by Phindi MadunaOn 14 June 2018, Brand South Africa partnered with the Sunday Times Generation Next and HDI Youth Marketers to host the 14th Sunday Times Youth Marketing Conference, Interactive Showcase and Awards. The collaboration with Generation Next is a way to ensure that relationships with key stakeholders are maintained to create an inspiring narrative for the Nation Brand.The Generation Next survey is the leading barometer of youth opinion towards brands in South Africa. Brand South Africa is honoured to partner with this initiative that promotes how young people see and and experience brands this opens up opportunities on what the country has to offer.The three part engagement began with a Youth Marketing Conference where a variety of industry experts shared their research findings, experiences, trends and insights. The discussion focused on various aspects of youth marketing such as the ethical aspects of youth marketing, youth entrepreneurship, digital marketing, youth media consumption and technology trends.Brand South Africa’s Research Manager, Leigh-Gail Peterson was part of a panel that discussed youth trends and insights that help brands build sustainable relationships. “Research methods must evolve with the dynamic audiences. Data collection methods for example must adapt and be flexible. This includes the mediums that we utilize when we collect data. Social media is one such tool that we cannot over look when collecting data in today’s research environment” said Peterson.Source: Brand South AfricaThe panel discussion was followed by an Interactive Showcase where youngsters had an opportunity to experience several brands including Brand South Africa at the Play Your Part exhibition. They shared their acts of active citizenship and pledged to play their part in their respective communities.Source: Brand South AfricaThe day ended on a high note with an energy charged Awards Ceremony. Some of the winners included South African brands like Metro FM, First National Bank, DSTV, Mr Price, Mall of Africa, Dischem, Engen, Spur Restaurants and Pick ‘N Pay; with Nike winning the overall coolest brand for 2018. Local personalities who also walked away with awards were rapper Nasty C, DJ Black Coffee and Gqom Star Babes Wodumo.Source: @ST_GenNext Twitter PageBrand South Africa extends a big congratulations to all the brands and personalities who continue to put South Africa on the global stage and take charge in contributing towards building a positive nation image. As the custodian of the Nation Brand, we celebrate brands that contribute positively towards the country’s reputation.