Note: this article was inspired by Springleap’s South African Monthly Trend Report.
A new, specialised type of product offering has swept the nation. A rise in the the appreciation for exclusive, non-commercialised and homegrown goods has kickstarted the influx of craft brands in the South African landscape - and the trend has grown exponentially. Artisansal entrepreneurs have filled a “local is lekker” gap in the market and are appeasing those with a taste for something different and unique. The price may be a little steeper than mass produced products, but the refined quality and originality of talented craftsmanship is worth every cent.
Branding of South African Craft Products
The craft industry in South Africa can teach major brands a lesson or two about their successful ability to appeal to consumers’ emotions on different levels. If you walk around a craft fair in Joburg, Cape Town or Durban, you’ll notice a common style in craft packaging, copywriting, and brand strategies. They are almost uniformly of personal, warm, homely and authentic nature in tone and substance. Craft branding is very good at making the consumer feel like they’ve stumbled upon a product created and sold exclusively for them, while somehow “giving back” to society despite the validity of that sentiment. Colors are often soft, organic, and muted; packaging also of organic nature and texture.
Craft Beer Brands in South Africa
South Africa has a distinct love for beer and it goes hand in hand with our culture and local traditions. It is no surprise that a trending market has opened up for craft beer, which is brewed in unconventional ways and can boast a variety of tastes, textures and aromas. A young industry, 95 % of independent South African breweries are less than five years old. Despite this, a few of them have become internationally acclaimed. Stellenbraus, Stellenbosch’s first craft beer brand has gone global, their Craven Craft Larger winning first place at the 2014 Global Craft Beer Awards in Germany. Needless to say, the beer’s popularity has seen it pop up in many restaurants and bars around the Cape. The Stelenbrau fermentation tanks, enabling a vital element of brewing beer. The techniques used define the speciality of the beer and result in original taste.
South African Craft Candies and Chocolate Brands
It can be said most people can identify themselves as a “sweet tooth” and taking a look into the sweeter side of self-made South Africa, we run into a pair of passionate Capetonian chocolatiers who decided to offer the public a range of organic, fat-free, handcrafted dark chocolate. The brand - Honest Chocolate. The appeal? A divinely rich-tasting chocolate, characterised by the cocoa beans’ origin, lying in the heart of the Ecuadorian rainforests. The finished chocolate is converted into slabs, bonbons and spreads and is distributed across South Africa and has managed to enter the Namibian market. Location is a big part of the USP of many craft products because it showcases a differentiation and rivals conventional competitors - the more exotic the homeland, the more intrigue it can accumulate. Boasting an environmentally friendly method of supply is a common cornerstone of craft brands. Placing the planet above profits has become a trend for consumers with a modern mindset as they flock to source and consume “green” products for the sake of sustainability. The whimsical and out of the ordinary design of Honest Chocolate’s packaging is a perfect example of the creative energy that craft brands can exhibit. Having no design guidelines leaves the eye open to imagination and sparks the crowds to start gathering.
South African Craft Homeware Brands
When it comes to homeware, craft brand Milkshed has carved themselves into the recycling trend. They specialise in reclaiming old stacks of wood and using a little elbow grease to transform them into truly exquisite products with a retro look and feel. The products range from lampshades, tables, stools, shelves and even tricycles. The secret to their success is creative vision, innovative design and practical skills which combine to create something so interesting and unseen that it has to attract appeal. This is an element utilised by the craft industry; shifting people’s perceptions at the core and luring in a client basin with talent and spectacle. A marvel of ingenuity and craft - Milkshed’s wooden tricycle fits a simplistically vintage appeal and is a spectacle of original design. As we see the trends of craft brads elevate in popularity and awareness, one can expect the trend to stay with the heart of South African consumerism for a long time to come. To subscribe to our monthly trend reports in South Africa, please Contact Us at http://www.springleap.com/contact/ Contributed by Cameron Smith.