Building a brand requires a logo, clear messages and a marketing strategy all built on understanding your target consumers. Yet as competition is heating up from neighboring African countries, these marketing basics are rare in Rwanda. Enter BAM (Bpeace Action Marketing) a pop-up team of skilled marketers (many of whom are alumni of multinational ad agency McCann-Erickson) who over the next two weeks will create brand identities, marketing plans, brochures and signage.
I’m leading this, her 4th mission to Rwanda. One of the first items of business for Athena Katsaros, Marie Greener and Toni Maloney will be presenting seven Bpeace Fast Runners with new logos. They are landing with a portfolio of 51 customized options created by 8 graphic designers. Sabra Richardson will bring depth and value from her knowledge of the Fast Runners and her business consulting background. Cass Greener will be taking photos essential to the marketing materials we will be creating. Susan Ilyin has marketing research experience and lived in Rwanda for several months last year. Our Rwanda Program Manager Richard Niwenshuti will be trying out his new marketing sea legs after a couple of marketing intensives in New York.
This morning, Athena and Marie presented five potential logos to Francoise for her new catering business. When they were laid out on the table you should have seen her eyes light up as she clasped her hands together in surprise and happiness. That’s what this is all about, isn’t it? Making business dreams real. By the way, her restaurant and catering business is named Amahoro. Amahoro means peace.
News flash: Here’s my story
How to describe your business and brand in a headline was our objective for today. And how to use a headline in marketing and to deepen employee understanding was a good discussion. But as we kicked off the Key Message Workshop with examples from ads we’ve seen in Kigali we saw the light bulbs beginning to flicker over the heads of the Fast Runners. Maybe there is something to this marketing thing after all. By the end of the morning, after each woman had developed her own message that she loved — the lights were shining bright. It was an unmistakable Aha! moment.
Among our favorites :
- “We make beautiful queens” . . . .Harriette’s salon
- “Plants add life and style to your home and business” . . . .Soline’s landscaping and nursery
- “Your happiness is our only joy”. . .Sylvie’s amusement park
- “Fresh milk is always on our uruhimbi” . . .Console’s dairy bar.
p.s. Don’t know what a uruhimbi is? It’s the traditional place in Rwandan homes where every child knows they will find milk.
–Kate Buggeln for the Bpeace Team, January 2008
Piqued your interest? Read the entire January 2008 Rwandan Mission blog here.