According to the United Nations, Africa would grow by any measure you subject the continent to till the year 3000. The reasons for this optimism are not far-fetched. Africa is blessed with a very young population and immense mineral resources living on a very fertile agricultural friendly land, the future is indeed bright for Africa.
However, what the report did not say is the fact that growth would only happen to countries that understand the consumers and adequately respond to their needs and expectations.
While growth is slowing down in the rest of the world, Africa is just warming up for greatness. So, one wonders if Nigeria is amongst the countries that would dominate development in Africa in the next few years on the African continent.
Kantar Insight highlight the critical success for 2020 and beyond
First, a thorough understanding of the local culture, people and nuances matters. This would obviously allow for the products to match the expectations of the market. Cultural behavior is not static and are ever changing therefore staying in touch with the consumers is very important for success in Nigeria.
Second, ensuring your operations are managed by experienced locals who understand the internal dynamics of the local marketplace is very important for success. While glolocal concepts and mentality may work in other markets in Africa the expectation in Nigeria is that the more local content the better.
Third, understanding the route to market and depending on trusted and tested third party service providers works in Nigeria. However, in a recent article, the US Embassy in Nigeria, berates the public transport system, describing it as unsafe throughout the country. According to it, “public transportation vehicles such as trucks, buses and motorbikes are unsafe due to poor maintenance, high speed and overcrowding and over loading.” This notwithstanding, companies that collaborate with the right local players would navigate the rough terrain and would still smile to the bank at the end of the day.
According to Charles Foster CEO of Kantar Insight in Africa and Middle East looking into the play book of successful brands in Nigeria like MTN, Unilever, Coca Cola, Olam and Shoprite is highly recommended
Fourth, you must be patient in Nigeria to eat the fruits of the land … If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land in Nigeria but you must be strategic and very focused. Policies and decisions move very slowly in Nigeria but would eventually come around so corporate entities must learn to gauge the pulse of the government and the market reacts appropriately.
Fifth, according to Eddington Danda an innovation specialist at Kantar Nigeria low priced, innovative, consumer products and services works for the low and middle class in Nigeria. Airtel has gone this route and have been immensely successful with various products and services that was developed specifically to meet consumers need.
For any Nigerian brands to remain relevant they must be underpinned by local insight that motivate consumers here while delivering global standards.
Finally, Nigeria boast of over 50 million generation alpha youths. Fast paced in their thinking and are technology savvy understanding them is central to a healthy bottom line in 2020 and beyond. Welcome to the year and clime of understanding. Happy new year.
Kindly share your thoughts with me via this email address. or SMS. Michael.Umogun@kantar.com / 08023117969