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Sometimes every business faces the worst financial times. Reasons for this crisis (if I may call it that way) differs from one business to another and this may be due to product errors, loss of profitable clients, to huge lawsuits against the business. Often the reasons may be beyond the normal business operation, e.g. economic downturn, industrial action etc. For those that may be facing the overwhelming fate here, is an extract from the book “Successfully Navigating the Downturn by Donald Todrin” to help navigate the downturn...

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Celebrity endorsements are not a new concept, Revlon Cindy Crawford, PEPSI Tyrese Gibson, Michael Jordan for Nike and Bill Cosby for Jello Pudding back in 1982. The concept seems to be creeping on our shores just recently with the most famous one’s being, Bonang Matheba, Minnie Dlamini, Unathi Msengani, Boity Thulo, Itumeleng Khune, Marks Maponyane, Somizi Mhlongo and if it’s not one brand its for a number of brands. Okay just to show that we’re not just throwing out name Somizi Mhlongo McCafe and DStv Explora, Bonang Matheba Revlon (first African and she happens to be our very own south African Queen B) Boity Thulo Celltone the list is endless...

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Sometimes every business faces the worst financial times. Reasons for this crisis (if I may call it that way) differs from one business to another and this may be due to product errors, loss of profitable clients, to huge lawsuits against the business. Often the reasons may be beyond the normal business operation, e.g. economic downturn, industrial action etc. For those that may be facing the overwhelming fate here, is an extract from the book “Successfully Navigating the Downturn by Donald Todrin” to help navigate the downturn...

Read More

 

The Power of Celebrity Endorsements: South African Small Business Landscape

Celebrity endorsements are not a new concept, Revlon Cindy Crawford, PEPSI Tyrese Gibson, Michael Jordan for Nike and Bill Cosby for Jello Pudding back in 1982. The concept seems to be creeping on our shores just recently with the most famous one’s being, Bonang Mateba, Minnie Dlamini, Unathi Msengani, Boity Thulo, Itumeleng Khune, Marks Maponyane, Somizi Mhlongo and if it’s not one brand its for a number of brands. Okay just to show that we’re not just throwing out name Somizi Mhlongo McCafe and DStv Explora, Bonang Mateba Revlon (first African and she happens to be our very own south African Queen B) Boity Thulo Celltone the list is endless.

 

Too often we use celebrities incorrectly and yes I believe that it is possible and it becomes very evident for example ProKid and the Chrysler endorsement the two were not a fit. Itumeleng Khune and Danone DanUp, why??? Whatever happened to kids on Yo-TV and K-TV okay maybe not K-TV but that kids TV show on eTV was that not an opportunity for a younger ambassador? Like, brands need to stay in their lane. I think Zola 7 was also an ambassador of the brand at the time and again that was wrong. Chrysler made the same mistake twice. Those two celebrities were better suited for VW or BMW 325 i.s. Just because of what the hood has proclaimed of the brands. Remember people make brands and by “manufacturers“ aligning themselves with celebrities who have same values, beliefs and so on the match will be made in heaven. Endorsements need to be carefully considered because they can either make or break the brand and there are not second chances.

 

My opinion, celebrity endorsements only work for certain products/ brands. If done correctly it’s the best way to the consumers hearts. Classic example would be and if I have these facts I can make my point. Revlon, how much sales have they made in South Africa since Bonang became the brand ambassador? Today we look up to and purchase brands that inspire us to achieve more, look a certain way if you use or wear a particular brand and most importantly resonate with us as the consumer.

Which brings me to my point…

 

Lately I have been toying with the idea of celebrities slash sports stars slash socialites within the South African fraternity and how much impact they create through their various social media platforms. Its mind blowing to know that Bonang Mateba has over 1 million followers on facebook and Instagram respectively same applies for Somizi Mhlongo let me not repeat myself. As it sometimes appears in the tabloids (Yes I’m being a little dramatic, otherwise it gets boring) some are being quoted saying the most outrageous things while some are celebrated for improving the lives of fellow South Africans who are less fortunate than themselves.

 

What sparked my curiosity is that if we are to compare our SA celebrities VS their American celebrities these guys are hella accessible! They do not walk around with a pack of bodyguards surrounding them they are literally an arm’s length away to many of us. Now let’s divert our attention to small businesses, because that’s what we are.

 

That sparked a huge interest and curiosity to me as I once came across an interesting article on the simplybiz website with a headline “Celebrity endorsements: should small businesses get in on the action?” here’s the link have a read for yourself and makeup your own mind http://simplybiz.co.za/interact/blogs/celebrity-endorsements-should-small-businesses-get-action. My interest was on how small businesses have an opportunity to identify the same celebrities/ sports stars and socialites that are recognized nationally especially in areas that they grew up in to either endorse or be brand ambassadors of their business. Lets face it, most of us grew up around these guys, and there is no place like Makasana even if you leave to go live in burbs they always come back because there is no place like the hood. And believe it or not they love the idea of giving back to the place that made them.

 

To illustrate my point above, how many musicians and sports stars use certain Car Washes at different intervals, or meet up with the guys at “LEGONTJI” their favorite Chisa Nyama - whatever you refer to it in your Taal/ kasie lingo”. And how many enjoy the delicacies of Kasi’s chesanyama and tripe ”mala-mogodu” as its very rare in the BURBS. A small token of appreciation from a celeb via a tweet or an instagram post can go a long way for a small business.

 

So we had a look at 2 possible case studies and with Ndash Foods we first heard about them on South Africa’s leading radio station at the time early 2016 and Enkalweni Tours and Safaris is a client of ours and we think this would be a match made in heaven.

 

1. Ndash Foods is a South African ”Mzansi” food business located in Midrand serving traditional food and lifestyle. The business was founded by Sithembiso Ndashe from Mpumalanga. Considering all the factors mentioned above, business like this can approach a celebrity to endorse their brand 1. To gain awareness of their brand and 2. Help them in their endevour to grow their business. So the business owner was born in Mpumalanga and there a number of now celebrities/ socialites and even sports stars who come from the province who have relocated to Johannesburg in Midrand if we are to be specific and one we have identified is Karabo Mogane is Idols winner for season 11. Let’s take a look at Karabo’s background for a second, his values are a perfect match for him to endorse the Ndash Foods brand especially because he is also from Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, he loves homemade food and looking back on what his response was to a question about what the first thing he would do after winning his response was that he wanted to go back home to his family and friends. This shows a greatly rooted person who values home that even in his success he knows where it all started. Now if you compare these values with that of the Ndash Foods brand they are very closely aligned. Ndash Foods concept is all about keeping the Mzansi food culture alive forever no matter where you. In my opinion this is a match made in heaven.

Why Karabo? Well, just having taken a quick synopsis of his social media, has 91k followers on instagram,19.3k on twitter and 4,905 on Facebook we think those numbers are pretty exceptional and based on his popularity on the various platforms, it is clear that he qualifies as someone who could be deemed as an influencer and this is after he came into the competition Idols that is as an “underdog” this too can be a positive for Ndash Foods being in a market that is somewhat saturated and the target audience of such restaurants is very particular can have a positive influence on the brand and elevate its status if the 2 come together in carefully planned strategy.

 

2. Now shifting our focus to the second brand, Enkalweni Tours & Safaris is a tours operating business based in the South of Johannesburg. They promote popular destinations like Vilakazi Street, Kruger National Park and Medupi just to name a few. So they are in the business of selling experiences. Now Johannesburg is not short of any celebrities but the question is in identifying the right endorser and sometimes its not about finding the most famous but more about what is the objective of your business. So we sat and thought long and hard because we knew that finding someone who is specifically from the South will have a greater impact on the endorsement for this company. We started by stereotyping the target audience from the South. They do not travel much because they think it is expensive and they simply cannot afford it. But that not true and Enkalweni needs to come from an educational point of view where they slowly infiltrate this market where they use the celebrity/ socialite or sportsman to endorse the brand and tweeting/ posting about an affordable getaway they had through Enkalweni. So, we found Khanyisile Zwane otherwise known as Gontse on Rhythm City. She is a young talented woman who was born in Soweto. She has 10.5k viewers aged between 16 to 35 on TV. How does she tie in with the business? Well, when she is not on screen she is out meeting new people which shows an outgoing side of her which can be tied to packages Enkalweni has to offer.

 

Corporate businesses recognize that they have a responsibility of addressing social issues in their local areas and society in general through community investment. What then becomes the question is, what role do celebrities play in uplifting communities they come from? We cannot deny that some of the celebrities are born and breaded in townships and because of their celebrity status have moved to the north or more affluent areas they change provinces completely. If they can look back and be proud of places that played a part or influenced who they are today and involve themselves in similar strategies as corporate businesses and endorse small businesses in areas of which they come from for non-monetary gain they have an opportunity to uplift the growth of these small businesses in a market and the economy at large. So small business owners take the initiative make the first move and incorporate celebrity endorsements in your marketing strategies for your business. At the end collaborations between small businesses and celebrities are essential towards the growth and progression of business. Feel free to question what our opinions are and make up your own mind but it can’t be a mistake that brands like Revlon, Pepsi and the likes are so successful?


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