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In an environment in which SA consumers are strapped for cash, brands must ensure two things: that they build trust with their consumers; and that they are clear about the value they can add to consumers’ lives – not in the form of discounted prices, but by making a real difference, says Refilwe Maluleke, newly appointed MD at marketing consultancy Yellowwood. “Whether they’re struggling to afford the upkeep on their second homes or to buy meat for the family dinner, every consumer is feeling the pressure,” says Maluleke. Political, social and cultural volatility is creating additional tension, she adds, resulting in consumers desperately needing brands to keep their promises in every facet of delivery. For brands to win consumers’ trust, they need to begin by ensuring that their strategy is rooted in meaningful consumer insight. This creates lasting relevance for a brand and does not tend to change over time. Once a brand has defined what it stands for, Maluleke says, it can start ...

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