How do I create new opportunities to drive growth?


The East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) in Nestlé has 23 countries and a population of about 470 million. This is comparable to the Central and West Africa Region (CWAR) in terms of population but is significantly smaller in terms of sales.

The Marketing Clinic were asked by Nestlé to identify a new opportunity for which they could develop a new product or range of products specifically for the East and Southern Africa Region that would drive more significant interest in Nestlé across these 23 markets and thus drive significant growth in the region as a whole.

In order to succeed quickly the product needed to:

·      Match an existing need,

·      Not have any immediate competitors.

·      To appear new and exciting whilst also slotting immediately into consumers lives across all 23 different markets.

Identifying the best product to drive growth is not just about identifying a product that consumers “like.”

In order for it to succeed the product must answer a real need in the consumers’ lives. This need may be currently unrecognised, or it may be satisfied by something else. In either case we were asking consumers to change their behaviour.

Behaviour changes are very rarely rational – if the current behaviour has worked so far there is no rational reason to change it. Such behaviour changes tend to be emotionally driven – “it feels more modern”, “everyone else is using these now”, “it will improve our lives”… And this emotional driver must be strong enough to overcome the natural and cultural conservatism that will resist such a change.

Just because a consumer “likes” a concept or a product it does not mean that they will change their established behaviour and buy it on a regular basis.

In order to understand and identify the potential products for this project we needed to:

·      Understand the emotional drivers of our consumers.

·      How current products and behaviours met their needs.

·      The potential gaps and how our products could be seen to fit into these spaces.

By examining consumers’ emotional and rational needs across the region we identified a new opportunity with a very focused product range that had immense emotional appeal to consumers across the region. A range that immediately resonated with consumers yet had very limited competition. Consumers were able to immediately identify how the brand fitted into and improved their lives and those of their families.

While the range was strongly endorsed by the Nestlé brand, it also promoted and strengthened the Nestlé brand in all of these markets.

We were also able to recommend to the team a global positioning and emotive communications for the new brand and how they needed to adapt this to maximize success in each individual market.


Chris Lukehurst is a Consumer Psychologist and a Director at The Marketing Clinic:

Providing Clarity on the Psychological relationships between consumers and brands