March 21, 2018

Our challenges during Market Research in Africa


Imagine launching a new product across borders. Or even creating a package that impacts behaviour or an impactful product shop experience. Gaining sufficient and correct information across the borders is not an easy job. Luckily global fieldwork has been called into life, which is about facing local difficulties and identifying cross cultural differences that will hamper traditional fieldwork. International fieldwork experiences and expertise can make a difference to gain the correct information and insights you are looking for.

How to create impact in the African market?

To provide our clients – usually big companies entering and developing emerging markets – with useful information, we set up a global collaboration. Since we saw a growing need in adapting fieldwork to local needs and standards, our team of project managers closely worked together with a network of local partners. Over the past years, we focused on the quality and supervision of African fieldwork. This from understanding local eating habits and way of serving, to interpretation of questionnaires, and even engaging and incentivising respondents.

Over the years, Haystack managed to understand the African habits and needs. As a specialist in the African market, we became a reliable partner for fieldwork, research and consultancy in the entire continent. Our knowledge allows brands to adapt their products, packages and experiences to the local needs, so they can have an impact on their behaviour. Some golden rules:

  • When you want to serve a test product, always make sure that respondents see how you prepare it before serving. If they do not know the origin, they’ll probably refuse to taste it.
  • Refrigerated storage options are limited, which affects the products they consume and the way they consume it.
  • Adapt questionnaires to local standards and make it easy to understand.
  • Packaging is sometimes overestimated in Africa. Products are often purchased individually.
  • The impact of urban legends is very high.
  • Having the possibility to buy brands is a status symbol. Africans tend to identify themselves via brands and famous people. Football players or singers are heroes, so having them as an ambassador for your brand is a plus

Travelling around the African continent, our Haystack project managers and researchers are the best barometers in a fast growing and changing market, always cultivating better insights and providing us food for thought.

Also planning to launch a new product or doing a research across the border? Make sure to contact Haystack to adapt your research to local needs.