Over the past year, local businesses have experienced tough times as a result of a slower economy, political volatility and global uncertainty. Citizens have lost patience with high levels of government corruption and failed service delivery. As marketers, we are seeing the effects of this being manifested in society in different ways. People and companies are adjusting to this fragile environment, often becoming more conservative and risk-conscious in their planning and goals. As businesses retreat and regroup in an attempt to survive in this high-pressured ecosystem, clearly it’s no longer “business as usual”. Consumer behaviour has shifted and businesses need to adjust their approach if they want to stay relevant and prove sustainable (and profitable) in the long term. Skeptical consumers have grown weary of organisations and their brands. Their interactions with organisations through their brands are tentative and start from a position of deep distrust. The lines between social ...

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