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The uninvited guest

The year 2020 is definitely a symbolic year, not only because it’s the 20th year of the 3rd millennium, a leap year and the beginning of a new decade, but also because it is a disruptive year. It’s April 2020 and the year is still making sure that we are alert to the change it promised, woke to the beginning of a new era and transformation – be as it may. It is by far one of the most eventful years for millennials who are the working force, consumers, and business owners.

The sheer jubilation the nation felt when ushering the new year has turned into either panic, fervour, anxiety or profit depending on the side of the equilibrium one finds favourable during this period of the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus came in like a thief in the night and as a result forced many to transform into something better or change into something new altogether. The shift in consumer behaviour, the way business needs to now operate and the unstable economy has had a great impact on big and small brands.

There are select brands that have tailored their products and services to ensure consumer participation and are effectively gaining new customers or retaining loyal customers, such as the likes of:

Pick n Pay

A select number of Pick n Pay franchise stores are offering a drive-thru service to their customers in Gauteng, Free State, the Western Cape, Limpopo, Kwa Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga North West and Eastern Cape during the lock-down.

Pick n Pay drive through
Pick n Pay collect direct


NetFlorist, The e-tailer is now offering delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables select areas in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, and Durban. This offering helps consumers shop for fresh produce from the safety of their own homes.

Netflorist fresh produce
Netflorist fresh produce ad

A portion of consumers in South Africa changed their spending habits rapidly and their choices of products and services as well as brands they support are influenced by whether or not their investment, will help alleviate the spread of the virus or sustain a certain lifestyle for the duration of this Coronavirus pandemic.

The business environment understands that its people are what makes the brand (from its employees to its consumers as well as suppliers), and that is why most businesses widely encourage a healthy working environment as well as the health and safety of all stakeholders.

We already know that many businesses have prioritized their stakeholders’ health and safety and the below are those amongst many that are making sure that this global crisis brings the best out of the its brand.

  • Clicks, is offering free flu vaccinations for all their store staff to help build their immunity.
  • Unilever, has put global measures in place for all their people, adhering to the announcement made by the World Health Organization.

The South African brand has an uninvited guest that will affect the already fragile economy and all proudly South African brands, as well as international brands making a profit from consumers in the country, have a big role to play in ensuring that we all come out stronger and better prepared for the next transformative life events or should I say, an uninvited guest.

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