Brand Botswana has recently been embarking in a campaign that encourages local companies to have the Pride Mark logo on their branding. BusinessMonitor Staff Writer Pauline Dikuelo engaged Executive Director Brand Management about the initiative
BusinessMonitor: What is the Pride Mark logo?
Kutlo Moagi: The Pride Mark is a national symbol that signifies a commitment by an individual or group in Botswana to instil pride in the community. It links to the overall essence of ‘Pride and Progress’ that Botswana espouses. The Pride Mark is also a national marketing brand for the country and is used for Botswana promotional initiatives globally.
BusinessMonitor: What are the benefits of having the Pride Mark logo in a business’ branding?
Kutlo Moagi: The Pride Mark is a country of origin signifier. It therefore is an identifier for local goods and services. It differentiates and establishes identity of locally manufactured goods/products and services. As a national product identifier, using the Pride Mark helps businesses to garner increased customer loyalty from Batswana who strive to support and grow local. Using the Pride Mark also establishes and enhances corporate brand image and will in turn lead to greater visibility and awareness of local companies and their products/services.
BusinessMonitor: Since inception, would you say Brand Botswana has realised its aims?Kutlo Moagi: Brand Botswana’s main objective is to drive national pride and increase the awareness of the country globally. These objectives are broad and multi-layered with lots of various areas to look at. To ensure a cohesive and coordinated approach, Brand Botswana focuses on the six areas of governance, tourism, export, investment, people and culture and heritage.
This is broad but the Pride Mark has gone a long way in driving national pride. Many local companies use the Pride Mark and many local products bear the Pride Mark to show they are proudly Botswana products.
The #PushaBW campaign is a significant milestone in these efforts. Launched in December 2018, the campaign has provided Brand Botswana with a platform to create awareness of local products and services and to encourage the uptake of local offerings in Botswana in order to grow our local economy and encourage employment creation.
Since the start of the campaign, Brand Botswana has seen a steady increase in awareness and support of local products. #PushaBW became a rallying call for all when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and its negative impact on the economy and people’s livelihoods were starting to be realised. It now serves as a strong reminder that the support of local is one of the key ways to revive and drive economic growth. With increased awareness of local products, there will be increased uptake of local products, and increased production, resulting in more job opportunites and wealth creation for locals.
BusinessMonitor: What are
Kutlo Moagi: In relation to use of Pride Mark and support for Pride Mark users, Brand Botswana has and continues to support local producers in many different ways. This includes: Profiling of the companies/products across different platforms to create awareness of the locally made products and services. In collaboration with other Units, Brand Botswana also assists and facilitates market access opportunities locally and internationally.
To create exposure for local products/goods, Brand Botswana periodically facilitates Pride Mark using entities to participate in local and international Expos and Fairs. This has resulted in some companies making contacts and exploring new markets. The recently re-launched Buy Botswana campaign - #PushaBW, has caught fire and this has also assisted local producers to grab a share of the local market, as now Batswana embrace their won locally made products/goods.
Brand Botswana hosts periodic capacitation sessions for local manufacturers/producers to capacitate them on issues of Branding, packaging and quality standards. These aspects are important if we are to have increased uptake and sales of local products and services.
BusinessMonitor: What other plans does Brand Botswana have to reach the international market?
Kutlo Moagi: Brand Botswana continues to promote Botswana in different ways on different platforms globally. Over the years Brand Botswana has run campaigns globally to create awareness of Botswana and what Botswana offers. Due to limited budgets, most of Brand Botswana’s efforts have been largely targeted and limited to digital/online global media platforms.
Brand Botswana has recently run Botswana promotional campaigns on Al Jazeera network, BBC World, Bloomberg and the Financial Times/FDI platforms. These were in different forms and sought to promote different aspects of Botswana, amongst them Trade and Investment, Export promotion, Doing Business in Botswana, Tourism etc.
Brand Botswana continues to explore various opportunities and platforms to profile and promote Botswana globally.
BusinessMonitor: Any additional information?
Kutlo Moagi: As Brand Botswana we strive to support the growth of local industry by providing platforms that will be a launch pad for local business growth.
We continue to undertake initiatives aimed at creating awareness of local products and services, as well as facilitating for local products to garner more shelf space in retail outlets.
We therefore call on Batswana to continue to support local products/goods and for local producers/manufacturers to continue to improve on the quality of their products and services to garner more buy in.
We also call on local entrepreneurs with growth and success in mind, to contact us to register for use of the Pride Mark.