C&B Notes

Brand Consciousness in Africa

Africa is an emerging market for status brands.  Because per capita income is still low, marketers have to focus on high income earners while also keeping some products (and their price points) accessible for those with more average income.  Diageo is busy making its push with Johnnie Walker:

“As Africans grow richer, they drink more Scotch.  They bought $147m of it in the first six months of this year, an increase of 34% over last year, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.  Johnnie Walker is doing even better: sales doubled in east Africa in 2010, to 790,000 litres.  The firm predicts an even sharper rise this year, not only in east Africa but also in west and southern Africa, too.”

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“The head of Diageo for Africa, Nick Blazquez, says that Johnnie Walker is a useful signifier of success.  In other words, he hopes Africans will drink it to show off.  He may be on to something.  Scotch sales tend to be high in hierarchical societies.  In Africa, with its patronage culture, whiskies with distinctive labels should do well.

Johnnie Walker’s labels make it abundantly clear how much a customer has spent.  Red Label is the cheapest. Black is pricier, followed by Green, Gold and Blue.  Beyond Blue is King George V, which sells for more than $500 a bottle.  Criminals in South Africa buy it to prove they are successful criminals.  The ruling class in Angola is another promising market.”

>> Click here for the full story from The Economist