Automotive Business Review :: Editor's Letter
November / December 2018
   Automotive Business Review

Good News Issue #2

Last year aBr, in its November / December 2017 issue, came out with a Good News Issue, based on the premise that political change was about to come, and the strong feeling was that this would naturally put the country on a stron
g growth trajectory. We got what we wanted, en kyk hoe lyk ons nou!

Now, 12 months later, aBr is reprising our role as the good news whisperer, because things have not gone according to plan, and thus we need shouting, not whispering. We did get political change, we did get rid of a venal president, and we did wave goodbye to a crooked immigrant family. Unfortunately, this has not yet translated into good economic news, for various reasons, so let us reset, and hope for economic good news in 2019.

To maintain our strength, we need to focus on what the future holds, and a recent press release warmed the cockles of my heart, and hopefully it will do something similar for our readers. It is titled “Remain positive through tough economic times”, and this is indeed good advice for those out there who may be beginning to lose hope. Read, enjoy, and learn:

‘Even with the hint of a recession, one needs to remain optimistic through these challenging times because we can clearly see there is a lot of investment going into businesses and into infrastructure. There is no reason to panic yet. This is according to Euphoria Telecom director John Woollam. Cabinet’s economic stimulus package that is set to be released shortly will hopefully give the economy a much-needed boost. It should also address current challenges in the mining, telecommunications, tourism and transport industries.

The large number of new major developments in and around most major centres is promising. A good example is the Sandton Gated precinct, a new R3 billion eco-friendly smart mini-city that will serve as a commercial and residential hub. There is even a 10-storey, 128-unit apartment block going up in Hillbrow, an investment of some R40 million. It’s clear that there are many savvy developers who are investing in major inner-city developments, refurbishing buildings and establishing neighbourhood improvement districts. This shows it is business as usual for local entrepreneurs, always finding ways to take advantage of the many opportunities that challenging economic conditions offer. By understanding the local economy and business environment, they know how to turn tough times into big wins.

Business leaders cannot control the economy but they can certainly position themselves to survive and even thrive in challenging times. Multinationals normally suffer most in difficult times whilst local businesses are more likely to survive and often flourish in tougher economic conditions. However, local businesses must realise the easy days are over, they need to start doing what they say because in the Internet age, the truth is quickly revealed. They must realise that first customer contact has significant influence on customer acquisition and retention.

Ethical transparent brands have begun to gain favour with consumers and this trend will continue to gain traction and momentum. The greatest brands of the future will be the ethical brands that deliver on what they promise. Advertising and marketing can no longer be designed to trick the consumer into buying something, but instead should tell them the truth about the offering and let them choose it. When this occurs, the brand has won a new customer and a brand ambassador at the same time.

The key to survive is to find ways for the business to save money.’

The press release goes onto to punt cloud-based IT services from reputable providers, which is not surprising, considering that these guys are in the telecoms business. But this was not why I chose the article. It was the good news angle that I loved, and I also love the name of the company. It is indeed euphoric, and serves our purpose well. Euphoria is required to see us through the tough times!

I end with the final quote from this article, which is good advice – “Always consider proudly South African companies because they are more likely to be 100% committed to building a brighter future. They are in it for the long haul and will continue to innovate as they move forward.” Go local, go lekker.


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