Growing a brand in Africa? How easy?

By Elaine Ball, CEO of EBTM

Growing a brand in Africa? How easy?

Building up a brand within a foreign country can be extremely difficult for any business from a different country. Building a brand generally is hard work. Below are 6 tops tips to share when building your brand in Africa:

1. Find a medium that works!

Statistics in Africa - Social Media, Facebook

Statistics in Africa – Social Media, Facebook

How? I can hear you say! Try and test! For example; This cool .com measures Internet usage trends. They track the browsers that are being used the most and go on page views not ‘unique’ visits. So, for Africa; almost 95% of people on the internet are using Facebook as their main social media medium.


“But I’m an engineering company selling into Mining, how do I benefit?”

Yes, I hear you but try, be consistent and see what happens.  There is no right or wrong answer here.  Your audience in Africa are accessing Facebook and this is a way to share your content that is inspiring?  Remember, everyone has a Social Media face, just find out which one!

Social Media is not instant, you have to grow your following and BE CONSISTENT!  So, to grow your brand in Africa, be consistent!

Finding the right medium will have a bigger effect and remember to measure!

2. What are the competition doing?

Who is using Facebook in Africa

Who is using Facebook in Africa

Have a sniff around and find out what your nearest and dearest are doing! Again, do your research. Like it or not, we all leak information about the market, so keep an eye on what your competition are doing.  See how they are growing their brand in Africa! And don’t forget the ‘substitute products!’


3. Blanket test

Hire an agency within Africa and do some research; getting involved at a local level is massively beneficial. The culture is so different compared to say US or France, go there and do a blanket test.

Visiting key exhibitions and talking to companies is also beneficial. I have just returned from Mining Indaba in Cape Town, a brilliant Mining exhibition and conference.

4. Network

Yes, its that simple! A great way to research Africa and network is through LinkedIn.  Find groups on LinkedIn who work in Africa, interact with them and find out what works? LinkedIn have some amazing groups for Africa.

Check out:

  • African Business Community
  • Africa Business Panel
  • Mining in Africa

Joining groups can be hugely rewarding.

NOTE: Don’t overwhelm yourself, join one or two key groups and remember; be consistent!

5. Know your benefits

Show off your product benefits through pictures

Show off your product benefits through pictures

Yes, know your benefits. I work with many companies who don’t actually know what the benefits are to the end user. Ask yourself these questions: • Why do I need it? • What will it do for me? Put yourself in your client’s shoes.

Check out this great Infographic on ‘unplanned downtime’ – how simple to show off your benefits through pictures!  Pictures tell 1000 words!

6. What’s your roadmap?

Don’t go blind into a new venture without giving you some key goals and working back; how do I get to x!


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