Understanding the African consumer – A Review of Feyi Olubodun’s The Villager: How Africans Consume Brands

Africa has a lot of business opportunities. However, breaking into the African market is a herculean task. The challenges to doing business in Africa are not new but why do brands—global and local—so often fail to connect with the African consumer? This question and many more prompted former data analyst and market researcher Feyi Olubodun to write the book The Villager.

This detailed, eye-opening book provides an insightful overview for marketers who are interested in learning and understanding the psychology of Africans. As explained in the subtitle, “How Africans Consume Brands”, the book is heavily focused on the African consumer and aimed at inspiring investors to make the best decisions about conquering new markets in Africa.
The author is introduced in the book as the CEO of a leading advertising agency in Nigeria, alumnus of Duke University Fuqua School of Business Global Executive MBA programme, graduate of psychology, an acute observer of human behaviour, brands, businesses, and African institutions. This combination of various skills likely helped the author to produce a body of work that is readable and useful at the same time.

Straightforward prose, organised chapters and real-life examples converge in a work that should prove useful to brand enthusiasts, marketers and investors.The book’s 146 pages is exactly what it claims to be: to share with you some lenses that you must use if you want to win in Africa. More specifically, it provides a general framework for understanding the African consumer.
Olubodun goes into detail defining what makes the villager African and speaks on innovation in an African context, cultural leadership, strategy and its implementation across several platforms and business schools in the book’s twelve chapters.
While it is difficult to understand the beautiful work of art on the book cover, Olubodun writes predominantly from a marketing point of view sharing his profound knowledge which he acquired over several years of experience on behavioural patterns of Africans and how it can profitably affect a global brand or a local one. Black-and-white images, numerous charts and illustrations, break up its text well and energise its discussions.

The first chapter would be very useful for investors looking to invest in Africa, the next chapter talks about the issues of global brands. The other chapters of the book are devoted to examining the critical lenses that an investor or marketer needs to see the consumers as they truly are, also providing hands-on advice and information on how it will result in better-targeted campaigns delivering customers a brand experience they want and need. Olubodun is succinct and to the point in the final chapter on how Africans consume brands.
The Villager will teach you the reasons behind the behavioural patterns of Africans and you will discover a unique insight into global audiences and not just the African ones.

All in all, The Villager is an information-rich book for any investor, brand owner, marketer, who wishes to engage, explore, or sell anything in the fastest growing and most profitable region in the world today.
More specifically, it provides a framework for viewing the policies, methodologies, data collection, and technical infrastructure used to support risk management. Investment, hedging, and management strategies are discussed.
More specifically, it provides a framework for viewing the policies, methodologies, data collection, and technical infrastructure used to support risk management. Investment, hedging, and management strategies are discussed.

Book Title: The Villager: How Africans Consume Brands

Author: Feyi Olubodun

Published by: Cognix by Ouida Books

Year of Publication: 2018

Number of Pages: 146Category: Business

About the reviewer

Titilade Oyemade is a business execute in a leading organisation and holds a degree in Russian Language. She’s the convener of the Hangoutwithtee Ladies Event and the publisher of Hangoutwithtee magazine. She spends her weekends attending women conferences, events and book readings. She loves to have fun and to help other women have the same in their lives. Email: [email protected] Social: @tiipree

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