July 16, 2024

Township youths at the helm of pioneering an authentic African emerging markets consultancy

2 min read

Sixteen years and counting, Matte BLK has evolved from its genesis in 2007 as an outdoor advertising agency to a leading emerging markets consultancy, specialising in connecting brands with the underserviced African township and rural population segments. 

Matte BLK’s success stems from its unique composition and deep understanding of the mass- and middle markets it serves. 

“We are a young team of rural and township youths, urban nomads whose lived experiences provide invaluable insights into the distinctive needs, aspirations and cultural dynamics of the emerging consumer – which helps us connect and engage authentically with them,” says Buyi Mafoko, co-founder and managing director of Matte BLK. 

By leveraging its first-hand knowledge and cultural insights, Matte BLK has positioned itself as the go-to consultancy for brands looking to engage with these vibrant and dynamic consumer segments in the rural and township markets.

“We are immersed in our clients’ industries; leading with both consumer and client education has become a key component of the work we do,” says Matte BLK strategist, Karabo Mamabolo.

Beyond its business objectives, Matte BLK is committed to making a positive impact on the creative economy in Africa and contributing to the long-term sustainability of the continent by solving the complexities of decoding clients’ brands to the township and rural consumer and using purposeful social marketing practices to draw this connection.  

“As a purpose-driven and socially conscious emerging markets consultancy, our priority is to ensure consumers are treated with the utmost dignity and respect, valuing their individuality rather than reducing them to mere target groups – a pitfall that some local and international brands have unfortunately fallen into. Achieving this, however, requires an understanding of the diverse backgrounds, local language use and regionalised communication practices – which assists with inclusivity and commitment to genuine connection,” says Carys Visser, Matte BLK’s head of People.

Matte BLK’s comprehensive suite of services includes expertise in B2C and B2B end-to-end project management, strategy development, creative ideation, print production and experiential marketing. With a keen focus on executional excellence, the consultancy works across diverse sectors including financial services, automobile, FMCG, social services and telecommunications. 

“Looking to 2030, our vision remains to be steadfast in our mission to empower African people at the bottom of the pyramid by facilitating meaningful connections and mutually beneficial outcomes, and forging partnerships that drive social change and economic development,” concludes Mafoko.

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