The new year opens with felicitations and resolutions, including the promise of a new image – hence the trend: New Year, New You. I don’t have a problem with that as long as you keep your promise and not lose steam.
Sterling Bank has opened a new chapter with a new identity which is great. I love to see ideas when they’re fine from far and when I take a closer look, I hope they’re not far from fine. Putting on my brand glasses, I noticed a few things that prompted this brand identity review. So let’s jump right in.
The good part. Refreshing the Sterling brand is apt, if not overdue. Being one of the post-Soludo mergers still standing while some have struggled, gone bust or been swallowed up is quite commendable. Positioning the brand for the tech-driven future and competing favorably with other banks and fintech coys is by all means necessary. In execution, towing the simpler, minimalist look and feel is great.
However, my eyebrows are raised to some concerns of strategy, depth and originality.
For strategy, I wonder if there was a proper brief for this project. For a bank that spent most of 2018 playing the underdog and running controversial campaigns attacking bigger bank brands, I expected nothing short of a brand revolution that will shake the industry.
The story of ‘aiming for the moon, then landing on the rising sun’ needs errr…more work. What’s the connection please? This storytelling is not convincing, I’d say. Not even sure Nollywood will buy it. Why force the constellations to align? Is this approach really working? What happened to the brand name (Sterling), has it lost its meaning/essence (excellence, silver lustre) in the redefinition of the brand? Perhaps it needs more polishing.
For depth and originality, I think a few more boxes of Pizza and more brainstorming sessions by the team would have nailed it. After bashing the GTBank brand in previous campaigns, it appears the new Sterling logo is trying to be a circular version of GTBank and the former maroon colour is leaning towards orange. To the colour blind or astigmatic, this new logo might be mistaken for that of GTBank. To make it worse, the new Sterling wordmark remains grey (like GTBank) and the typeface makes it look like a food brand.
These are just my initial thoughts, without any thorough scrutiny or empirical analysis. Well, with Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink’ who needs the analysis?
While, I owe no allegiance to any of the brands mentioned and I have simply made my professional reviews on this new brand identity, I hope they are not misunderstood. We wish Sterling Bank all the very best of the new move.
Dapo Onamusi is the Founder/Creative Director at Dafix Company.
Don’t Let Your Passion Die And If You Have The Resources To Help Make A Difference – Sneha Bose (FFC)
BAO talks to Sneha Bose, Chief Information Officer for Fashion For Charity Africa, on the impact this scheme is having on Nigerian society.
Tell us about Fashion For Charity Africa. What do you do exactly?
Fashion For Charity Africa is a social entrepreneurship project initiative to help the Internally Displaced People in Nigeria. I have been the Chief Information Officer for fashion For Charity Africa, and my role has been to develop a communication system for the company. I was also responsible for the content development, social media marketing, negotiating with the stakeholders and sponsors like the BBC Africa, La Liga and finally aligning the business’ strategic plans.
What was the idea behind or influenced the setting up of this organisation?
The main idea behind the social entrepreneurship project viz. Fashion For Charity Africa was making a difference in the society. Due to the insurgencies in the Northern Nigeria a lot of people are separated from their family with little or no scope of building back their lives. So our main objective was to support these vulnerable communities of people or as we commonly know them as the Internally Displaced People, by collaborating with the other Non-Governmental Organizations thus raising sensitization across the society.
What are the key indicators by which you measure your organisation’s impact in Nigeria?
The three major key performance indicators for our organization and its impact in Nigeria are – Fundraising Metrics, Donor Retention Metrics and Social Media Metrics.
Under Fundraising metrics, we have further subdivided it into 3 more categories into – gifts secured, donation growth, and donor growth rate.
Under Donor Retention Metrics, we measure it based on the outreach rate.
And finally, under the Social Media Metrics, we have sub-divided it into two major categories – amplification rates (based on re-tweets, reposts and shares on the various media channels) and fundraiser participation rates.
We are slowly but steadily progressing, and hope to create more buzz as we grow bigger.
What are the challenges faced by your organisation? How are you overcoming them?
The main challenge that we had to face was in terms of professionalism from the agencies we were partnering with. I have had the chance of working in various places around the globe and experiencing the Nigerian work culture did come with its own set of challenges. However, once you know the way around and figure out the gaps; our work became a lot easier.
How do you get funding in order to achieve your objectives?
In order to achieve our objectives, we would craft out events that has the potential of raising funds from interested bodies, mainly the international and local NGO’s and the various international embassies, and not to forget the Nigerian entertainment sector. Till date our main sponsors and partners have been very helpful and supportive of our cause.
Finally, what is your message to our readers?
Don’t let your passion die and if you have the resources to help make a difference in our society or the community, then let us all put our hands and heads together to share knowledge and education thus removing any signs of illiteracy, discrimination and nurturing the youth brigade to become the leaders of tomorrow.
Sneha has 5+ years’ of work experience in the field of Information Technology, Project Management, Business Development, Marketing & Media Strategies and Retail Operations. She is a successful orator and has conducted corporate trainings for various organizations. She is also a part of the international public speaking community of Toastmasters International. She has been nominated for the award of the Social Impact Maker in Nigeria, and has been interviewed by the BBC Africa and other popular Nigerian FM Stations. She believes strongly for education and youth empowerment and dreams to have her own organization that will suffice the needs of all these youth who do not have the amenities for free education.
World Water Day: Guinness Nigeria commissions seven new boreholes in Cross River State
Cross River, Nigeria: March 21, 2017. In furtherance of its continued commitment to interventions that transform lives and improve the health and well-being of communities in Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria Plc has constructed seven hand pump water boreholes in Bebi Community, Obanliku Local Government Area (LGA) of Cross River State.
The donated boreholes (which will provide more than 7,000 persons with year-round access to safe drinking water) were unveiled at a commissioning ceremony which the company held to mark this year’s ‘World Water Day’.
Guinness Nigeria’s continued commitment to initiatives that improve access to safe water was underscored at the event by the company’s Corporate Relations Director, Mr. Sesan Sobowale who represented the Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria. Sobowale noted that the company will continue to play a leading role in enhancing access to safe drinking water in Nigeria. He said:
“The boreholes we are commissioning today are the latest addition to the range of water projects Guinness Nigeria has delivered in states across the country as part of Diageo’s flagship ‘Water of Life’ programme. Since 2007, our ‘Water of Life’ programme has provided clean drinking water to over 10 million people in 18 countries in Africa. Under the aegis of the ‘Water of Life’ programme in Nigeria, water facilities have been constructed in 35 communities across the country. We are pleased to note that through these water projects, Guinness Nigeria has helped over 1.5 million Nigerians access clean water and ultimately improve their overall health and wellbeing.”
Also speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Dan Ebri, Director of Water at the Cross River State Ministry of Water Resources, commended Guinness Nigeria’s commitment to initiatives that promote access to safe drinking water in Nigeria. He said: “I commend Guinness Nigeria’s commitment to interventions that tackle the challenge of water scarcity in rural areas especially in Cross River State. I also thank the company for partnering United Purpose to deliver programmes that have helped Obanliku LGA to achieve ‘open defecation free’ status. The impact your partnership has made is laudable”. The clan head of Bebi Eastward in Obanliku LGA, His Royal Highness Atung Francis, also expressed the community’s profound appreciation for the donated water facility. He observed that prior to the donation, community members trekked to the hilltop – a distance of about three kilometres-to fetch water.
Guinness Nigeria’s latest intervention in Obanliku LGA comes on the heels of a previous pilot project which facilitated the construction of ten boreholes in rural communities in Cross River State’s Abi, Bekwarra, and Obanliku LGAs. The pilot project (which was also delivered in partnership with United Purpose) helped over 11,000 people in these LGAs to access safe drinking water, and trained 120 community members on basic borehole maintenance and water resource management.
In his remarks at the commissioning ceremony, the Country Director of United Purpose, Nigeria, Mr. Tim Connell acknowledged Guinness Nigeria’s contributions to the SWISH programme in Cross River state he said: “I am pleased to see the positive impact we have been able to make in Cross River State partnering Guinness Nigeria. Today Obanliku LGA has become the first LGA in Nigeria to achieve ‘open defecation free’ status, and more persons in the local government area now have access to clean drinking water. I would like to thank Guinness Nigeria for its contributions towards these milestones”
Guinness Nigeria’s Water Sanitation and Hygiene Interventions in Cross River State have been delivered under the aegis of the ‘Safe Water and Improved Sanitation and Hygiene’ (SWISH) programme the company has been implementing in collaboration with United Purpose. United Purpose is the executing agency of the ‘Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria’ (RUSHPIN) programme, a five-year initiative of the UN’s Global Sanitation Fund and the Nigerian government, which uses the empowering ‘Community-led Total Sanitation’ approach to trigger community-wide demand for improved sanitation and hygiene without the use of external subsidies. Through the RUSHPIN programme, over 2 million rural people in Cross River and Benue states are taking control of their own health by ending open defecation and washing their hands with soap at critical times.
It would be recalled that last year, Guinness Nigeria commissioned water facilities which it constructed in Gwam, Bauchi state (in partnership with Water Aid) and Tyowanye, Benue State (in partnership with OXFAM). These water schemes are currently providing safe drinking water for over 20,000 people living in beneficiary communities.
Bitcoin breaks through $1,000 barrier as the best-performing currency of 2016
The value of Bitcoin surged above $1,000 on Monday as the digital unit continues a dizzying rise that made it the best-performing currency of 2016.
Its value has more than doubled in the last year and it was trading at around $1,024 in afternoon European trading on Monday, after breaking through the $1,000 mark on Sunday.
It is now within reach of its historic high of more than $1,200 reached in 2013.
Some analysts believe the rise in Bitcoin is due to some investors treating it as a safe-haven, like gold, at a time of global uncertainty.
Others believe buying is being driven by speculative demand, with investors anticipating future rises and creating an unsustainable bubble.
Bitcoin was launched in 2009 as a bit of encrypted software written by someone using the Japanese-sounding name Satoshi Nakamoto.
Earlier this year secretive Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright said that he was the creator, but some have raised doubts over his claim.
Supply of Bitcoin is limited and it trades in cyberspace. As well as being an investment for some, it is also used for illicit transactions beyond the reach of law enforcement for drugs or arms on the internet.
Its value has fluctuated wildly since its creation, with news of a major Bitcoin theft by hackers in August sending its price plummeting by more than 20 percent.
Unlike traditional currencies such as the dollar or the euro, which require the sponsorship of a central bank, Bitcoin is decentralised.
Encrypted digital coins are created by supercomputers and then traded online or exchanged for goods and services by a network of users.
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