With qualifications in Visual Identity and Design, Business, Data Analysis, Global Sociology, and a specialisation in Identity Formation within South African Sub- and Counter Cultures, Nicola humanises data in order to better understand the delicacies and intricacies within diverse markets.
This has also gifted her a learned eye which enables her to investigate and identify the nuances, buying patterns, tone of voice or visual core identities of local and global consumers.
A contributor to creative, business and academic critical discourse, Nicola has dedicated her career to understanding how to develop the art and science of prediction into a valuable tool.
A firm believer in collaboration, Nicola consults with both brands/businesses and independent entities – from small to large. As the ‘mediator’ between Business and Creative, Nicola realises the highest quality of creative work, with the discernment of return on investment and the bottom line.
As a proud Africanist – more specifically in the Fashion, Lifestyle and Cultural spheres – Nicola is at the fore of new thinking on the continent.
She is strong-willed, analytical, logical and creative, and thrives on opportunities to push the boundaries of thought. Nicola Cooper takes necessary conversations into boardrooms in order to prompt change, encourage product development, or punt investment and collaborative opportunities.
She travels extensively for consultations and research, which she conducts with individual, group and corporate clients.
As a recognised voice in South African media with expert insights, Nicola regularly acts as a contributing writer for various publication, makes TV appearances and is featured on radio, lifestyle, entertainment, and business programs.
Despite her travels, Africa is still where it’s at for Nicola Cooper. As a specialist in identity formation through the anthropology of the sub/counter-cultures of ‘Post-Apartheid’ South Africa, Nicola’s expertise offers unique insights into the diverse African market and other similar global markets.
Through the humanisation of information and data, Nicola is able to find the common pattern – or in her own words, ‘The Golden Thread’ – that ties the behaviour and purchasing patterns of consumers.
The marriage between Nicola’s understanding of human connection and her skills ensures an innovative take on research and trend analysis, while providing cutting edge perspectives on a multitude of trends, insights, and creative conceptual problem solving for your business.
As we enter into the staged, easing of lockdown many are attempting to understand what the long and short term ramifications of COVID-19 will have on our economy, businesses and day to day routines.
There is an impact for consumers of all backgrounds, of all interests, of all age groups. And there are ramifications for every industry, the best we can do is arm ourselves with constructive insights to support in the steps into a better understanding of the present and to best prepare for the new future.
Nicola Cooper’s journey has been a broad and diverse one, across a multitude of different fields. However, the golden thread that ties everything together is the quest to understand humans, consumers, identity formation, and sub- and countercultures.
Read more about Nicola Cooper’s path in highly anticipated 15th edition of Standard Bank Top Women Leaders.
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Nicola and her hand-picked team continue her work in the Fashion, Lifestyle, and Pop/Youth Culture space as a preferred supplier to both local and global research and insight agencies, through her satellite B2B firm, Nicola Cooper & Associates.
The firm is a powerful support of businesses intelligence, street smarts and valuable research and insights for FMCG, Fashion Retail, Brands and Agencies wanting to better understand the global and local Trends market to identify and implement insights to the African consumer or assist businesses/brands to stay abreast with current cultures and the ever-evolving consumer landscape.
I have had the pleasure and honour of working with Nicola for over 8 years. You never come away from a call or meeting with Nicola not feeling wowed by her breadth and depth of knowledge. Her forthright style and ability to hone into the important angle of the topic quickly but with supporting (and widely sourced) research never cease to amaze me. She is always ahead of the curve. Once you accept you are out of touch and Nicola is entirely in touch with tomorrow’s consumer today, you can relax, stop worrying about your age and just learn. You can be confident that Nicola will guide you and offer you enough insight for you to feel more secure in your strategy and in her ability to make all her knowledge and research relevant to your brand or company. Or, more importantly, where you are missing the mark, she does not try to make your strategy fit, she really empowers you to re-strategise to where consumer trends are taking us, so that you build a strategy better devised to succeed. I’d hate to face the future as a brand or business without access to Nicola’s thinking.
Nicola not only has vast knowledge in the field of trends analysis, having lectured trends at UNISA, The University of Johannesburg and LISOF but is able to use proven methodology to analyse and predict a trend trajectory. But while her strengths lie in the academic field, she matches that knowledge with grassroots connections with the influencers and drivers of pop culture in South Africa. The importance of using trends as business strategy – the Flux Trends mantra – is only now being recognised as a crucial business tool. Nicola’s passion for trends, as well as her passion for knowledge transferral, will add an important layer to building a more credible and competitive industry for South Africa.
Nicola Cooper & Associates have a fresh, local point of view that inspires necessary discussion and conversation around remaining relevant to your customer. All expectations exceeded!
Nicola Cooper, Senior Trend Analyst (based in South Africa) has been on Trendwatching.com’s radar since our first South African visit in 2012. From the following year, Nicola became one of our selected local expert Trend Analysts and preferred supplier for South African clients, due to her strong academic foundation and an unparalleled knowledge of Fashion, Lifestyle, Youth and Pop cultural trends in Africa. Nicola’s cutting edge trend talks, impeccable research methods, and an instinctual knack for the field continue to set professionals like herself away from the pack.
Nicola has been instrumental in forcing changes across the South Africa fashion landscape through her projects, consultations and endorsements that advocate for a decolonial and Afrocentric aesthetic and praxis.