Connecting with the township consumer

Aligning your brand and marketing with the needs and motivations of township consumers to add value to their lives

The top personal value that motivates consumer behaviour in South Africa's townships is a strong sense of social duty rather than the search for personal opportunity that drives consumers in other segments of the market. That's according to GFK Consumer Life, a longitudinal survey GfK conducts in 25 countries, including South Africa, each year.

The research - drawn from face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of 1,000 South Africans - reveals that township consumers attach a high importance to social responsibility. They aim to help themselves in a way that will help their neighbours and peers at the same time.

Furthermore, they have a deep pride in their culture and value their roots even more intensely than South Africans in other segments of the market.

Other key findings from the study include:

  • Nearly half (49%) of township consumers regard television programmes as a trustworthy source of information, compared to 40% of South Africans overall.
  • Some 34% consider radio to be trustworthy, compared to 27% of South Africans overall.
  • Around half (51%) accessed the Internet in the last 30 days.
  • Fifty-three percent own a smartphone - and 73% of 15-24-year old township dwellers.
  • Township consumers spend an average of R420 per person per month on airtime.

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