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Getting under the skin of the African consumer

Our latest Roper Need to Know report covers four key markets in Sub Saharan Africa. In this article we look at the attitudes to life of the African consumer, where there is a mix of living for the here and now, and seeking safety and security. Satisfaction, Safety and Immediacy are three important criteria that guide Africans’ decision on which product or service to buy. Among the GfK global consumer trends, Safe and Secure is one of the most impactful among African consumers. Almost 50% say they worry about getting sick from contaminated food or drink products, for instance. These sorts of concern translate into a need for trusted brands that can reassure people that they are the best choice for their family and themselves.

Africans also want to have fun now, and are ready to invest in products and services that can help them improve their everyday lives. 41% of African consumers agree that they like to have fun now and let the future take care of itself. They also want maximum Satisfaction. Just under one half (49%) agree that it is important to indulge or pamper themselves on a regular basis. They are looking for premium treatment, and expect to be indulged and excited by everything they buy.

Last but not least, there is a need for immediacy and availability that brands must meet – this is a global trend we call Instant Everywhere. African consumers expect to have access to the goods and services that they buy whenever they want. With this in mind, 40% of them are willing to settle for an inferior product or service if it’s available when they need it, compared to 22% of global consumers.

African consumers are both complex and sophisticated. Brands and marketers need to understand their attitudes and behavior, and to adapt to the differences by country, to appeal to this increasingly affluent audience.

Read more blogs on our Africa Need to Know reports here.

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