaluate some of your options

1. Understand the value drivers of your company profitability

Know what drives the profitability and equity from your brand. Spend time doing the required homework. Ensure that everything the Brand does makes a difference to the customer.

2. Focus on your existing customers: Retain them and grow revenue from them

How happy are your clients with existing products and services? What do they need?It is more cost effective to market to your existing clients than to attract new ones. It is not enough just to satisfy clients you must delight them.

3. Do not simply cut costs to retain turnover

In most industries there is a price-conscious segment and while they are most likely to respond to lower prices they are also likely to move the moment another business offer them even lower prices. Assist loyal customers who are in trouble during these times as that will build even greater loyalty in the long term. By nurturing and valuing your customers you will keep their business and loyalty when the tides turn.

4. Ensure that your business is well positioned in it's market. amongst the right clients

When you wake your customers up at midnight, what will they say about your business?Clarity of positioning is important for a Brand during a downturn. It enables marketing to be targeted and effective and also makes limited resources go further. Poorly positioned Brands suffer when the chips are down. Brands that are strongly positioned retain their vitality.

5. Focus your marketing to deliver results

Brands that spend effectively on marketing in a downturn generally attain higher than average growth in a upturn. Use an external consultant "freelance marketer" to give the brand strategic direction and ensure you are spending with intent. This will you get more 'bang' for your bucks.

Understand your business and it's critical success factors, understand your key customers, understand the drivers of brand revenue, nurture and value your customers, make your marketing intelligent, efficient and focused. Great thinking will outsmart large budgets.

T: 0027 11 883 3036 C: 0027 73 607 0437 E:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Marketing Solution for Tough Economic Times

During a recession like one in South Africa a strong strategy will not only carry you through the tough times; it will also strengthen your position when the shackles of recession are removed.

A simple look back in history will show that thousands of really great global brands were actually conceived and launched during tough times. Brands such as Microsoft, Midwest Airlines and Apple iPhone used turnaround strategies and intelligent marketing to gain a bigger share of a shrinking market. It wasn't desperation it was inspiration.

Marketing is not all about the more you spend the more you get, it is about the more you think the more you get. More than R50 billion is wasted on bad marketing in SA every year. Are you contributing to that figure?

Get your marketing process properly organized and running efficiently during an economic downturn. You will not only profit during that period but come out of the other side way ahead of your competitors.

Intelligent marketing and promotion consists of active, smart, focused, creative and strategic brand development where companies can interact with the market, existing customers and potential clients. This is the ideal time to build your brand, your reputation and further establish your position in the market.

Marketing is a long-term investment in brand equity. Now is the best time to take market share from your competitors.

The Solution: Cost-effective freelance marketing

Freelancers are usually more flexible than permanent staff, in terms of hours.
Freelancers are easier to hire and fire - and are not a long-term commitment.
There's no need to worry about PAYE, SITE or other tax complications.
Companies save money:no fixed salaries, no sick pay, holiday pay or maternity leave.
Freelancers offer access to diverse skills that the in-house team may not have.
Freelancers complete small or ad hoc tasks that don't require a full-time employee.

You need Intelligent Marketing
Nadia Lang is a freelance marketer that believes in Intelligent cost effective marketing and brand strategies whilst still adding the same value.

There is enough evidence to prove that maintaining strong strategies in tough economic times will result in market share gains that pay off when the economy improves, are you brave enough to act on it?

It is not a necessity but a strategic imperative.

T: 0027 11 883 3036 C: 0027 73 607 0437 E:

About Me

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Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Believing strongly in Intelligent, cost effective Marketing and Brand strategies, Nadia Lang +27 (0)73 607 0437] is a prolific strategist, marketer and brand developer. Nadia has two passions: strategy and brand building. She has a BSc honors degree and a management degree cum lade marketing and strategy; at 21 she satisfied the first by strategically planning and managing her own small business. After university, she became a full time marketer with a vision to create a one stop, cost- effective solution for all your marketing needs. Today, as part of her day job, Nadia focuses on corporate and creative marketing and branding, with an emphasis on strategic marketing and planning to meet objectives, gaining market share, building and sustaining long term brand equity, corporate profiling, websites, marketing campaigns, newsletters, ads, brochures, sales letters, multimedia proposals and presentations and communication channel creation.