Sacco re-branding is a great idea if properly planned

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A number of Saccos have rebranded to breathe a new life into their existence. The hope is that with a change they will be able to capture the imagination of members, both existing and prospective, in a way that will bring positive energy and reinvigorate the many lattices that may have been rendered ineffective by time.

Ordinarily, businesses change their brand because the current orientation is no longer functional or has been worn out by vagaries of age. They may have outlived their usefulness or lost the flavour that attracted so much awe but now is tipping off.

A Sacco rebrands to redefine itself, much the same way reptiles regenerate their skin to adapt to a new environment. But then they are careful not to shed off everything that defined them in the first place. Some choose to do it piecemeal, like simply changing the name. Others will opt for complete overhaul, which sometimes may even mean sending personnel home and bringing in new ones.

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Whatever their preference, it will be dictated by what works and what does not. Most of them get it right because they have worked out a roadmap based on an identified need, and have set plans that will guide the direction they are taking.

However, some fall into the trap of reacting to the rebranding wave by hastily gathering up something that looks like it. The hard decisions are made euphorically to match what competitors are doing without a real reason to change identity.

This is tragic. It should be noted that rebranding is not an end but a means to an end. It is the product of a well thought out plan that spans a lengthy period of consultation, perhaps across two or three strategic plans.

Imperatively, rebranding must meet the set objective that informed the change; and this objective differs in spirit from one Sacco to another.

By our reporter

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