My time at Akiba is drawing to a close. When I think back to the day I arrived here, stumbling into the hotel at 4:30am in a zombie-like state after 26 hours of traveling, it seems like months ago. Yet my assignment at Akiba has flown by. Over the past two weeks, I’ve been working on developing recommendations for Akiba’s website redesign – specifically on how to better communicate its mission and work in a more dynamic way that involves stronger branding and sharing client success stories.
Akiba faces an interesting branding challenge. Its client base is diverse. Those at the top of their client pyramid have comparatively larger businesses and aspire to a middle-class lifestyle and socioeconomic identity. The broad base of clients resemble a more traditional microfinance segment, with small businesses in relatively poorer communities. The question is how Akiba can represent all its clients while retaining a singular brand and communicate to all audiences without alienating any? The good news is that Akiba a strong story to tell, based on years of microfinance operations and developing close connections in communities. The fact that other banks in Tanzania are now direct competitors, emulating their microfinance model, is a testament to Akiba’s success. Continue reading