Serah Katusia, managing director, GroupM East and Central Africa and SSA coordination lead, is optimistic about Africa because it is diverse, young, and growing and urbanising faster than any other continent across the world.
More than 50% of Africans are under the age of 20 - more babies born in Nigeria in a year than in the whole of Western Europe. Every diaper, milk and baby brand should be set up in Africa, connecting with millions of Africans in a deep and meaningful way.
There’s also depth in the way its people interact with data and consume brands, content and media, with Africa’s media landscape quickly growing, changing and evolving across the continent. We’ve seen a rise in digital and growth in TV consumption, with content creation at an all-time high.
This is fueled by better and more affordable internet connections, resulting in the democratisation of content production. It’s no surprise as young Africans are creators - creators of content, creators of businesses, creators of movement…#WeCreate!
Young Africans want brands to connect with them beyond being customers, to stretch into uncharted territories and provide products and services that resonate with them in more meaningful ways. Your business needs to rethink its communications about products and services and get to know the human being behind the consumer persona.
There are immense opportunities in this new audience in Africa, with their love of all things digital and yearning for the new and the different. Brands will continue to need tailored, data-driven approaches to connect more meaningfully with the most connected generation of our times.
Insights and growth levers for brand connection
These three insights and growth levers can help your brands connect more intimately with the African audience and win sustainably:
- There’s a deeper love for culture and local flavours and textures, feeling globally connected and locally anchored. A growing sense of purpose and ‘the right thing to do’ increasingly turn consumers into citizen-first human beings.
- Why shop anywhere else when I can buy directly from apps I use constantly? This is the incredibly exciting opportunity that most prominent social media apps offer to consumers. Everywhere around the continent, WhatsApp and Facebook have established stores in as much as they are communication platforms.
The new entrant is TikTok, and the cards are set to change when we think of the incredible growth the platform has had in Africa in just two years. In Senegal for example, TikTok usage went from almost 0 to 53%; in South Africa, it’s 26% of internet users use the platform, 41% are under 24. As the platform wins share from established social media giants, it will counter the trend with new offers and lots more to see in this space - including commerce, of course!
- We can’t ignore the power of technology. Whether it’s tech for fun, tech for good, tech for money - the continent’s love for technology and all things digital is what’s really transforming lives, lifestyles and brand choices.
Africa is ready. Africa is growing. Africa is both the future and a new frontier. The question is, is your brand ready to grow with the continent?
Watch out for our deep dives into the four intersections of the changing dynamics of the African marketplace in the informal sector opportunity; the education and unconventional ideas opportunity; and the entrepreneurship and human capital opportunity.
Find out all about Africa Life here. With a focus on understanding the youth and the women of Africa. Missed the live launch? Register to watch the hour-long brand learning session on demand.