Ordinary South Africans use taxis as a mode of transport daily to run errands. Almost 70% of working-class citizens use minibus taxis, also known as ‘Quantums’, to get to work and back.
These automobiles are also home to many of our South African household brands. It is believed to be a powerful brand carrier as it holds the highest brand recall when fully wrapped in a vinyl that provides 100% brand exclusivity.
We live in a very challenging economy that has birthed a staggeringly high unemployment rate, which has increased over the months following the VAT increase under a year ago. And recently, the country has plunged in and out of technical recession mode. This has resulted in a reduction on consumer spend more specifically from a township market perspective.
Triggering an emotional buying habit
The township market is believed to have higher consumer spend. Pulling a notable worthy economic investment of R100 billion, the MEC for economic development, agriculture and rural development Lebogang Maile bears testimony to this. If brands can position themselves around triggering an emotional buying habit, rather than pushing products down the customer’s throat, then they’ll benefit immensely from this local economic giant.
To remain relevant in advertising, more specifically in the Out-of-Home ads (transit ads), brands need to stop viewing the market as a place where demand and supply factors meet. The omnibus of campaigns with less brand experience and more ‘selling, selling, selling’ is, in fact, straining many of the company’s ad spend and, in some instances, the company’s bottom line.
The taxi branding trend has reduced significantly over the years with the advancement of technology. Billboards and many other mass reach formats seek a high level of creative design and an effective call to action.
Over time, with the affordability of smartphones and growth of social media, people are constantly glued to their device’s screens, making it slightly difficult to grab their attention with ads that shout ‘Purchase’ all the time. But how are we going to make money, you might ask. Well, it is said that: people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Gone are the days where brands would continuously use the same strategy for many years in different market segments.
The need to understand factors such as customer behavioural habits, emotional attachment towards product offerings, cultural differences, market trends and all these other factors is increasingly becoming imperative. This speaks to how campaigns should be modelled, the type of messaging involved and the process used to drive customers offline to online. The strategy used for minibus advertising is obsolete and needs to be improved.
A few of the required improvements:
1. Added-on experiences to campaigns
Fewer Minibus taxis are fitted with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and this is where brands can come on board to fill up the need. Use this platform to engage heavily with consumers, from data generation to newer product offerings.
2. Loyalty rewards
Who said loyalty rewards are restricted to shoppers? Commuters can be rewarded according to the loyalty they possess towards a certain product brand or how often they use a branded transport mode (factors such as climate issues encourage people to use taxis more often).
Nothing beats the good old competitions. Brands need to craft competitions that evoke excitement, something around what the customer would really like to have. e.g. redeemable points for hampers etc. or something that sparks a conversation around the brand.
4. Reward drivers for good driving
Taxi drivers can be rewarded for good driving. This minimises risks such as brand reputation being tarnished by recklessness and irresponsibility by the brand ambassador.
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