Talking about localisation... In Mombasa, Kenya, Uber is hitting the streets in tuk-tuks with its newest service: uberPOA. In an effort to reflect local usage and needs, the ride hailing service recognised the fact that tuk-tuks are a popular, affordable mode of transport throughout the country. In another nod to ‘local’, the name of the service means ‘cool’ in Swahili.
While the mode of transport may be ‘new’ to the Uber offering, the process will remain the same. Users can still book the vehicle through the app, receiving info like the driver’s name and license plate number. Advertised as a great way to run errands in the city, the brand is using consumer habits and insights to strengthen their presence in East Africa.
Did you know that Asos recently partnered with SOKO - a Kenyan sustainable clothing manufacturer based in the Rukinga Sanctuary? First launched back in 2009, the partnership titled 'Made in Kenya' was recently relaunched which promotes ethical manufacturing regarding workers and the environment.
As well as providing secure jobs to some of the poorest communities in Kenya, Soko and Asos also set up the Kenyan Stitching Academy which offers two month training courses to give locals the skills they need to find jobs or set up their own businesses.
The collection was a collaborative curation between 2manysiblings (a brother and sister due who celebrate thrift fashion), Julie Adenuga (a beats1 radio presenter) and Leomie Anderson (a model and activist).
Along with designs from local school children, their fashion features typically African prints and designs which are then ethically manufactured in Kenya.
Interested in knowing more about Kenya? Read our blog post here.
Do you know which African country is renowned for its competitive spirit? Kenyans are actually known as record breakers on the continent. In fact, more than 2,400 Kenyans recently broke the previous record held by the Mexicans and got into the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest number of people shaving in a single venue at the same time! The event took place at the Kenyatta University as a result of Gillette Kenya’s campaign that was unofficially called “Nyoa Ki-Pro na Gillette”. The idea of the campaign took into consideration the Kenyans’ competitive spirit and aimed at increasing the market share against its competitors on the market. Gillette Kenya was also striving to educate consumers on more efficient and safer ways of shaving. Sixty-percent of Kenyans prefer not to shave, as they believe that it causes bumps and razor nicks. However, the brand reassures them by stating that 70% of small cuts are the result of incorrect shaving. by Anastasiya Razhnouskaya
Creative Culture sat down with Mark Sandys, Global Head of Beer and Bailey’s at Diageo, to discuss the company’s global strategy for beer giant Guinness. With business for the brand split equally between developed and emerging markets, we focused on their strategy in Africa.
Guinness has a long history with Africa. As far back as the 1800s, the brand was building its own ships, allowing it to export its products farther than any of the competition and establish a presence on the continent before any others could. Arriving in Sierra Leone in 1827, Guinness soon established a presence in Nigeria, and in the 1960s, the brand built its first international brewery in the country. This ability to brew beer in Africa, by Africans, for Africans, has given Nigerian consumers the lasting impression that Guinness is actually a local, Nigerian brand.
Although their 2014 Sapeurs campaign featured a group of Congolese men, it was never shown in Africa. Directed at European audiences – and experiencing particular success among Irish viewers – the film depicted a group of consumers who had the confidence to carve their own paths in life.
For their African audiences, the brand created the Made of Black campaign. With such a historical presence on the continent, and in Nigeria in particular, Guinness found that consumers’ impressions of the beer were growing outdated. Instead of continuing to preserve the original image that success comes from material wealth, wisdom and strength of character, they chose to re-create the brand image based on the idea that one can carve their own path in life by being successful through creativity and entrepreneurship.
Whilst there are executional differences between the Sapeurs film and the Made of Black campaign, both came from the same creative platform ‘Guinness celebrates those with the courage to carve their own path’. The Sapeurs film demonstrates this by celebrating a real group of people who have chosen to rise above their daily circumstances as the ‘society of elegant persons of the Congo’. On the other hand, the Made of Black videos have a much more dynamic image. The campaign seeks to celebrate a new generation of young adult consumers in Africa who use their creativity and entrepreneurialism to carve their own path, rather than following the traditional roles in their society. In an effort to connect the colour of its beer with the greater brand image, the video uses phrases like “Black writes its own rules” – celebrating trendsetters, rather than those who follow the ‘traditional’ path. The music, Kanye West’s Black Skinhead, plays in the background as local African artists, musicians and dancers flash across the screen in an energetic mix of images. The video was created by the BBDO offices in London and Africa, in collaboration with a ‘creative council’ made up of local celebrities and designers, to ensure it appealed to the new generation of African consumers.
However, Sandys was quick to clarify that the continent-wide approach in Africa is not 100%-homogenous. Although the brand tries to make their campaigns as universal as possible, he points out that all of Europe cannot be confined to one category, nor can all of Africa. In order to ensure that their campaigns appeal to as many audiences as possible, the same material is adapted at the local level, using local language-radio versions of the campaign in each country, featuring dialects and local artists. Although the Made of Black campaign plays slightly more towards Nigerian audiences, it focuses on three keywords that define the essence of the brand: Power, Goodness and Communion. While ‘Power’ is more representative of Nigerian consumers, ‘Communion’ is indicative of Guinness’ Kenyan consumers, who see the beer as something to be enjoyed in a social setting.
So what’s next for the brand?
Guinness’ business is currently 50/50 in terms of developed and emerging markets, however, in the future Sandys feels that this number will shift towards more like 25/75, due to the rate of growth in Africa – in fact, Sub-Saharan Africa will become the fastest growing market in the world. Sandys sees this as an energising and exciting opportunity that Guinness, as one of only a handful of global brands with a presence in Africa, will have the opportunity to capitalise on. The brand aims to anchor themselves as a central part of African culture in the years to come. As such, it is important for them to explore innovative advertising approaches, like mobile. Smartphones are becoming essential to modern life in Africa, but data can be extremely expensive. With this knowledge in mind, Guinness is exploring the idea of creating content on ‘data-light’ apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram, ensuring that they reach as many consumers as possible. In addition to this, the brand is committed to exploring the use of user-generated content, further cementing their already strong relationship with African consumers.
Mark Sandys has been a member of the Diageo team for over 19 years, beginning as a graduate trainee for Guinness. As the current Global Head of Beer and Baileys, he feels privileged simply being in the presence of the product. Faced with the challenge of an ageing image on the African market, his greatest success to date has been the reinvention of the brand through innovative approaches involving local key opinion leaders. With a historically strong presence on the continent for over 250 years, Sandys sees Africa as an ever-evolving market that will continue to play an important role in the future of the brand.
For more on Guinness, take a look at our post from February 2014 on the Sapeurs campaign.
*We would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to Mark Sandys for his time and insight during the writing of this article.