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Achievers in Africa: The Rise of Sophisticated Consumers Who Know What They Want

by Jessie NDri , 29.07.2014

Our latest Roper Need to Know report covers four key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this first of three posts covering some of the major findings from the research we look at the Achiever mindset. From Ghana to Kenya, Nigeria to South Africa, ‘Achiever’ is by far the most predominant value type – especially in Nigeria, where this group represents 61% of consumers. By comparison, in the UK and USA only 13% of the population fall into this category.

Achievers are people who place a high importance on displaying and exhibiting their social status. According to Achievers, money is a way to show how successful they are, as well as a way to buy things that can reflect their power and express their achievement. Half (51%) of Africans affirm that their individuality is reflected in how they look and what they buy, compared to just over one third (36%) of the global population. This is good news for brands looking to enter the African marketplace, as there is a strong latent appetite for well-known brands. Similarly, 50% of Africans – compared to one-third of the global population – agree that it is better to buy well-known brands because consumers can rely on their quality.

Africans make a point to encourage, motivate and inspire the young generation to become more ambitious and change the way the world sees the continent. In fact, educational quality is among the principal subjects Africans are most concerned about. Second only to government corruption or wrongdoing, 29% agree they are concerned about educational quality. Governments are increasingly contributing to education by investing in new universities and schools, “Our young people are hungry for education,” South African president Jacob Zuma told reporters in Pretoria after announcing the opening of a new university in Kimberly in 2014.

The rise of the Achiever mindset and an increasingly well-educated youth will translate into more demanding, well-informed and sophisticated consumers. By understanding the characteristics of Achievers, as well as other factors in Africa – such as the importance of religion, safety, security and fun – brands have a real opportunity to appeal to this audience.

Jessie N'Dri is Consumer Trends Manager for GfK's Market Oppotunities and Innovation team.  She can be reached at jessie.ndri@gfk.com.