Keep it real

Keep it real.

In two separate informal surveys, they wanted to determine who the top supported teams were in Rugby and Cricket.  I was amazed when the results showed that it was the Lions and Highveld Lions for the two respective sports.  Perhaps this is because most people live in the Joburg municipal area and through pure loyalty continue to support their local teams.  Where are your supporters, I wondered?  Is it fair on these supporters if they in turn are not rewarded for their support?  How many current or past Springboks and Proteas are in these teams?  Do not worry if you do not pass counting them down on the fingers of just one hand, your answer is possibly accurate.

We support businesses, people and teams that are not always deserving of our support and loyalty.  Sometimes the owners/managers should ask themselves the question, what are we doing for our supporters?

Many will darn a jacket of respectability and give the impression that they are on your side.  This is more often than not nothing more than a marketing ploy to get you to support them more without giving back in real value terms.  The greatest supporter of the supporter earns massive amounts from competitions at R2 an SMS and are giving a R1 000 food voucher as prize – when only 50 will cover the cost of the prize and the rest is profit to fund ad campaigns.

Real value could be added if they give subscribers all and collectively a 10% discount on airtime for the duration of the Super 14.

In another campaign one of the direct insurers use the banner of consumerism as a marketing heading to get you to request a quotation for car insurance.

We believe them and support them even if they do not return real value, or, are not consumer minded.

What do these analogies have to do with money issues you may ask? Plenty.  Good marketing ploys are the ones that consistently take good money from our pockets and hinder financial progress.  During this year, we want to look for ways of creating wealth for ourselves and it is often through the reduction in spending that we create money that we can save, accumulate and eventually create wealth.

We will want these various marketers to do as one other ad campaign prompt their workers to do: “Keep it real” and to not add “other stuff” to a good recipe.  We want them to tell us about the other stuff they mix into their recipe – tell us about the high excesses and when the policy will not pay a claim, and not leave it until the claim occur or hide it in fine print.  Quick interlude:  The authorities will make a literal interpretation of this ‘fine print’ issue and now instruct the Financial Service providers to disclose all information in a minimum font size of 10 points.  Missing the plot ever so slightly on matter of disclosure when all that the consumer will want to know is when a product may fail.  This is not disclosed in any sized font.

We as the consumers will be expected to report on the misconduct (or hidden truths) and will soon be obtaining full support under a new act that will protect the consumer.  Those that are reported by you the reader may be mentioned in future articles, driving us toward greater money wisdom in an effort to create personal wealth.

Please report your experiences on the webpage (now also accessible through the cell phone on www.makingsense.co.za/wap).  There is a special area for ‘consumer’ on wap and ‘consumer corner’ on the website www.makingsense.co.za.

Do not only report the bad experiences but also on the good ones, ones we can support because their owners give us real support.  Some examples will not be obvious and I demonstrate with an example:  Ford motor company are reviving the old Fiesta under a new name and will reportedly sell the car for less than R100 000, 30% below the new Fiesta – similar to what Toyota did with the Tazz and VW with the Citi.  Good value.

The dream is that if we can find methods of reducing cost on each line item of at least 5%, creating an extra 5% of our entire salary to create savings and wealth.

Let us share our ideas and collectively become a whole bunch of wealthy South Africans.