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CONSUMER VALUES

Study tracks the values that are driving Africa’s consumers

By our News Team | 2022

New research shows that a winning approach for connecting with African consumers requires a combination of local awareness, cause orientation and global alignment.

For almost a decade, global market research firm Ipsos has been tracking global trends, looking for shifts and signs that can help marketers, leaders and strategists anticipate the evolution of personal values. 

What makes the latest iteration of the Ipsos Global Trends Study so significant is the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic globally and in Africa, as well as the first-time inclusion of Kenya and Nigeria in the analysis.

Kenya and Nigeria join South Africa, which has been part of the Global Trends Study since 2013, to add an important African flavour to the insights. In total, 25 countries were included in the global study that gauged public opinion, attitudes and values.

Consumer Values

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

While many of the shifts in thinking, and the responses to a changing world, were applicable across the globe, others highlighted why brands and business should approach their engagement with African consumers with a keen sense of cultural awareness and modernism. 

During a webinar entitled Aftershocks and Continuity – which analysed the African portion of the study – Ipsos’ global CEO, Ben Page, outlined some of the major themes impacting public attitudes and values. 

Consumers accept that privacy issues are changing

The past two years of battling a global pandemic have seen a deterioration in the way social media companies are viewed (84% of respondents believe they have too much power), but also seen a growing acceptance that in a rapidly digitising world it is almost inevitable that online privacy will become a thing of the past, Page said.

He singled out climate change and the environment as an important theme carried over from 2019. Across the 25 markets, 63% of respondents highlighted the importance of companies doing what they can to reduce environmental harm. 

There is another level to this trend when read in conjunction with the growing tendency of respondents to align their personal values to their buying decisions. 

As the Ipsos research noted: “Seven in 10 [people] across the 25 markets agree that they tend to buy brands that reflect their personal values (70%).” Nigeria top-scored at 91% when it came to the importance of societal values like morality, hospitality, spirituality and respect for elders, compared with Kenya (85%) and South Africa (81%).

Enock Wandera, Ipsos Chief Client Officer for Kenya, explained: “In Africa, and mostly in the developing world… consumers are telling us that they buy brands that reflect their personal values. So, whatever we chose to express in our brand values and our brand purpose needs to connect and align with these uniquely African values.” 

This trend demands particular focus from business leaders operating in the African context, said Wandera. It puts the onus on businesses and business leaders – and not just politicians – to try to solve some of the pressing issues impacting African societies, including expansive issues such as climate change and the fight against poverty. 

The belief that business leaders have a responsibility to speak out on social and political issues was equally high across the three African countries polled. Nigeria again recorded the highest percentage of those who held this view (87%), with Kenya and South Africa at 84%. 

To read more of this article, go to page 14 of the latest issue (Issue 1 2022) of Strategic Marketing for Africa, the magazine of the African Confederation. You can access the Digital Edition here.

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