Designing a brand is more important than ever. The art is to resonate emotionally with your customers, in order to do that you need to be authentic. Authentic meaning you actually have to believe in what you are doing, what you are saying (which is hard for some, apparently) and what you are offering. Enter the rise of the Emphathetic Economy, where brands are more than just selling, where brands actually (but really) care about the stuff their customers care about, where brands go above and beyond the call of duty (Imagine that).
From unequal societies that only give kudos to the affluent and the authority figures, to archaic work/family/community structures, the African masses are used to being ignored at best and maltreated at worst. And that has extended to the brand/consumer relationship, too.
In 2015, rising numbers will demand that brands become 'nicer', by acting in ways that benefit individuals and society as a whole. Like Brandhouse's roadblock (below), BENEVOLENT BRANDS will find surprising ways to reward customer patronage and good behaviour.
And remember, it's inevitable that the brands that are benevolent now will earn the trust and gratitude of tomorrow’s middle class consumers. How will you win over, entice, surprise and excite African customers?
From October 2014, Coca-Cola and BT Global Services began offering free Wi-Fi Internet access to those living in impoverished communities of the Eastern Cape using Coke’s vending machines.
In May 2014, over 250 South African motorists were stopped by traffic police and handed grocery vouchers (if sober), in an attempt to reduce the number of drunk driving-related fatalities on the road. The roadblock was implemented by KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate and South African alcoholic beverage company, Brandhouse.