Henk Pretorius

Henk Pretorius

Managing Partner | Head of Consumer Connection


 +27 11 782 7246

Johannesburg office

54 Peter Place, Peter Place Office Park

2191 Bryanston

South Africa


Henk co-founded Columinate, the first full-service digital research agency in South Africa, in 2008, at the age of 24. After growing the agency to become one of the foremost insight firms in the country,​ Columinate joined global research firm InSites Consulting. Henk became Managing Partner and took a seat on InSites’ global board. ​Today, he is managing the Consumer Networks department which leads InSites’ consumer audience strategy across the world. His cross-country team (Romania, South Africa and the UK) is responsible for connecting the right audience to the right research challenge.

Henk has a wide expertise in research methods and has developed several research solutions (incl. advertising testing, brand health measurement and concept testing). He is a frequent conference speaker and has won several awards for his work. In 2014, Henk was featured in Survey Magazine as one of 20 ‘Researchers you should know’ from across the world, in the Future Leader category. Henk is past director of measurement on the Brand Council South Africa and past director (large research agency category) serving on the Southern African Marketing Research Association (SAMRA) board.​

Academically, Henk has a PhD in cognitive psychology, completed a research internship at Harvard University, lectures in marketing and psychological research methods at a postgraduate level, and has been published in international peer-reviewed journals.

My latest blog posts


Meet ‘the 1’: the creative consumer

Written by Sarah Van Oerle / Henk Pretorius

“Creativity isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity!” , says Duncan Wardle. With these words, the former Walt Disney Company’s Head of Creativity & Innovation argues that creativity can give companies a competitive edge. He refers to tech giant Apple as an example; this brand became a synonym for creativity; it also dominated BCG’s top 50 list of most innovative companies for the last 15 years.


Meet ‘the 9’: the leading-edge consumers

Written by Sarah Van Oerle / Henk Pretorius

All of us everyday consumers can share our everyday needs and frictions; but only a limited number of people can signal ‘things to come’, thereby curating the future. Those are the ones living on the edge – heavy users, trendsetters or early-adopters; they know precisely what is hot and next in a particular area.

You are not your consumer

You are not your consumer

Written by Sarah Van Oerle / Henk Pretorius

Any idea what the ‘Facebook Phone’, the ‘Microsoft Band’ and ‘Apple’s butterfly keyboard’ have in common? No, it has nothing to do with technology; all three products failed, with ‘a misfit with the market’ as most cited reason.