The UCT Liberty Institute is widely regarded as one of South Africa’s leading marketing think-tanks. We were established in 2001 out of a recognition that the South African consumer landscape is unique and often bears only limited resemblance to both developed and developing markets in the rest of the world.

Our reports are based on robust market research and are widely used by leading companies to inform strategy. We are supported by Liberty Life, one of Africa’s leading financial services companies. From 2001-2018 the Institute was sponsored by Unilever, and prior to 2019, our research was published under the banner of the UCT Unilever Institute. Additional funding is derived from the sale of research via nationwide roadshows, memberships and in-house presentations. All revenues are directed towards current or future research projects.

Our mission is…

  • To be an essential destination for South African consumer behaviour insights. 
  • To complete robust research initiatives that provide marketers with a big picture perspective on the ever changing South African consumer. 
  • To create relevant teaching material for the next generation of South African marketers.
  • To publish our findings in order to push the agenda of localised African theory development. 

Some testimonials from the Marketing community in South Africa

“The Institute has been one of the most valuable consumer and people voices. The organization became the voice of the consumer and helped change and influence SA marketers understanding of marketing and people.From Stokvels to Black Diamonds, such great insightful research projects grounded on sound scientific methods yet insightful, stories well told and presented. For me personally the Institute gave me my very first taste of public presentation and it showed great trust and faith in me to present to thousands of audiences. For that too I will always be grateful.” 
Mzamo Masito (Chief Marketing Officer, Google Africa)

“The Institute has been the definitive go-to source for real insights into South Africa's changing socio-economic landscape. In study after study it has consistently managed to identify shifts in consumer dynamics that later become common cause. The identification (and quantification) of 'black diamonds' was one, the noting of the 'missing middle' another. It called the 'trust deficit' between consumers and the establishment before it was widely appreciated. It noted the role that grants had played in rearranging monthly expenditure patterns before marketers widely appreciated that BOP models failed to explain SA's reality. And so on.   In short, the Institute has been and remains the most valuable strategic marketing partner to businesses in an ever changing South Africa.”  
Martin Neethling (Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo sub-Saharan Africa)