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Branding Botswana


The Botswana Gazette

28 Aug - 03 Sept 2013

HOW STRONG IS YOUR BRAND? In today’s tough economic climate, an organization’s brand image is as important as the services and goods it produces. Companies are experiencing reduced budgets and shrinking staff which may limit the marketing activities that may help strengthen their brand image. A strong brand image is a powerful and necessary ingredient for companies to survive and thrive in this economy.



lient services director of Design Surgery (a local agency specializing in branding and advertising that scooped eight awards in different categories at this year’s ACA Advertising and Communications Awards), Thabani Nyathi said a strong brand appeals, breathes, feels, relates and delivers its promise to its target market and prospective clients in turn developing an emotional and long lasting bondage between the client and the brand. “Firstly we have to understand the meaning of the word brand which emanates from differentiating one’s cattle from the next person through a unique symbol burnt onto the cow’s skin, with a hot branding iron. This greatly influenced the commercial landscape and businesses to adopt this dimension to position their products. The modern day branding covers a wider scope that entails advertising and all other communication platform,” he added. Businesses need to work hard to build or make their brands strong so that they represent what the business aspires to be. So what makes a brand strong? A brand is seen to be strong when it has characteristics such as;

1. A loyal and growing customer base: A brand’s customer base can help businesses detect the current health and future prospects of the brand. If the customer base is growing at an excellent pace it means the brand is strengthening and vice versa. However, if a brand is enjoying a large customer base that is stagnant, it could also mean that the brand’s appeal is weakening 2. Its brand promise is convincing and legitimate: a recognized and trusted brand makes people confident that the business is dependable and can help them achieve their goals than its competitors. A brand should make a promise that it can keep because nowadays people are savvy and they know when something sounds too good to be true.

3. Being sustainable: A strong brand allows an organization to be competitive now and in the future with a lasting plan that drives the continuous improvement and innovation of the business. 4. Being different: a brand is seen to be strong when it gives the business a distinct advantage over its competitors. Successful brand marketers are passionate about working around the clock to build brands that can survive in this economic recession. So how do you build a strong brand? When a brand strategy is designed, businesses should know their unique selling proposition and brand values. If the unique features of your business and all aspects of the marketing mix lead to a competitive advantage then the businesses’ unique selling points are determined and these are major contributing factors that make businesses successful. Most brands focus on the most powerful proposition benefits to create a clear brand message. Moreover, a company’s unique selling points form the basis of a company’s brand values. Once these brand values are established it is important that the customers experience these values in every aspect of the business. Building an appreciated brand takes a lot of hard of work and commitment from employees and all the business stakeholders. Commenting on what businesses can do to have a strong brand that represents what the company aspires to be, Nyathi said strong brands distinguish a company’s products and services from turning into commodities. He continued to say that consumers buy brands because they believe branded items provide and position them separately (status, quality, taste etc). “One has to interrogate competitor brands, what makes them tick as well as their weaknesses and most importantly extensive market research of the target market; this will be followed by a visual brand concept that articulates

your mandate and positioning (Resources allowing you have to invest on creating a strong and aspirational brand from the onset),” he said. However, the benefits of having a strong brand are important because they give businesses a competitive edge. The advantages of a strong brand includes: 1. Value will be added to the business 2. Less persuasion for customers to use other products from the same brand 3. Lasting customer relations due to trust (increased market value) 4. Leads to the perception of quality 5. Ability to command a premium 6. More negotiation powers with suppliers 7. Your brand will help reduce marketing costs because the business is well known “Strong brands are valuable because people pay more for something they perceive has a higher value. Top brands are prestigious. They also increase a company’s market value and business opportunities; established strong brands face less competition from upstarts and weaker brands. Everyone wants to work with them,” Nyathi said. The objectives that a good brand will achieve are to motivate the buyer, promote user loyalty and connect target prospects emotionally. A strong brand is valuable as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. It’s important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After your entire brand is the source of a promise to your consumer. It’s a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without.


symbol, mark, word, sentence or a combination of these items that companies use to distinguish their product or company from others in the world. When a brand has created positive sentiment and following among its target market, the firm is said to have built brand equity. The impressionable nature of human beings causes them to associate every brand with a degree of quality and trust, and this can become a company’s greatest weapon. An unrelenting campaign to spread it’s prominence in the market can serve a brand well in dominating a market and in Botswana we do not have to look further than the supermarket that has been taking over the country, one neighborhood shopping complex at a time. Choppies started two decades ago in the quiet beef producing town of Lobatse with a small retail shop owned by Farouk Ismail and he has grown his brand with his business partner Ramachandran Ottappath from humble beginnings to the most recognized local brand in the country. A brand is much more than what is written on the logo. It is also about the heart behind the entrepreneur’s efforts and one has to look beyond the slogan “value for your money” to appreciate the business ethos coming from the Choppies brand. The ethos behind the brand is all about bringing goods closer to Batswana at an affordable price and to achieve this, action has been the communication of choice as Choppies has moved in, all over

Botswana, stretching out to Bobonong, Ghanzi, Moshupa, Jwaneng, Kanye, Letlhakane, Masunga, Ramotswa, Serowe, Selebi Phikwe, Francistown, Gaborone etc. In their endeavor to cater to the low to middle income their success has given them the confidence to venture across the border into South Africa with outlets in Bafokeng, Mafikeng, Zeerust and Swartruggens (to name a few). The Choppies brand has also managed to drum into the consumer the fact that they exist to bring goods closer to communities by using its wide spread chain of stores to provide services one would have had to travel long distances to benefit from in the past. Without getting carried away and analyzing the deeper, more implied ethos that the Choppies brand has imprinted in consumers, looking into their brand slogan “value for your money” shows a confidence the group has in its products and the competitive prices they place on them. Choppies is undoubtedly Botswana’s biggest brand at the moment and it seems to just keep gaining more momentum. Despite recent controversies surrounding the brand, Choppies is still going strong and it’s resilience is not only seen in its longevity and fast growth but also in its performance in the stock market. It is the hope of the nation that this paves the way for other home grown brands to surface and stake a claim among the great.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BRANDS *Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small or retail. *The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials-all of which should integrate your logo-communicate your brand.




A brand is more than just a logo and a snappy catchphrase. A successful brand is the one that is able to penetrate the market and create the perception that no other product is better than it, thus distinguishing itself from the rest as the alpha. KAGO KOMANE


ifferentiating your brand from other brands in the same industry is not just about how your products and services look in the market place; it is also about the emotional connection that a brand develops with its clients. It is this

connection that encourages customers to come back for more business and refer other people to use the said brand. Director of Client Services at Hotwire Public Relations Consultancy, Cliff Madamombe,

explained that it is imperative for a product to create a brand that customers would prefer to associate with over other brands, especially when they are selling the same product. To master the art of differentiation, he explained that first you have to focus on your product

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and identify what you want to bring to the table that would appeal to a loyal market. According to Madamombe, “You have to find something that makes your product different from other products. There is also what is called a brand audit; the whole idea is to find out what the brand really is. It provides a comprehensive overview of what the brand is really about according to customers’ perspective of the product because it interrogates the truth about a brand and reveals what consumers are really thinking about it.” Once you have discovered what the challenges are, he said; then a brand would be in a position to address them and distinguish itself from other brands as the brand audit helps in building a brand from the inside out, in order to be more appealing to the targeted market. Sharing on the importance of branding, Media Communications Consultancy; TBWA/Medcom Account Executive, Masego Chanongwa noted that, “If one accepts that the objectives of a good brand include delivering a marketing message clearly, that it confirms credibility, connects with the target market emotionally, motivates the buyer and cements the buyer’s loyalty, then one must accept that good and professional branding is essential in a 360 degree marketing mix.” She explained that because the battle for customers is intense and powerful, branding is not only invaluable, but very essential. She noted that, it’s important for a company to invest in researching, defining, and building their brand, which is usually done in conjunction with a professional marketing consultancy such as an advertising agency. Asked about how a brand can differentiate itself from other brands, she noted that, “There are several key elements of successful branding which elevates a good brand from the general market and, in particular, competitors. Important elements include a relevant logo design, a pertinent pay off line, the use of colours, paying attention to practical limitations; for example font sizes, reproducible colours, etc.” She explained that differentiating one brand from another also includes, carefully researching the competitive market to determine what is out there in the market and then, with the help of a professional marketing team, designing all the visual elements of the brand design. “This creates the promise of the brand which, of course, has to be backed up with a wide variety of disciplines such as maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction, constant attention to promoting the brand, quality of the product amongst others,” she said. One example of a brand that has successfully managed to differentiate itself from its competitors is youth radio station Yarona Fm. The Gaborone based broadcaster has set itself aside from the rest as the number one urban youth broadcaster and reportedly reaches a weekly audience of up to 100 000 nationally. When it started broadcasting back in 1999, the radio station could only cover audiences in Gaborone and surrounding areas. At the time, its major competitor was the state run RB2 which also had a similar mandate. The privately owned commercial radio station has through the years accomplished brand differentiation by targeting the then untapped the urban youth target audience. Their broadcast target audience is 16 to 24 years with a spill over of up to 35 years. To achieve their vision; which they say is to be the best station of choice for the urban youth and to be the station of choice for advertisers targeting the urban youth, since its inception the station has owned the space with its aggressive and “in your face programming” which is supported by creating programming that is trendy, relevant and most importantly current. Yarona FM programs and events such as the innovative Fat boy challenge, which challenges their audience to lose weight for charity and the Hotness in the cold event, which is also an initiative to encourage their audience to get involved in a charitable event, are just some of the examples that make the commercial radio station a brand that is in touch with its audience beyond just the airwaves.



The Vice President Dr. Ponatshego H.K. Kedikilwe inaugurating the library

BBS sponsored Letswai Primary School Library Opened The over P1.2million library facility built by Botswana Building Society for Letswai Primary School in Zutshwa (Kgalagadi North) [OYV\NO P[Z *VYWVYH[L 9LZWVUZPIPSP[` -\UK ^HZ VMĂ„JPHSS` VWLULK by His Honour the Vice President of the Republic of Botswana Dr. Ponatshego H.K. Kedikilwe on 19 August 2013. He stated that “we celebrate the opening of this facility which is critical to the advancement of scholarship and learning. This addition to Letswai Primary School by Botswana Building Society complements ongoing efforts by the Government of Botswana to develop our communities, in particular to strengthen the education systemâ€?. The new Letswai Primary School Library

;OL SPIYHY` Ă„[[LK ^P[O ZVSHY SPNO[PUN JVTW\[LYZ M\YUP[\YL  HUK books donated by local publishers such as Macmillan, Botsalano, Pentagon, Longman, Medi and designed at no cost by local HYJOP[LJ[\YHS Ă„YT (YJOP[LJ[Z 0U[LYUH[PVUHS 7[` 3[K V^ULK I` 4Y Mokwadi Nyame, is able to accommodate 50 pupils in one sitting with extra reading space outside.

BBS Managing Director handing over donations from BBS employees to the Principal Mrs. Phatsimo Keagile

The Chairman of the BBS Board of Directors Mr. Cross Kgosidiile thanked all those who were involved in the construction of the library saying that “a project of this nature and so far away from urban areas requires a great deal of concerted effort over time HUK[OLX\HSP[`VM`V\YJVSSHIVYH[PVUPZYLĂ…LJ[LKPU[OLZ\JJLZZM\S completion of the projectâ€?. Still at the event, the BBS Managing Director Mr. Pius Komane Molefe donated 139 pairs of shoes and socks, plates, pencils, erasers and sharpeners on behalf of BBS employees to the Letswai Primary School Principal Mrs. Phatsimo Keagile. BBS Board Chairman Mr. Cross Kgosidiile explaining why BBS donated the library

Assistant Minister of Local Government Hon. Botlogile Tshireletso delivering the vote of thanks

The event was also attended by the Assistant Minister of Local Government Hon. Botlogile Tshireletso, the Member of Parliament for Kgalagadi North Hon. Philip Khwae, the community of Zutshwa and surrounding areas, senior Central and Local Government VMĂ„JPHSZ )): )VHYK 4LTILYZ 4LZZYZ .LYHSK ;OPWL HUK :PTVU Hirschfeld, amongst others.

Letswai Primary School Pupils

Kgalagadi North MP Hon. Philip Khwae and other guests inside the library

Entertainment by Badirammogo traditional dance group




Nothing connects us like stories. They have innate way of engaging us, at once appealing to our emotions and our understanding as well as to our desire for shared meaning. From this, comes the ability for an audience to relate with you, as a storyteller, as an individual, and even as a brand. KABELO BINNS


s people, we learn through shared experiences and a narrative structure provides a gateway for that learning. It’s the same thing with brands. People don’t remember a brand’s ads. They remember characters and stories. So why don’t we start telling more stories?

Storytelling holds the keys to true persuasion and, at its very core, marketing is storytelling. When you can tell a great, relevant story, your points are emphasised and meaning can be discovered in the details. Great stories move listeners to action. Great brand stories move consumers to connect with a brand appealing to their wants, needs

and desires, while at the same time telling them about a product or service. It is for this very reason that some of the best advertising campaigns take us on an emotional journey, reeling us into the fabric of the brand’s own story. So why is storytelling so important for a brand beyond simply grabbing a consumer’s attention at the get-go? Quite simply, stories stick. I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast last week, but I can easily recall a great story that I’ve heard. The goal with corporate-brand storytelling is to transit the consumer from being aware of your brand, to trying it out, to becoming a loyal engager or user. You want people to use your brand to describe their life: A “Blackberry User,” a “Mac Guy,” a “Mercedes driver,” etc. Once the consumer adopts a product into his or her personal story, brand exposure increases greatly. Consumers can be incredibly loyal, and if they have taken the story of your brand to heart, they can forgive many transgressions. In this space, indeed this Mobile phone war, Apple has clearly done the best job in winning over the hearts and minds of users. iPhone enthusiasts continue to buy each new model, despite growing uncertainty about how much better they’re really getting with each new release. Truth be told, the phones don’t do all things well and are not without their problems; however, the sleek appearance, the user interface design, the application innovations and the philosophy of the company and its founders have created such a powerful story that people want to be a part of it. The emotional cachet has proven itself to be incomparable. That remains true, for now at least.

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Jeff Bezos, the founder of once said, “Your brand  is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It’s the reputation and story intrinsically linked to your brand. A brand’s story comes from the company’s own information, and if successful, it is accepted and integrated into the consumer’s story. You must understand how your brand emotionally resonates with consumers and then position your message in the right place to tell the right story at just the right time. Stories have the power to grab an audience’s attention and, beyond that, to hold it. When you have something to say, share a story to provide the context that better ensures the audience will remember your ideas and share them with others. Share your thoughts with us: #BinnsOnBrands, @kabelobinns, www., FB HotwirePRC




brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer – Seth Godin At its core, a brand is the promise made to a customer about what to expect from the company through its representation of what it offers. From the corporate brand (Blackberry), to the product brand (Blackberry Z10) and down to the personal brand (salesperson), branding is a critical component to a customer’s purchasing decision. “A brand instills confidence and creates loyalty. But most of all a great brand reduces a buyer’s perception of risk and makes the purchase choice easy.” explains Tiny Bakwena, Senior Account Executive at Horizon Ogilvy and Mather. “Branding is more than just about a logo. If you are going to have a really great logo and it dies out, then what was the point? It didn’t help create your brand story. Branding is about making the world understand your story and communicating brand promise. Branding is an ongoing process of monitoring perception as well as ensuring that the brand meets customer expectations as well as evolving or changing customer needs.” Developing a brand requires having a plan that consistently communicates what the company is, what it does, as well as its distinct image and personality. Research suggests that in order for a customer to have recognizable mental imprint that delivers a clear and compelling message about your brand, the following attributes should be associated with the company brand:

CONSISTENCY Powerful brands develop as people begin to believe the brand promise based on their experiences with that brand. Those experiences develop into perceptions and expectations. If the brand does not meet customer expectations the customer might go searching for one that will. Ensure your brand is always presented in a consistent manner and stays true to its promises.

PERSISTENCE Brands are not built overnight. To build a brand, you need to be patient and don’t give up. Continually put out messages and brand experiences that consistently communicate and support your brand promise. This is how you develop brand awareness, recall, purchase intent, loyalty and advocacy. Entertainment brands provide excellent examples for persistence in brand building.

RESTRAINT It can be tempting to extend your brand into new markets, product lines, and regions when the potential to make more money dangles in front of you like a carrot on a stick. However, everything

your business does must consistently communicate and represent your brand promise. Therefore, you must exercise restraint. There is a reason why Trump steaks were not a hit. They didn’t match the Trump brand promise and confused customers. If you don’t exercise restraint,


you could do more harm to your brand and business than good. Don’t give into temptation without thoroughly analyzing opportunities to ensure they are an appropriate fit for your brand.



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Branding botswana  
Branding botswana