Having spent the better part of 12 years traversing the continent as an ad and brand man, I have had the pleasure of seeing the quality and breadth of brands available to consumers in Africa increase and more often than not, improve.
If anyone sees Africa as a dumping ground, they might be right when it comes to clothing and second hand cars, but not when it comes to consumer goods such as electronics and FMCG's (Fast Moving Consumer Goods). The growth in local brands at the expense of the international juggernauts; Nestlè and Unilever, is now the norm, not the exception.
The next opportunity for a regional brand is for those commodities players under the radar to change their products into brands. This is one of the most challenging decisions for a business, they need to ask themselves "are we ready to play in a market where we will be a challenger brand, or do we have the potential to be the leader?" In this market, I believe that the companies who understand brand strategy and apply it, are the ones who will win.
Here are some of the basic steps you should be aware of if you are in the market to win:
- Have a plan - Have a clear grasp of your business strategy and buy in from your leadership.
- Get people on the bus - Have the resources necessary to win - don't do it if you can't, or don't want to pay to get the right people and processes ready.
- Stand for something - Define a position relative to your competitors in a compelling and relevant way so you have a reason to exist as a brand. Or INNOVATE and create a new market.
- Create it - Develop your best possible product or service to package what your business will be offering your market.
- Build the story - People buy with their eyes AND with their hearts. They can also sniff out BS, so be prepared to deliver on your promises, and relish it.
- Make it look the part - Create a consistent and thought-out brand language, if done well it will help you develop legitimacy, stand out in the market and look beautiful.
For your personal consultation please contact Wunderbrand founder; Nicholas Kühne at moc.dnarbrednuw@salohcin or for more information visit our website www.wunderbrand.com