More often than not, entrepreneurs struggle with branding their products which affects their entry into markets. A customer is highly likely to pick a well branded product from the shelf as opposed to one that is poorly presented. These are some of the challenges that they face considering that at times they have access to limited financing as they try to sell their products to the target markets.
Last week, a group of 30 entrepreneurs underwent a sales, marketing and branding training by Africa Instore Solutions (AIS) Ltd. The entrepreneurs and start- ups were introduced to route to market strategies and their relevance to the SME sector. In addition, they were taught on how they can leverage on free online branding tools that they can use for their various marketing activities.
The facilitators Jennifer Githinji from AIS and Betty Gichuki from Create a Tee brought their wealth of experience and shared their private sector best practices with the entrepreneurs. Their energy, enthusiasm and passion for SMEs was admirable as they interacted with the different businesses at the training.
“Assisting startups to broaden their horizon and grow with minimal expenditure is every entrepreneur’s dream because after sourcing for capital, the bulk of the headache is branding and marketing,” noted Jeniffer.
Betty’s session on creating visuals using simple digital tools that are readily available online was received with much enthusiasm. The differences between a shopper and a consumer were well articulated by Jennifer who took the entrepreneurs through the various steps of the route to market strategy and their importance.
The entrepreneurs were elated to have been equipped with skills that would be instrumental in shaping their brand identity and product. Some who did not have social media accounts were guided on the steps of opening and maintaining the accounts.
The design tools introduced were a big win with most of the strat ups noting that the skills imparted on them were helpful.
“These are skills I only imagined were designated for professional designers. It is great to learn that I can produce publicity materials at the comfort of my chair,” noted Brenda Jane from Ukulima Tech Limited.
Caleb Wasilwa from Home Biogas Kenya alluded to the training as an insightful experience which had increased his knowledge on branding and marketing.
“It is exciting to know that you can actually create your own poster in such a short time without having to break the bank with a designer,” said Gathoni Mwai.
The highlight of the day was the branding contest where the participants worked in groups to develop a poster using the tools they had learnt. They were tasked to post their creative work on twitter for voting. The winning team was awarded with cash vouchers.
By Mercy Mumo