One of our first tasks after securing our seed investment was to develop a consumer brand. We had never intended for NewLight Africa to be that brand.
So we undertook a small agency pitch over the Summer, inviting three creative agencies from Nairobi to present their ideas. I ran a direct marketing agency in London for many years so I’m used to being the guy that does the pitching and looked forward, for once, to being on the receiving end… particularly because Nairobi has a great reputation as a hub of creativity.
Our brief to the agencies, in the end, was to help us develop:
- A name that is youthful, positive and happy… and would work over multiple countries where different languages are spoken
- A strapline that would speak to the fact that our customers often live very challenging lives; but expressing optimism for their future.
- A logo that would stand out in a colourful, busy African town.
Oh… and we wanted to steer away from names which were about solar lights or anything that was too descriptive of the products. We encouraged the agencies to consider names that were more unexpected, more Apple or Nike than Kentucky Fried Chicken!
Chris Harrison, brand supremo and brains behind The Brand Inside helped us select, brief and review the agencies. And the winning team was Brandvine, two wonderfully creative young Kenyan women who came up with several great ideas.
The branding that Brandvine developed is pictured above. Our trading name is Heya! (as in Hiya, Hello, How’s it going?)… and the strapline, ‘Great days are coming’ is both optimistic and yet subtly acknowledges that our customers may not have had great days in the past.
One of our core brand values at Heya! is a deep respect for our customers: for their ambitions, hopes, hard work and resilience. We are here to serve them, as any consumer anywhere in the world should expect, with a commitment to quality and a big smile on our face.
We’re really pleased with our branding and are getting a great reaction. We hope you like it too.