Brand impact on purchases by South Africa youth.

The youth market segment in South Africa (16 to 24 year-olds) totals 12.4-million individuals. Of that total, 39 percent live in urban areas and 61 percent are rural residents. Those already married and living with a spouse are 7 percent of the total, and 19 percent have children of their own. Most, 76 percent, still live with their parents.

The market research firm African Response (Bryanston, SA) recently analyzed this market segment and youth attitudes toward brands and the impact brands have on product purchase decisions. Data was developed by an ongoing research project called "FutureFact," which African Response sponsored along with other strategic partners.

Brands affect clothing purchases strongly. "Almost half of respondents state that they are prepared to buy expensive designer clothes for themselves and that they are prepared to pay high prices for clothing and shoes." Interestingly, 46 percent of youth participants said that they would much prefer to buy one expensive item rather than several cheaper items.

Brand loyalty is high with 55 percent of young respondents saying they would remain faithful to brands (and retail outlets) that they knew and trusted. African Response added that "36 percent of this market also state that they are early adopters and are usually one of the first people to try out new brands that are advertised."

While big ticket clothing purchases...

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