Are we ready as Entrepreneurs to have more of our own  South African brands and labels?
by Tebello Hlalele

Business exists in an ever changing environment. We come across new trends, fashion and products each and every day. These products are mainly innovations or modifications of existing products.

They outplay themselves with different competitive advantages and uniqueness. However, these products like every other products, must have a target market. This is one of the most important factors in determining a price for a product.

In most cases, South African owned businesses are accused of over pricing products and provide incompetent services. The triggering questions in such a case are, has the business managed to correctly identify their target market?  is the business delivering services worth what they charge? are businesses offering products that deserve prices?

In defense, South African owned businesses call out on people who complain about a R900 pair of jeans but still manage to buy a R1 200 shirt from a foreign business or label. Hence the question: “Are we ready as Entrepreneurs to have more of our own  South African brands and labels?”

I strongly believe in buying locally produced products and less on imported ones. Big name brands keep on making millions on profits in South Africa, however, if we were to design a jean in SA, can we sell it and make millions outside of the country? Yes we can, if we start buying our own and taking pride in doing so, outsiders will follow suit.

A lot of people feel the urge to unconditionally support our own businesses. However, they seem to be having challenges with how businesses price their products and services. One of the accusations made is that they are focusing on getting 200%+ profits but delivering less than 100%.

Nothing is ever expensive, it is just a matter of affordability. Two similar products may serve two different markets. The only difference is how the product is sold to the respective markets. If a product is presented to people who react differently to the business expectations, it is a clear indication that the market identified is a wrong market.

However, “affordability” comes with high quality expectations from consumers. A status has already been set by existing companies in terms of meriting a product’s quality to price. Brands have presented themselves in a way that enables them to sell their products at a higher price than their competitors.

Consumers expect the same quality when buying your product compared to an existing product at the same price. This outlines businesses’ incompetence to serve in business. A business or product that’s at an entry level, must consider a product’s life cycle. A product needs to be built first. It has to build a reputation.

Business owners should rather invest in learning how to build a product. This includes, market research, product development, competitor pricing and product enhancement. It is possible to manufacture or create any product now. However, to grow the business.

Businesses will have to comply with regulations and product branding, quality and marketing. Furthermore, consumers should try to purchase products and services from SMMEs. SMMEs need you as consumers to survive and grow, in which they can employ more people and fight the battle against unemployment.

For social media platforms, people can follow me on twitter @Panda_Hlalele and Tebello PandaPrenuer Hlalele on Facebook.

Until next week, bye-bye for now.

Yours Truly
Tebello “PandaPreneur” Hlalele
Business Collumnist: FS News Online

Tebello is writing featured articles for FS News Online, weekly. He covers various Business related topics and answer relevant questions.

About the Author: Tebello Hlalele, a 22 year old entrepreneur, student and future leader from Meloding; Virginia, currently residing in Bloemfontein.