African brand guru explores business in Africa
There’s a scramble to economically colonise the continent with very little understanding on how to do it.
He addressed a public lecture, entitled Doing Business with Africa, at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Monday, 6 October.
Amongst the relevant trends starting to pick up in Africa, driven by social behavioural influences, differentiation and unique positioning are becoming significant. Brands are forced to build emotional relationships through perceptual position; based on fiction and not facts.
According to Mr Bohan, some big global brands are ‘bombing out badly’ in many lucrative markets because they have an outdated perception of how to communicate with Africans living in Africa. “You have to get out and deal with information on a qualitative level, because you’re never going to find big data that makes sense,” Bohan explained.
He strongly believes that company executives should immerse themselves in the different cultural settings to get an authentic understanding of their prospective business society.
The personalisation and customisation of business should not be taken for granted. “Analysing and understanding information is key when understanding how the markets work,” added Bohan.
Bohan an expert in brand science and building, is currently the CEO at VWV across Africa and the Middle East. He has lived and worked in various parts of the continent including Africa’s major markets such as Kenya, Nigeria, Angola and Ghana.