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Consumer behaviour and sentiment in modern Nigeria


May 26, 2022 By Adekemi Alegbeleye, Media Director, dentsu X Nigeria

Why ‘What’s in it for me?’ is key to breakthrough in a modern Nigeria

While Nigeria is one of the most exciting and dynamic countries for brands not just to enter, but to thrive, is not yet a mature advertising market due in part to the fact that there is no multiplicity of data sets available to advertisers.

Access to useful data can be expensive, but when accompanied by a smart strategy, built on the motivation of Nigerian consumers, brands can hold an edge that delivers results.

Strategy and planning data

Data presently available helps us to understand the Nigerian landscape, competitive activities, the target audience and how they relate to media and brands.

However, this data is not readily accessible in Nigeria and is not available in real time. It tends to skew to urban areas due to the security and socio-religious situation in the country. Therefore, the data has an error margin of 10-15% and the sample size is not necessarily representative. This sees media agencies in Nigeria use either industry or proprietary data sets or both. Strategy and Planning data is used across TV, Radio, OOH and Digital. 

The WIIFM approach to reach consumers

Yet even accompanied by this data, brands must understand that the biggest motivator for the Nigerian consumer is incentives.

Nigerian consumers expect to understand a sense of entitlement of What’s in it for me “WIIFM” and will rarely engage with a brand except there is some sort of reward scheme, incentive, promotions, or discount tied to the brand and product activation. While the reason for this transactional nature may be rooted in the very DNA of Nigerians, it still is used by the most successful brands in the country to attract and maintain consumers.

Brands looking to target audiences in Nigeria and across MENA should invest in meaningful causes which are important to Nigerian consumers as this is key to building relevance. Nigerians are driven by true ethical relevance and transparency across these causes is key.

Brands who invest in product improvement through R&D will gain broader consumer access and appeal as the Nigerian consumers will have a sense of them contributing to the improvement of their well-being. Those brands who forge partnerships and invest in educational customer experiences will become ‘Titan’ brands and be top of mind for the Nigerian consumer.

 Brands must consider these key consumer behaviours and use them to build and guide marketing objectives, targeting available media platforms relevant to consumers, media consumption patterns, regulator limitations and advertising policies. Brands wishing to thrive in a modern Nigeria must aim for the perfect combination of incentivisation, saliency, physical availability, and competitive pricing in the marketplace to achieve holistic success not just in Nigeria but set themselves up for further success across the African continent.


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