Fresh insights for brands connecting with the African consumer

By our News Team | 2022

A Covid-induced growth of the informal market may be one of the most important points to emerge from research for a new book.

Just three short years after publishing his popular book, The Villager: How Africans Consume Brands, Nigerian marketing executive Feyi Olubodun is revisiting the concept of the ‘African village’ with updated takeaways, fresh insights and a refined engagement framework for brands looking to connect with the African consumer. 

He recently sat down with Strategic Marketing for Africa, the quarterly magazine of the African Marketing Confederation (AMC), to answer questions about research for his planned new book.

Consumer Trends

Feyi Olubodun, via Strategic Marketing for Africa magazine

Can you give us a peek into the marketing trends emerging from Covid?

The whole Covid experience has highlighted the stark difference between the Western world and Africa. It’s become very clear that Africa is a very communal continent, we are organised around families and households, whereas the West is around individuals, their personal pursuits and capabilities. 

It is clearer to businesses now that they must engage the African consumer differently, that while the principles of marketing and doing business are the same wherever you are in the world, you’ve got to apply an African lens to the African environment, and then adapt your approaches to that. 

Does this mean we shouldn’t concentrate on global trends in Africa?

There is a lot of embracing of global trends by Africans, but we are not seeing an outright embracing of or a copy-and-paste approach to Western trends and values – instead we are adapting everything we are seeing in an African fashion. This has made more clients interested in looking at things from an African point of view. 

The pandemic has highlighted the impact of poverty across Africa; what does this mean for brands operating on the continent?

It has shown that Africa is still a bottom-of-the-pyramid market – in some countries the size of the informal market is as high as 70%. As a result of poverty and income, consumers are being forced to go back to the informal market to create new ways of consuming products and brands, and companies are being forced to try understand these markets and how to engage with them. The companies that are doing this really well are making good progress. 

To read more of this article go to page 16 of the latest digital edition of Strategic Marketing for Africa, the official publication of the African Marketing Confederation (AMC) here: https://africanmarketingconfederation.org/publications-2/

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.