Operating a successful business in Africa necessitates an Africa specialist as your branding agency. Whilst the rest of the world’s economies are beginning to shrink, the African continent is expected to have 370 million youth enter the job market within the next 15 years. Africa is also very fortunate to have a heterogeneous population made up of a wide variety of cultures, beliefs, religions and languages, meaning that in terms of its human capital, Africa has the capability to succeed in an extensive variety of industries with the potential to break barriers and introduce new products and services into the market that could change business immensely. Africa is teeming with opportunity, but it requires businesses to be in touch with the unique cultural climate and economy to truly thrive. Here are 3 ways a brand agency that is an Africa specialist can help your business do just that.
1. They will help your brand resonate with its target
Every business exists in a certain context, and, among other factors, this context is defined by a geographical location and some level of scale. Name any business, and you’ll find this context. Nike? A global brand, a household name, global scale. Glo? A Nigerian telecoms giant, West African context, international scale. Netcare? Local, South African scale. The spaza on your corner? Micro-scale, community context. You get the idea.
Brands don’t exist in bubbles. They exist in this world, in their respective geographical context. We live in a diverse world. Each unique context requires a unique brand strategy, unique identity, and unique brand design. In other words, what works for Glo won’t necessarily work for Nike, and vice versa. Using a brand agency that specialises in Africa will guard your brand against using brand techniques that won’t resonate with your audience.
2. They’ll help your brand avoid embarrassing branding and advertising mistakes
In the same breath, Africa specialist brand agencies are uniquely aware of all the complexities of the African continent. Africa is comprised of 54 countries, each with its own one-of-a-kind background woven from centuries of indigenous heritage, a period of colonialism unique to it, and its own unique role in the modern world. Every African country comes with its own exclusive culture shaped by centuries of history in line with its geography. Even within one country, we can find extensive diversity. South Africa alone has 11 official languages, a myriad of cultures, and a rich history.
Branding agencies that specialise in Africa are in touch with all the cultural nuances that call Africa home, and they know how to leverage these nuances to your brand’s advantage. If your business is in touch with the complexities of the country and the continent, not only will it impact the market, but it will stay out of any messy advertising and branding mishaps that can be avoided by a little cultural sensitivity and know-how.
This fabric map of Africa by Mia Kora captures the diversity of the continent.
3. You have a holistic Africa specialist on your side
Target market resonance and brand image aside, having an Africa specialist in your arsenal can be game-changing in many respects. An Africa-specialising brand agency can give you sound, unbiased, and professional advice on the African economy as a whole and can guide your brand on how best to do business in the unique African climate.
Building brands in this colourful, multicultural and vibrant continent is unlike building brands anywhere else in the world.
Homogeneous, one-size-fits-all international brands and campaigns may work elsewhere around the globe, but they just don’t cut it here. A deep understanding of our continent’s challenges and an appreciation of its opportunities is needed to unlock this new branding frontier.
To do this, we believe, you have to be African – you have to live, eat, sleep and dream Africa. And that is the HKLM difference.