Industry Updates

Raising experimenters and diminishing brand loyalty

23 Oct 2015

The consumer landscape is becoming increasingly challenging in South Africa and loyalty is still declining. Largely because we consume the brands we are loyal to but less frequently. This is indicative of economic and lifestyle pressures. But also because of a mind-set which is being inculcated into young people and the way they are being raised.

“We are increasingly more open to try new things and brands, which has significant implications for brand loyalty. Loyalty is still declining. It is the lowest it has ever been since we started measuring the Ask Afrika Icon Brands™.  Always is now only sometimes, but also due to an increased likelihood and willingness to try new brands or products. We are in fact raising disloyalists, by encouraging children to just enjoy things, try everything they want, try out various activities with no performance pressure, but just to be explored and enjoyed,” says Sarina de Beer, MD of Ask Afrika.

Economic pressure is impacting loyalty as well as a range of social influencers. The quest for loyalty is becoming more complex, it is now about ticking all the boxes – the loyalty principles need to be re-considered. Values are still a key driver as is authenticity and trust. According to the Ask Afrika Icon Brands™ survey, the bar has just been raised, 46% of the respondents said that they were experimenters, only 5% said that they did not experiment with brands, and the rest were somewhere in between.

Personal expression is still a strong influencer behind consumption. Generational trends also reflect clear differences between groups emphasising the requirement to go social and sensory. For Boomers (55-plus), the ideal shopping experience is about getting a good deal on a decent product. For Generation Y (18-34), it's more about a stimulating, sensual, ‘sharable' experience.  Sensory appeal and the ability to ‘make me smile’ are one-third more important to Generation Y than to Boomers. Practical decisions drive choice of retailers for 8 out of 10 Boomers, but only half of the Generation Y respondents. According to Jerry Johnson an ideal shopping experience for younger people is less functional and much more social, expressive and sensory-driven. Retailers who want to appeal to Generation Y consumers should concentrate on the social aspects of the shopping experience as well as brands with which younger consumers would want to associate.

According to the  Mckinsey study  and Target Group Index (TGI) research experimenters are both embedded in less-loyal segments and  very present in the loyal segments, sustainable loyalty is at risk across segments, generations and typologies. The Mckinsey study showed that when price, brand, freshness and quality, and experimenting were considered as choice drivers for grocery shopping, experimenting or trying new things received the highest cumulative index score across segments. Experimentation matters across segments even if you place a premium on brand through quality or price, it is still relevant.

Experimenters expect value, non-experimenters rely more on brand satisfaction in developing brand loyalty. Loyalty perceptions are on the increase, but it is not reflected in usage. Consumers are extremely price sensitive with less money to spend.

The Ask Afrika Icon Brands™ survey uses a nationally representative random sample, 15,690 consumers were surveyed, representing over 23.3 million adult South African consumers. An enumerated area sampling design was employed and the universe includes all communities with more than 8,000 inhabitants 15 years old and above. The data was weighted using the Statistics South Africa’s population mid-year estimates and audited by respected independent experts BDO and Dr Ariana Neethling.

The Ask Afrika Icon Brands™ survey holds value in understanding which brands are getting it right and also can provide marketers wishing to target the entire population with the requisite tools to track trends and to gain greater insight into the South African consumer mind-set and behaviour. However, the survey also provides insights into a diversity of product categories that are targeted at only a portion of the South African demographic.
Tailor-made reports can be ordered, providing insight and competitor analysis into specific industry sectors. To enquire about these customised reports contact:
Maria Petousis, TGI Director, or Julie-Anne Terblanche, TGI Client Services Executive, (012) 428 7400

About the Ask Afrika Group:
Over a period of two decades, Ask Afrika Group has grown to be the largest independent South African market research company. The company focuses on local relevance, benchmarked against the global context. Ask Afrika is a member of ESOMAR. Apart from its large South African footprint, Ask Afrika Group also operates in a dozen African continental territories.
Ask Afrika Group is well known for delivering strategic and large scale field projects and for creating benchmarks for industry. With regards to service excellence Ask Afrika Group is the preferred research partner across industries to co-craft customer service strategies through meaningful research methodologies across the value chain and customer service touch points.
TGI research, for which Ask Afrika Group  owns the South African copyright, has an annual single source sample of 15 000 locally and 800 000 globally. It has a global geographic coverage of 70 markets, and measures services, products, media, and brands. Ask Afrika’s knowledge of brands is extensive and as owner of the local TGI license, it is the leader in brand expertise in South Africa. TGI can provide a commercial alternative to industry media measurements. It is the perfect vehicle for brand positioning.
The Ask Afrika Groups’ exclusive product suite includes the Ask Afrika Orange Index®, the Trust Barometer™, Radio Moods™, TGI (Target Group Index), Ask Afrika Icon Brands™, Kasi Star Brands™ and TGI Township, the Digital Barometer, the Lite Data Collection, the Behavioural Sciences Package and Gateway.
Ask Afrika is proud of its exceptional service delivery, with offices based in Pretoria and Stellenbosch. For more information please visit the website:
Issued on behalf of Ask Afrika by Stone Soup Public Relations
For further information, please contact Daya Coetzee, (011) 447 7241