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Research Insights – Case Studies


A Johannesburg businessman saw the potential for introduction of the international clothing group, Zara, to the South African market and required assistance in preparing a distributorship pitch to the Zara group.

Shirley Anthony of Marketing Breakthroughs was quickly able to establish that, although the opportunity existed, the Zara management team had themselves visited South Africa six months previously and intended to launch their retail chain in the country. For a fraction of the costs this businessman would have incurred had he attempted to enter negotiations with Zara, Marketing Breakthroughs was able to verify the viability of his idea and provide conclusive and timeous market intelligence that dissuaded him from proceeding.

Sunwhite Rice

A group of South African businessmen involved in the sugar and fertiliser industry had acquired the rights to introduce Australia’s best selling rice, Sunwhite, to the South African market place and had begun selling it in Hyperamas. Marketing Breakthroughs was requested to check the viability of launching the rice nationally which – given the strength of South African brand leader, Tastic – would have required a massive marketing budget.

Using the services of a nutritionist, and undertaking some pivotal dipstick consumer research, Marketing Breakthroughs discovered that the cooking methodology for this “pudding” rice was entirely different from standard South African par boiled rice preparation methods and would require a complete mindset change on the part of the local consumer.

As a consequence of the enormous educational costs involved in shifting mindset, it was decided not to launch Sunwhite nationally in South Africa but to pursue a niched marketing strategy in which the rice is sold to ships visiting South African harbours. This business has proven to be a profitable one.