The marketing generations of South Africa
Brown, Johanna Maria Elizabeth
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Since the abolishment of the Apartheid-era, it is evident that the marketing generations in SA changed considerably. The increased job opportunities for Black people have important implications, by providing them with a stable income and opportunities for advancement for themselves and their children. The black upcoming middle class, as well as the low-end of the black consumer market, are contributing strongly to a rapid rise in the profits and share values of companies in the retail sectors. The four American generations at work today have unique work ethics, different perspectives on work, distinct and preferred ways of managing and being managed and idiosyncratic styles. It is therefore important to become more attuned to generational preferences in order to market and sell more successfully. An empirical research on the spending patterns of Black Africans was conducted using the Black Emerging Generations (BEG) Model as the questioning technique. The questionnaire was completed by 462 respondents, answering 48 questions in the following criteria: (1) Demographic detail, (2) Residence, (3) Clothing (4) Transport (5) Music, (6) Technology and (7) Advertising. From the literature review and the empirical research it was possible to establish the consumer behaviour of the Buppies, as well as compare their preferences and habits with the US Model. Specific conclusions and recommendations were established. Traditional sales and marketing methods will need to be re-evaluated. Stepping beyond "business as usual" takes many established businesses outside of their comfort zones; while new competitors and existing competitors are embracing their entrepreneurial spirit. The strategies formulated around targeting unique customer profiles (diversity and/or age) and implementing an integrated set of tactics required to serve those strategies, will mean the difference between those who realise their goals and those who fall short. It is evident that generational values influence consumer decisions more than the traditional demographic factors of income, education, etc. Buying- and shopping preferences, expected treatment as a customer and product information demands will vary from one generation to the next. Therefore businesses have no choice; it must understand generational influences on the marketplace and workplace, because those influences are powerful and permanent. Those who learn the values, motivations and attitudes of each generation will succeed much better than the ignorant.