1. Can you please tell us more about your business?
Branding Africa is a highly esteemed branding agency committed to cultivating strong and impactful brands. Our core mission is to empower African businesses, entrepreneurs, and organizations in building strong and impactful brands. We achieve this through a range of comprehensive brand development programs, engaging workshops, and expert strategy consulting services. In today’s digital age, we understand the importance of equipping businesses with the necessary tools to thrive in the ever-evolving landscape, and we take pride in representing innovation in the global market.
2. When, how and why did you start your business?
I started Branding Africa back in 2021, and the journey began with me offering brand consulting to a handful of clients. What really struck me during that time was the widespread misconception among entrepreneurs and new business owners. They tended to think that branding was reserved for the big players like Apple or MTN.
The spark for Branding Africa came from a personal bump in the road—an unsuccessful business venture. Sure, there were various reasons for the venture’s flop, but a major one was our branding game being a bit off. It got me thinking, “I can’t be the only one in this boat.”
So, I decided to dig deep. I dived into research and discovered that small businesses across Africa faced the same branding puzzle. They didn’t fully grasp the power of branding, struggled to pin down their ideal customers, and often failed to communicate effectively, which impacted their sales.
That’s when the light bulb went off, and Branding Africa was born. My mission? To help African businesses sprout powerful brands that truly connect with their audiences. I wanted to demystify branding and provide clear strategies. It’s not about following the path of giants like Apple; it’s about finding your unique voice in the vibrant landscape of African business.
So, here we are, a digital branding agency with a personality as bold and dynamic as the continent itself. We’re here to make branding accessible, and above all, effective for African businesses, no matter their size. Our goal is to help African entrepreneurs build brands that shine in the ever-changing world of African business.
3. What is your role in the business?
I am the lady in charge at Branding Africa. I don’t really relate to the title CEO because it seems so disconnected from the team, so I just run things and what that looks like is mainly operations, checking on projects and looking for more clients and projects we can work on as Branding Africa, and identifying opportunities for growth.
4. Where did you study and what did you study?
I am actually a creative at heart, I studied multimedia (integrated animation, fine art and design), graduated back in 2013, then took part in the Mandela Washington Fellowship, in Entrepreneurship and Business as part of the African Studies program at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois in 2022.
5. How did you finance your business?
My business didn’t need major financing in the beginning seeing as it’s a service based business with low cost margins. Our biggest expense is labour and when I started I was a solo entrepreneur. The one skill I had was strategy and design so I offered that skill at a premium price in order to be able to scale. The more clients I had the more I could financially afford to grow my team and repeat.
6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
It really doesn’t exist. There is no day that is the same as the previous. I usually only go to the office twice a week and when I do, its usually checking in on all projects we’re working on at that time and making sure I’m on the same page with my team, discussing ways to reach more clients across the continent and also how best to make an impact. Some days are busier than others, and some days have more fires that need to be put out, but one thing for sure is that everyday is an adventure.
7. How do you balance your home life and your work life?
I work a four day work week, I stay playful and always make time for the things that matter most in my life. I am an advocate for rest and that’s how I keep the balance. When I started my first business in 2014, rest was a myth and I was ALWAYS working, but now that I’m a decade in, I realise that life is not always about work, and though I love the work I do and we all put pressure on ourselves to build the kind of lives we want, but it’s time we embrace the fact that life is as much about savouring the journey as it is about reaching our destinations
8. What drives you and inspires you?
What drives me is the fact that I know what I do isn’t just a job or career but rather a calling. I feel personally responsible for the advancement of great African brands on this continent and being a representation of a dream realised. Being able to inspire success for other Africans is something that pushes me to continue growing, pushing and most importantly to never give up. The dream of wanting to buid a legacy is something that will always wake me up everyday, to fight another day in this war we call entrepreneurship.
9. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
I think I’m like many who have great ideas in the shower, but my best business ideas and names of most of my businesses come from dreams. It may sound odd but God is my business partner, and the way I’ve chosen to scale my business is a biblical principle. If the bible says that there is nothing new under the son, I’d like to think that even my business isn’t entirely new. Innovation is finding a better way to do something that has always been done. Branding isn’t new, how Kings and Prophets built their brands and their fame is really just marketing and branding. So my best ideas come from God.
10. Where and how do you market/advertise your business for sales leads?
In the past year we have aggressively used the personal brands of our team members to market our business and service offering and it has worked wonders for us because people do business with people and if they trust the people they see, they will in turn trust the business. So we have used social media as our main channel of marketing our value offering and also word of mouth. 60% of our business comes from recommendations so we pride ourselves in great customer service but also good work .
11. What is next for your business?
In the next couple years we want to impact more entrepreneurs in Africa by helping them build great brands in their regions. In order to do that we would need to have footprint in those regions and countries, so what’s next is continental expansion through training of Branding Africa brand consultants who will offer our brand building programme and workshops in those countries in the local market that they understand.
12. What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?
Don’t let your vision intimidate you. Start scared, start small, start where you are.