Companies Starting to See Value of African Consumers
Frank Braeken, executive vice president of Unilever in Africa, commented on how Western companies treat the entire continent of Africa as one ‘monolithic’ consumer base, instead of taking into consideration how diverse and different all of the african countries actually are. Africa is not just one nation, but it is many nations, consisting of people from various backgrounds with different preferences. American companies still have yet to understand or appreciate that fact.
The West has had a long-standing business relationship with Africa. Companies like Lipton and Knorr employ thousands of workers in 15 different countries. 15 out of 54 countries is a pretty decent spread, especially since it is projected that by 2020, housing spending in Africa is expected to jump up to 1.4 trillion dollars. Braeken says, “I’m very optimistic about Africa, but I say it always with a tinge of hesitation because one of the big risks is that we get carried away and therefore forget to talk about the real challenges that are still ahead of it.”
Braeken also told CNN that he is ashamed that American companies have not done a better job of trying to understand consumers in Africa.
“I’m almost somewhat ashamed to admit that we are still very much in learning mode about what the differences are within Africa.”
Nielson recently did a survey and showed that there are basically seven kinds of consumers that companies should look for in Africa.
“Rather than just a continent, Africa must be viewed as 54 separate and distinct countries with a wide array of political, economic, geographical, cultural and social features,” according to Nielsen’s “The Diverse People of Africa” report.
The tiers are listed below:
Progressive Affluents: 7%
Balanced Seniors: 17%
Struggling Traditionals: 10%
Evolving Juniors: 24%
Wannabe Bachelors: 11%
Female Conservatives: 10%(Source: The Diverse People of Africa, Nielsen)
Powered by Facebook Comments