Branding Opinion South Africa

Bathu: more than just a shoe

Having a purpose propels a brand to be more than just another business.
Source: © Galleria  Bathu, a local shoe brand from the township represents young people's hopes and dreams
Source: © Galleria Galleria Bathu, a local shoe brand from the township represents young people's hopes and dreams

Building a solid brand starts by understanding the business objectives, over and above, just selling products or services. Only then can marketers build a brand driven by a solid purpose or intention.

Having a bigger calling will grow brand equity and brand value. Brand builders have to study the business and ask themselves difficult questions such as; what does the business or brand stand for? What associations, ideas, emotions, and benefits do people associate with it? What makes it unique?

More than just a shoe

Take Bathu, a local shoe brand that comes from the township that has experienced fast growth.

The brand represents the aspirations of many young and disoriented South Africans living in townships that one day they'll have a chance to realise their dreams.

It stands for hope and believing in one's dream as even their tagline “walk your journey” shows. The brand strives to inspire young people living in townships to walk toward their dreams whatever that is, with courage and boldness. This makes it relatable and it resonates with its market – thus winning the hearts of the target audiences.

What does the brand stand for?

The ideas or emotions associated with the brand will allow consumers to connect with the brand on a personal level.

Going back to the Bathu brand, it associates itself with the ordinary people in the sense that it was birthed or founded in the township.

By wearing Bathu, one represents a township dream or aspiration of the people around them. In addition, for those who are not living in townships by wearing the shoes they associate themselves with people in townships.

What makes it unique?

This uniqueness is its selling point as a brand and differentiates it from other brands within the same category. Understanding what the brand stands for makes it easier to understand and describe what makes the brand unique. What makes a brand unique is what influences consumers to choose brand A over brand B within a particular category.

About Rirhandzu Shingwenyana

Rirhandzu Shingwenyana is a marketing, advertising and communications professional with experience in account management, social media and digital marketing campaign management.

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