Mawazo – Branding In Zimbabwe
Covid 19 has been a devastating plague, taking a toll on the world, and skilfully teaching us to survive in dire situations. In the past year we have seen people come up with brilliant ideas on how to keep businesses floating in this new world order. Now, how have brands in Zimbabwe survived? How are they doing it? What can we learn from them?
In simple terms, branding can be defined as “the process of communicating a unique selling proposition that is differential and sets a product or service apart from the competition.” Highly unbelievable, there are Zimbabweans actually making it in the entrepreneurial sector. To be more direct, Zimbos call it “hustling”. One of the common things Zimbos share is humour and music. You have to know what is going on around you and be “social” when marketing and advertising your products. After all, it’s called “social media” for a reason. So pay attention.
When you visit Mbare, you will come across A LOT of vendors, most could be selling the same product and one might ask themselves if there is anyone left in the houses? Lol, but the real question to be asking is: If these people are coming back to sell their services the next day, business must be moving, therefore, how are they marketing their products? The answer is simple, communicate better. This applies to corporate sectors as well, formal or informal. Take a read on the next list of words and tell us you did not see these on the adverts of banks, Econet, ZBC, Old Mutual, Chronicle and from other platforms: Hauite hauite!; Chakachaya!; Unotoshaya kuti zvirikumbofamba sei; Zikhiphani; Umjolo; 8ta; Twabam! Sounds familiar? Great! Now we have your attention.
Branding in Zimbabwe is quite interesting. You build a brand when you create a window to showcase the goal behind your idea and the person or team behind the wheel. When we talk about Zimbabwean personal brands, we include the late Andy Brown, George Billionaire, Taps , Mellow Creme, Tatenda BEAST Mutawarira, Kirsty Coventry, Danai Gurira, Kim Jayde, Pokello, Madam Boss, Comic Pastor, to name but a few. These individuals trail blaze on social platforms and what you see on their walls are pictures, music or adverts but they are actually pushing forth their brands. Most small companies in Zimbabwe Africa and Africa have started using personal brands in pioneering their form of advertisements. Hustles!
The corporate sector also values branding and there exist a competition between older brands and new brands as we see older brands trying to adjust to the new ways of enhancing visibility through social media and digital selling. To name some, we have our Econet & Netone leading in telecommunications. FBC, CBZ, NMB & Econet with its Ecocash are taking part in Banking and Finance. There is Holiday Inn, Pamushana Singita Botique Hotel, Rainbow Towers, AVIS & Impala Car Rental in Tourism and Hospitality. BAK Logistics leads in transport and logistics and Propak Hessian in supplying tobacco packaging material. At the same time, digital marketing companies and social media agencies in Zimbabwe such as Mawazo Brandevelopment are providing service and helping the old and the new stay relevant through the use of modern branding and communication channels.
So far, we managed to take you on a little trip on how you can strive in Zimbabwe when doing business. Most people and companies have joined into the modern way of communicating their products and services. Everyone (well, almost), loves the internet in Zimbabwe. You will find many complaints about the rise of prices of data bundles either than complaints on bread price. That tells you people are constantly online checking what services are on the market and how they can get them. Digital marketing, websites and graphic designing enable your brand to shine online and if those who are online know, those on the streets will also talk about you.