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Across Africa, consumers are renouncing the age-old labels, clichés, and stereotypes placed upon them. Instead, today African consumers are forging new identities and tribes based on their own definitions, interests, passions, aspirations and lifestyle choices.

Delve into's Africa Trend Bulletin to find out about how these changes are paving the way for the rise of OTT AFRICANS, ZERO WAHALA COMMUNITIES, HOITY-TOITY HEROES, and a plethora of other NEW AFRICAN NARRATIVES, too!

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  1. 1. NEW AFRICAN NARRATIVES MAY 2014 AFRICA TREND BULLETIN Celebrating new, bold and empowering demographics in sub-Saharan Africa.
  2. 2. It’s time to retire the clichés when it comes to African consumers. Remember how ‘Bottom Of the Pyramid’ (BOP) began as a useful term for Africa’s struggling economic lower classes, but somehow evolved into the blanket term for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole? Today, the new (and contrasting) cliché is ‘Africa Rising’: a view of Africa that can’t see past the new wealth sweeping across the continent. The problem? Both approaches are over- simplistic narratives that don’t take into account the multiplicity of Africa’s languages, cultures, tribes, ideologies and the diversity of its people, whose stories are diverse and complex. NEW AFRICAN 2
  3. 3. Today, Africans are constructing many new identities of their own. So let’s change the NARRATIVE ;) Across the continent, Africans are renouncing the age-old labels, clichés, and stereotypes placed upon them. And they’re refusing to be defined by the part of the pyramid they inhabit, their spending ability, or economic stature. Instead, Africans today are forming new identities and tribes based on their own definitions, interests, passions, aspirations and lifestyle choices. NEW AFRICAN 3
  4. 4. Here are three NEW AFRICAN NARRATIVES Each one a newly-identified segment defined by the new aspirations, mindsets and lifestyles of a subset of African consumers. Why Africans are opting to OVERCOME TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS by redefining their identities, forming positive aspirations, setting new benchmarks, and rewriting the socio-economic textbook. A new breed of no-nonsense citizens are chasing positive change in their communities. A change of heart within the luxury class. 1. OTT AFRICANS 2. zero wahala communities 3. HOITY-TOITY HEROES NEW AFRICAN 4
  5. 5. The challenge for brands? Discard outdated, economic-driven consumer classifications, and explore these, and other, NEW AFRICAN NARRATIVES. NEW AFRICAN 5
  6. 6. 1. OTT AFRICANS Why Africans are opting to OVERCOME TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS by redefining their identities, forming positive aspirations, setting new benchmarks, and rewriting the socio-economic textbook. NEW AFRICAN 6
  7. 7. The ability to OVERCOME TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS... Has long been a characteristic that demonstrates the unique resilience of the African spirit. And in 2014, some consumers are making it their personal mission to overcome their trials and tribulations, by turning their reaction to difficult circumstances into a self-constructed and (in some cases) outsized identity of its own. Now, these OTT AFRICANS are expecting brands to champion, support and cater to the identities they create for themselves. Want proof? Look at these smart brands already doing it! 1. OTT AFRICANS NEW AFRICAN 7
  8. 8. EXAMPLES: OTT AFRICANS Guinness Video ad highlights La Sape movement of Congo NEW AFRICAN 8
  9. 9. The Guinness ‘Sapeurs’ advert racked up almost 3 million views in its first week on YouTube. (YouTube, January 2014) NEW AFRICAN 9
  10. 10. EXAMPLES: OTT AFRICANS Bell’s Video ad features illiterate South African father NEW AFRICAN 10
  11. 11. EXAMPLES: OTT AFRICANS Save & Buy Saving platform helps Nigerians make major purchases NEW AFRICAN 11
  12. 12. 2. ZERO WAHALA COMMUNITIES A new breed of no-nonsense citizens are chasing positive change in their communities. NEW AFRICAN 12
  13. 13. Yes, ‘Wahala’ means ‘trouble’... And now ZERO WAHALA COMMUNITIES are embracing incentives or initiatives that help them address troubles in their local community – even if that means a little pain. A new tribe of Africans today realizes that the development of their localities will not come overnight. Rather, that progress will require a change in communal thinking, culture and ethos. And these citizens know that for Africa to reach its full potential, they, too, will need to play their part as individuals. ZERO WAHALA COMMUNITIES share the dream of a more positive African narrative, yet they are all too aware of the way their own lifestyles and consumption habits can hinder this. In turn, they are ever more ready to adhere to novel solutions conceived by businesses, governments, entrepreneurs and NGOs that lessen negative environmental and social impacts, and crack down on irresponsible or unsustainable behavior. 2. ZERO WAHALA COMMUNITIES NEW AFRICAN 13
  14. 14. EXAMPLES: ZERO WAHALA COMMUNITIES Commission Nationale de Prevention Routiere Robot ‘traffic officers’ enforce road safety in Democratic Republic of Congo NEW AFRICAN 14
  15. 15. EXAMPLES: ZERO WAHALA COMMUNITIES Wecyclers Communities in Nigeria incentivized to recycle trash NEW AFRICAN 15
  16. 16. EXAMPLES: ZERO WAHALA COMMUNITIES #AnotherLightUp Cape Town mural lights up to encourage donations to street lighting fund NEW AFRICAN 16
  17. 17. EXAMPLES: ZERO WAHALA COMMUNITIES Airware Drone tracks and monitors poachers in Kenya conservation park NEW AFRICAN 17
  18. 18. We obviously offer much more than monthly Trend Briefings... Your complete trend and innovation solution. Introducing our 2014 Premium Service Find out more 2014 Trend Report Trend Framework Innovation Database Industry Updates Apply Toolkit Monthly Updates 1-page Trend Handouts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  19. 19. 3. HOITY-TOITY HEROES A change of heart within the luxury class. NEW AFRICAN 19
  20. 20. From the Wabenzi to the Owambe... Many financially able Africans have long been labeled as lavish (and in some cases, wasteful) consumers lacking a conscience. It goes without saying that in the West, GUILT- FREE CONSUMPTION has become all but mainstream. But Africa has it’s luxury-loving-yet- ethical consumers, too. In 2014, a wave of privileged Africans are opting out of excessive extravagance and opting into more ethical consumption. Just a few of their motivations? A desire to go back to their roots and do things the natural way; a cultural pride in luxuries that are produced locally and sustainably; or simply an awareness of the need to consume responsibly. Exemplified by the continent’s evolving role models – as Dencia’s demise becomes Lupita’s rise – Africa proudly presents: HOITY-TOITY HEROES! 3. HOITY-TOITY HEROES NEW AFRICAN 20
  21. 21. EXAMPLES: HOITY-TOITY HEROES Piratas do Pau Mozambican premium furniture is made from scrap wood NEW AFRICAN 21
  22. 22. EXAMPLES: HOITY-TOITY HEROES Zashadu Bags Lagos-based manufacturer makes luxury bags from locally-sourced materials NEW AFRICAN 22
  23. 23. EXAMPLES: HOITY-TOITY HEROES Accra Green Market Ghana’s first premium, organic farmers’ market NEW AFRICAN 23
  24. 24. EXAMPLES: HOITY-TOITY HEROES Styled By Africa Platform for sustainable African high fashion NEW AFRICAN 24
  25. 25. SO WHAT DO THESE NEW AFRICAN NARRATIVES MEAN FOR YOU? NEXT Go ahead and serve these NANs. But don’t stop there – identify and serve your own NANs, too. Want to get started: read on! NEW AFRICAN 25
  26. 26. Hunt for new groups, tribes and communities that are emerging in your fields of interest. Be curious about their fundamentals, as you never know how sticky their cause will eventually be. 1. Discover. Ask. Research. NEXT NEW AFRICAN 26
  27. 27. Once you’ve found your new niche, tailor your products to them respectfully. If you would like to represent them in a campaign, seek their creative input to ensure validity and credibility, not rehashed representations. 2. Avoid gimmicks NEXT NEW AFRICAN 27
  28. 28. Collaborate with these new tribes in the creation of your products or services. Like the #AnotherLightUp Project, communities always appreciate getting involved in solving their own problems too. 3. Get together NEXT NEW AFRICAN 28
  29. 29. One common theme in previous African narratives is negativity. Don’t patronize your consumers but do focus on how everyone collectively can move forward. 4. Stay Positive NEXT NEW AFRICAN 29
  30. 30. As a brand, it is imperative that you are observant and agile to the changing nature of whichever NEW AFRICAN NARRATIVE you discover. In order to stay relevant, as they evolve, so too must you. 5. Evolve and keep evolving NEXT NEW AFRICAN 30
  31. 31. NEW AFRICAN 31
  32. 32. 1. Our free Africa Bulletins 2. Subscribe to our Africa Bulletins here. SUBSCRIBE ME » MORE... If you have any comments, suggestions or questions then please do let us know. Just email: PAUL BACKMAN Chief Client Officer About us Established in 2002, is the world’s leading trend firm, scanning the globe for the most promising consumer trends, insights and related hands-on business ideas. Our Premium Service counts many of the world’s leading brands as clients, while our free monthly Trend Briefings go out to over 250,000 subscribers in 180 countries. More at Should you be one of our 1,200+ Premium clients? Our 2014 Premium Service See how Premium will benefit you Now... Enjoyed this Trend Briefing? Want more?