Picture: Julia M Cameron/Pexels
Picture: Julia M Cameron/Pexels

Sunday Times GenNext, now in its 17th year, is the leading annual brand preference and consumer behaviour research focusing on SA youth aged 8-30.

This year the research, on which the 2021 Sunday Times GenNext Youth survey and report will be based, will be conducted by Yellowwood, a research company which specialises in providing its clients with tools that enable them to drive sustainable topline growth.

The GenNext report seeks to understand young people so that marketers can use the insights to deliver sustainable business results for their brands.

At the digital launch of Sunday Times GenNext 2021, Eben Gewers, head of advertising sales and trade marketing at Arena Holdings, explained that the Sunday Times, together with Yellowwood, co-ordinates and digitally hosts GenNext. The campaign, he said, is about delivering insights into youth brand preferences. The theme of this year’s GenNext campaign is what marketers need to know in order to connect better with the youth of SA.

This year the GenNext campaign includes a six-part digital conference, which commences on March 11; an interactive digital activation that is tailor-made to meet partnering brand’s objectives; the 17th annual digital awards event, to be held on September 9; and a supplement to be published on September 12 in the Sunday Times and on TimesLive. In addition, partnering brands benefit from additional research insights at the 2021 GenNext Research Insights “Speed Dating” digital session, to take place on September 17.

The youth is responsible for a significant amount of consumer spend, which is why this study is so valuable for marketers and brands. Yellowwood MD Refilwe Maluleke pointed out that a duality exists amongst the youth, with many young people wanting to be part of culture and at the same time authentic. Theirs is a world of pretence and image versus a desire for authenticity and culture.

The goal of the GenNext survey, she explained, is to get behind the things young people say and understand what they really think, feel and do. “The aim of this study is to create a base of understanding of SA youth and help brands and businesses drive sustainable growth.”

GenNext’s two-pronged approach to the survey allows the research team to cover broad aspects of the youth market – and not just on brand preference but also through an understanding of category engagement and behavioural drives.

In terms of brand preference the survey ranks the coolest brands as voted by the youth across 69 categories. As far as youth behaviours are concerned, the survey includes a youth segmentation study with a focus on various category engagements and associated behaviour drivers.

Fieldwork for the GenNext study will commence in the second half of February and is due to be completed by July, with the results available in September.

Watch the recording of digital launch here. To register for the next digital conversation, taking place on March 11, on “How brands can ensure they are relatable to the youth”, click here

Thank you to our partners Sunday Times, Yellowwood and Gautrain.

For partnership opportunities please contact Cortney Hoyland (hoylandc@arena.africa) on 011-280-3060. To advertise in the 2021 GenNext supplement please contact Debbie Montanari (montanarid@arena.africa) on 011-280-3538.

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