Tag Archives: Africa

Purchasing Patterns in Cash Based Markets and Informal Economy

When cash flow is irregular and not always unpredictable, both in amount and frequency, such as it is for the majority earning a living in the informal economy, buyer behavior is not quite the same as for mainstream consumers with access to credit cards and regular paychecks. I’ve quite often made reference to how operating primarily […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Mama Biashara, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The values gap in banking the unbanked

Back in 2008, after my first deep dive into the African consumer market, on behalf of Samsung, I’d identified something I called the “values gap” as an intangible barrier between the first world’s consumer brands, and the mindset and worldview of the majority market, then referred to (erroneously) as the “Bottom of the Pyramid.” The […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process, UCSD, User research | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Upward Mobility is Changing Base of the Pyramid Consumer Aspirations

I’d observed earlier that upward mobility wasn’t simply about increasing incomes, but also a change in mindset, world view and values. Aspirational consumer behaviour trickles downward faster, as strivers seek to emulate the status signals sent by those they perceive as “arrived”. The emerging middle class numbers may indeed be uncertain, as statisticians debate over […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, global, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Technology | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

“No Ordinary Disruption” – Africa’s Transformation

McKinsey consultants have released a new book – No Ordinary Disruption – looking at global mega trends and market forces that are forcing a rethink of the foundations of their intuitive knowledge. Assumptions are to be challenged and questioned, they say, as these changes impact a deeper transition in the way the world works. Even […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Business, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Market forces transforming the African retail landscape

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal’s partnership with pan African e-commerce platform Jumia signals a big shift in the way consumer packaged goods companies  address the challenge of reaching the emerging African consumer classes in a cost effective manner. A combination of market forces and on the ground realities points to this solution as a sweetspot for optimal […]

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Growth in Africa’s informal trade with China needs more formal diplomacy

China Southern Airlines announces 3 flights a week between Nairobi and Guangzhou. This can only be a signal of increasing informal cross border trade between the greater African continent and China’s manufacturing hub. Earlier, we’d noted the importance of this trade for Kenya Airways when they announced the opening of a ticket office in Nairobi’s […]

Posted in Africa, Business, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Quality of service at the last mile will make or break African e-commerce startups

With new e-commerce startups sprouting up everyday, competitive advantage in the urban African context will boil down to their quality of delivery and logistics managment. Given the lack of infrastructure such as home addresses, post codes with embedded information, or  as is the case in India – the last mile of delivery in the form […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Business, Business Models, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Marketing, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Perspective, Strategy, urban | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Response

The Rise of the African KINGs

The Abraaj group announces yet another African investment fund, one which emphasizes the following: The sectors include consumer goods and services, consumer finance, and resource and infrastructure services in the core countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa and Kenya.  While South Africa tends to be de facto in most continental investments, note the […]

Posted in Africa, Business, Emerging Markets, Kenya, Nigeria, Perspective, South Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, urban | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

“Cheap is expensive.”

Mama said something very profound when I asked her which of those kerosene stoves she would purchase for herself, “Cheap is expensive,” she said, making a moue at the low cost imports jostling for space in her kitchengoods shop on the outskirts of Kibra. While the limitations of cash in hand may drive her customer’s […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Business, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frugality, Kenya, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, urban | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marketing the Unbranded: Avocados on the side of the Road

These stickers caught my attention. The only one of a long line of makeshift wooden stalls by the side of a highway in Central Kenya to display what looked like branded avocados. Were they part of some cooperative or horticulture exporter’s leftovers? They turned out to belong to Maude, the ambitious and aspirational market woman […]

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