Kiwi shoe polish is the winner of the 2018/2019 Kasi Star Brands awards, which recognise products most loyally used by township consumers.

Kasi Star Brands are those for which consumers will not choose an alternative. Of the 720 brands assessed this year only 32 met the criteria of a Kasi brand, which is to have a loyal consumer following and a commitment from consumers not to buy any other brand in that category.

While the township market is an attractive one for brands, this year’s Kasi Star Brands reveals that township consumers no longer base their expectations on product quality, value for money or pricing, but on their emotional experience with the brand. Increasingly they are holding brands accountable, expecting them to act ethically and take the time to understand them. This year’s research indicates that brands need to tailor-make their strategies according to category, brand and even township.

It also revealed that younger and older township consumers have very different approaches to brands: the youth focuses on what the brand can do for them while older consumers are more traditional.

The research compared two townships and found they varied significantly in terms of demographics, life stages and values. This indicates that brands need to move beyond mere demographics and also focus on factors such as life stage and values.

According to Andrea Gevers, CEO of Ask Africa, brands are having to work harder to remain relevant and need to use smarter marketing methods.

However, an interesting insight revealed by this year’s research is that township consumers are more loyal to brands than the average SA citizen, in a market where brand loyalty is on a downward trajectory. “Once township consumers find a reliable brand that delivers they will stick to it,” says Gevers.

The table shows the top 10 winners of this year’s Kasi Star Brands awards:

The big take-out: The township market is complex, which means brands need to have their finger on the pulse of this sector.