Barclays used to offer fast credit to consumers, OMO claims to remove stains faster, Western Union asserts to be the fastest money transfer provider, MTN promises more speed in the adverts for its online access and payment solutions. “Fast” has become a recurrent sales argument for many brands in Africa as they are trying to attract légions of consumers moving en masse to cities, modern lifestyle, and the middle-class. The conventional wisdom is that these consumers now aspire to live a productive, time-efficient, hassle-free life.
A sector has now just entered the “fast” trend: food and drinks. And various Indian brands are taking the lead, advertising and offering packaged, easy-to-cook, ready-in-5minutes meals from breakfast, lunch to dinner, dessert. But perhaps realizing that shifts in consumer tastes represent a huge challenge, the Indians’ other ad slogan is “Try It”. So here I am in Kinshasa DRC ready to try a full set of instant Indian meals.
“Clean” is another word used by Made-in-India in their aggressive courtship of modern consumers. Sales representatives go door-to-door to demonstrate how to easily make clean water at home or at the office. Result: I find myself installing and trying a water purifier that the Indian giant, Tata Group, has just released in the DRC market (see the picture on my LinkedIn)
How big is the scale of unmet consumer needs and untapped opportunities behind simple words: easy, clean, clear, safe, solid?