More than twice the number of South Africans feel ashamed of their own country than other people around the world.
A new study released by the Havas Creative Group seeks to understand how consumers are responding to intense change and uncertainty in their countries, and how brands can help ease those concerns.
The study, entitled “Pride and Prejudice: Shifting Mindsets in an Age of Uncertainty”, draws on the experiences and points of view of nearly 12 000 men and women in 37 markets around the globe. Currently, 48% of South African prosumers (professional consumers) feel ashamed of their country. The global average is 22%.
Lou Boxall-Davies, chief strategy officer for Havas Johannesburg, comments: “South Africans are living in volatile, uncertain and complex times – the study indicates that 73% of the country’s prosumers are not confident in the direction the country is headed as opposed to 46% of global prosumers.
“This is a huge difference and brands operating in the South African market may have to adjust their communication to provide a sense of comfort to the consumer as their perceptions and behaviour change.”
The study also records great gaps in sources of happiness for South African citizens compared to the rest of the world. Sustaining strong moral values contributed 77% to the South African prosumers’ happiness whereas global prosumers felt that it only contributed 50%. Education and skills development contributed 73% to the happiness of South African prosumers as opposed to 58% globally.
“It’s imperative for brands to be aware of what general concerns consumers have about their country and what makes their consumers happy as it does ultimately affect their lives, how they spend their time and how they choose to spend their money,” Boxall-Davies adds.
The study reveals other factors linked to the change in people’s behaviour on the back of activities taking place in the country, namely:
* National identity: With the Western culture having such a great influence on the rest of the globe, Afrillenials have entered into an era of neo-patriotism where a lot of influence comes from major local cultural, political and economic shifts. Brands are required to keep up in order to maintain relevance.
* Collaborative democracy: A majority of people in the nations surveyed believe democracy is the best form of government, but they still see much room for improvement. In South Africa, the Afrillenials showcased their belief in a fair government through the recent municipal elections that surprisingly swayed away many votes from the ruling party.
* In pursuit of happiness: 71% of South African prosumers consider new experiences to be a contributing factor to their happiness compared to 59% for global prosumers.
The survey was created by Havas and fielded by Market Probe International.