Shaping The Cooperative Sector’s Image
Over the last five years, many sectors in Kenya have been adapting to a recent shift that has seen many large, medium and small entities change how they do business. Policy changes have made more youth interested in being entrepreneurs and business owners and this has caused a rapid rise in the number of youth-led businesses. It is this growing market that is ripe for the picking as far as Cooperatives are concerned.
This tech-savvy crop of entrepreneurs and business owners are looking for solutions that are readily available within the Cooperatives movement. They are open to saving and securing financing through Saccos and are also more than willing to join collaborative spaces and unions that address their collective issues. Yet, very few of these new target markets are part of the Cooperatives movement. Instead, they opt to look for financial services in banks and collective representation in business hubs. Why is this?
Well, the reason is simple! This demographic is attracted by who is most visible and the attention they give to utilizing art, style, and creativity in their brands. This is what most banks and serious corporations have been utilizing recently to get these customers. Almost every major bank and corporate entity has rebranded in the last five years and some have gone the extra mile to set up youthful entities for their businesses that deviate from the primary serious corporate feel to a more appealing trendy side.
So, what can Cooperatives do to become more visible and attractive to the youthful target audiences that we are seeing today? They have to master the art of Trendiness. Youthful trends are colourful, suave, vibrant and energetic. They are unapologetically fashionable and free, creating an aura of complexity and fun. Any Cooperative that speaks this language is bound to attract its fair share of this new market.
The entire Cooperatives sector has to revamp its image. Any entity in this sector has to change its brand image and outlook to one that is trusted by a younger demographic. To do this, Cooperatives have to lose those old boring branding elements and embrace a vibrant and youthful look that tells young people, “We see you and we hear you!”
Therefore, Cooperatives have to ensure they are visible and attractive brands first since their branding is the first point of contact they have with customers.