There are some who believe that African societies were egalitarian in nature and that the class society crept in with influence from the colonisers. There is evidence of equality across the board from the folklore that’s been handed down to me from my father and grandfather, but as it stands what remains in our history books was penned by the conquerers and thus what we see in modern life is quite the opposite.
We base our market segmentation on a class society and the common distinctions rest on income and profession, separating target audiences in line with their status in society. The Y&R 4Cs aims to use key motivations to understand peoples choices and their way of life in order to appeal to their hearts and minds. The broadest of the seven market segments within the 4Cs in any country is The Mainstream, which the worlds largest brands have successfully served for years.
A perfect example of this was Safaricom’s initial market strategy that focused on Mainstreamers with their per-second billing offer that emphasised economy and frugality. KenCell was their key competitor at the time and they sold us per-minute billing as they had their eye on Succeeders who didn’t care if they spent a shilling or two for unused seconds, and Aspirers who pretended not to.
Its a no brainer that if you target the top end you’ll be lucky to get 10 percent market share and that the pot of gold will go the brand that attends to the middle and lower income groups. By the time KenCell figured out what was going on, Safaricom had run away with the prize and created the ‘club effect’ that Mainstreamers helplessly fall for. Mainstreamers espouse a strength-in-numbers way of life and believe that a brand is good for them if the majority chose it. They loath risk and hate to stand out from the crowd but prefer be part and parcel of it and their choices in life reflect this.
When creating messages for Mainstreamers, forget about the bespoke and offer a menu of items to chose from. In fact, go a little further and include a section with a selection of the most used products because this will give them goosebumps, and most of them will go directly to it to make a decision. Amazon’s book recommendations based on what you’ve bought is firmly fixed on Mainstreamers and motivates them to make an additional purchase (other people who bought this book also bought…).
While Succeeders will often chose a meal that is not in the restaurant’s menu, The Mainstream will stay squarely in the box and go a little deeper by looking at the plates on the neighbouring tables to judge what’s popular and what’s not.
Ariel detergent managed to topple Omo from the top as the leading washing powder by focusing on Mainstreamers and their primary influencers. Their ads regularly showed multitudes of housemaids, the purchase influencers, totally enthralled by a demonstration of Ariels superior performance, and they were then filled with the kind of excitement that you can only find at a late night prayer meeting. That was enough to convince The Mainstream, who are very reluctant to switch from trusted brands, that Ariel was the choice of the masses and therefore the brand for them.