Brand Union unveils new brand identity for disruptive social enterprise Kiteka
WPP’s global brand strategy and design agency, Brand Union, today unveils the new brand platform and website for technology start-up Kiteka ; the first all-female, all mobile digital outsourcing network for female entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Kiteka empowers female small business owners in Uganda through access to smartphone technology, training and mentorship. The Kiteka network also partners with clients to take on digital outsourcing tasks – harnessing female potential in a new, digital economy.
The project is part of Brand Union’s involvement in WPP’s wider commitment to Common Ground, an ambitious industry-wide initiative supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, within which WPP’s responsibility is addressing gender equality.
Brand Union was appointed to develop a new strategy, name and communications platform for the rapidly developing network previously known as 100 Phones, to help bridge the perception gap between its philanthropic cause and credibility as a service provider for small businesses.
Hephzi Pemberton, Founder of Kiteka commented: “Partnering with people that understand our purpose and believe in our vision is essential for us. It was instantly clear that Brand Union recognised this and in developing such a strong, meaningful brand, they are helping us fight gender inequality and poverty in Uganda and beyond. We are incredibly proud of the work we do and Brand Union has delivered a beautiful identity for Kiteka that will help us on our journey to connect more female entrepreneurs with the digital economy.”
Taking inspiration from the enterprise itself, Brand Union spoke directly with the Ugandan women currently benefiting from the network via Whatsapp, to help develop a clear positioning for the organisation. The name Kiteka was drawn from the Ugandan Earth Goddess Kitaka, and aligns with the network’s purpose to empower women through technology.
The visual identity was envisaged by merging cues that express the enterprise’s African roots, gender empowerment and technology. The importance of storytelling in African design is channelled through contemporary symbolism, blending bold colour palettes and traditional pattern work with more pared-back, tech-inspired design. Brand Union studied vibrant fabric prints and classical dress from the region to create unique patterns that also incorporate modern tech symbols and UI elements.
The Kiteka mark evokes the power of simplicity. With a clear, modern typeface to complement and contrast against the bold design work, the logo and visual language represent the impact modern technology can have.
Toby Southgate, Worldwide CEO of Brand Union commented: “We were honoured to partner with Kiteka, whose cause is close to my heart. Working collaboratively is at the centre of Brand Union’s ethos and we are proud to be able to use our expertise to contribute to WPP’s Common Ground initiative addressing gender equality. It is an area I have been advocating all my business life and I hope our work will help Kiteka to continue to achieve its goals.”
The new branding for Kiteka was unveiled at a launch event in Central London, at which leading female entrepreneurs and academics discussed the power of digital innovation for international development. For example, owning a smartphone increases income for over half of entrepreneurs in low-income countries. However in Uganda 64% of women do not own a phone at all and are 23% less likely to own one than men. The Kiteka initiative was founded to address this imbalance. Brand Union collaborated closely with SET Live to plan the event.
Catherine Smee, Operations Director at SET Live commented: “Kiteka’s unique vision and the work they’ve already achieved is humbling. When we were offered the opportunity to get involved with their launch event through the Common Ground initiative, we jumped at the chance. It’s not just a cause we believe in but a genuinely innovative contribution to the fight against gender inequality and poverty in Africa.”
WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell joined UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, along with the CEOs of the other “Big Six” advertising and marketing services groups, in announcing Common Ground at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June 2016.
Common Ground is a shared commitment by the communications services industry to set aside competitive differences and work together in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).