Share of Stomach

Sharing Formula….With Padding

When Econet wireless Nigeria (now Airtel) and other GSM companies in Nigeria were launched at the beginning of the last decade, Coca Cola Nigeria witnessed a drop in sales. This was dry season, their time for peak sales. It was unusual.

They quickly realized that airtime recharge cards were cannibalizing Coca Cola by eating into the same pocket the consumer takes money from to buy Coke. Airtime was taking more “share of wallet” — SOW.

The definition of SOW from Investopedia is below

What does ‘Share Of Wallet — SOW’ mean

Share of wallet (SOW) is a marketing term referring to the amount of the customer’s total spending that a business captures in the products and services that it offers. Increasing the share of a customer’s wallet a company receives is often a cheaper way of boosting revenue than increasing market share.

Coca Cola Nigeria decided to fight back for that share in one of the most brilliant guerilla moves in Nigerian business history. They co-branded by advertising CocaCola on Econet airtime recharge cards. They also did a promotion where you got a bottle of free coke after buying a number of branded cards. The redemption was done at…….Econet shops with Coca Cola branded fridges in there.

Coca cola was not just able to claw back share of pocket with this move, they gained “share of mind”

Definition of “share of mind” according to Small Business Chronicles:

Share of mind marketing is aimed at establishing a brand firmly in place as the first brand people in a market think of when they need what the brand offers. This type of marketing requires connecting to your customers emotionally in order to compel them to champion the brand and be loyal buyers.

……But What Have All These Got To Do With Jollof?

…wait, I am coming. You people are too impatient like Nigerians! Wait! Maybe we are all Nigerians when it comes to Jollof?

My friend Abiola Oke the CEO of Okay Africa and fellow “Jollof Lover” couldn’t have stated it better. Jollof is EVERYTHING when it comes to enjoyment and nutrition in Nigeria and……other minor parts of the World :)

…Now To Other Things — “Share of Stomach”

I had this conversation below this morning:

Truth is, every startup in Africa is actually competing for “Share of Stomach”

A majority of Africans are at the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid of needs (I will explain that, I am coming) and our needs are largely physiological. What you have to offer that will scale will have to meet some basic physiological need and no physiological need trumps the need for good jollof.

See this and if you are not hungry now, you are not African:

Even my Big Bros Andrew Alli concurs with my observation on the great opportunity when it comes to physiological needs.

I however have another theory which I will explore in detail in another post about “Aspirational Needs”,

Jollof is not just food. It is enjoyment, it is hope. The hope and longing for jollof at parties is what we should strive to create in products that intend to scale and reach the mass market.

See how my friend Kayode Muyibi longs for it?

Tolu Ogunlesi is an “Obote Man”. He prefers Ofada. That is Jollof Rice’s deviant cousin.

Oh! I almost forgot that Maslow thing…..

Maslow’s hierachy of needs

You can go do your research about it. I have Jollof to go and eat. I am not Google.

In summary, when building an African startup, do the “Jollof Rice Test”, see if people will long for it and are prepared to dress up in their Sunday best to go wait to be served. See if people will celebrate it and fight wars online over it.

I am currently going to do further research on this topic. See you all later at @jollofrepublic.

I eat Nigerian Jollof and I write things. That is what I do. Chief Fanatic @ Manchester United FC.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store