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Five must-know African consumer trends to run with in 2014

Africa – and more importantly, African consumers – will be firmly on the global stage in 2014. Trendspotting.com has published this overview of five must-know African consumer trends (in random order) for businesses to run with in the next 12 months. Ready? Get set…Go!

While the ‘traditional’ African narrative of hardship and struggle will still contain elements of truth (macro-scale challenges such as the lack of constant electricity or under-developed manufacturing industries won’t disappear overnight), there will be huge opportunities on the continent for creative, daring and savvy brands, both domestic and global.

The key to taking advantage of these? Understanding – and then catering to – the new desires, aspirations and expectations of Africa’s enthusiastic, optimistic, yet-too-often frustrated consumers.

1. FABA

For Africa By Africa: African solutions to African challenges done the African way.

Today, both domestic businesses and global brands creating products for Africans are realizing that, in order to offer real and relevant solutions, their offerings must reflect those customers by adopting as many region-specific features, elements and quirks as possible.

Because for more conscious consumers, not only are FABA innovations, products and services more suited to their needs, but in many cases, they are also closely linked to ethical and/or sustainable business practices. This is especially true when these offerings make use of local resources such as homegrown talents, workforces or materials….

2. MOBILE ROAMING

The other ‘mobile’ to watch in Africa in 2014.

Like everyone, Africans want to be able to plan and execute their journeys affordably, enjoyably, reliably and conveniently. Yet Africans seldom have much to boast about when logistics, transportation and mobility are being discussed on a global scale.

But in 2014, the continent’s steep economic growth will mean more of its inhabitants on the road, exploring and doing business with each other, sharpening the need for improved transportation options….

3. CIVIL INFO-NATION

Why Africans will embrace even more accurate, empowering, objective and timely information in 2014.

The inherent human need for reliable, unbiased information is universal. But for many years, both transparency in governance and objective news reporting have not been a luxury afforded to most Africans.

Today however, online activism across the continent is catalyzing a new wave of optimism in media platforms. These organizations are empowering citizens to learn about, discuss, investigate and react to what is going on around them like never before….

4. AFRICA (COLLABO)RISING

Why in 2014, savvy African brands will continue to rise by collaborating with others.

Branded collaborations remain infrequent and thus novel, and many African customers welcome these partnerships with open arms. Not only do they satisfy their longing for new products and services but also because it provides the opportunity for them to revel in the status boost that comes from accessing, indulging in and sharing brand experiences that were often previously inconvenient or inaccessible….

5. REMOTELY GREAT

Why great brands will be rooting for the hard to reach in 2014.

It goes without saying that the continent, from Lagos to Luanda, is rapidly urbanizing (according to the United Nations Population Division, sub-Saharan Africa’s 3.6% annual urban growth rate is almost double that of the global average). Despite this, at 63% – the region’s population remains predominantly rural (The World Bank, 2013).

As a result, 2014 will see exciting opportunities for global brands to experiment beyond the constraints of Africa’s often hectic and overcrowded cities, and launch inventive solutions for those in even the most remote and hard-to-reach rural African locations….

Trendwatching.com: Read the full report

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