Do expired, sold-out slogans have an impact on business performance? Success stories Movit, Bell Lager, & MTN

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By Moses Kaketo

A slogan is a memorable phrase with the goal of persuading a defined target group. It’s your business’s mantra. It helps people identify your brand. It is important to note that the marketing message must appeal to them.
When Movit Products Limited launched in 1997, the company had a beautiful, carefully crafted slogan: Konka Movit, Konka Movit. The tagline worked at that time. And indeed, the sales were good.

Twenty years later, the catchphrase could no longer appeal to the new generation. Besides, Movit Products’ market has broadened with a presence in over eight African countries [to cover East and Central Africa]; the products have crossed to over 30 African markets without market commissioning.
The company had to come up with a contemporary watchword to suit the changing times and coverage-thus the tagline: Movit-All Day Confidence.

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Bell Lager

In the 80’s and 90’s, Bell Lager had a unique tagline, Omunyi wa Bell Tabula. Back then, people who drank bell developed bellies. Baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and Generation X (born 1946 to 1964) associated belly buttons with money and wealth. Even CEO’s of those days had big bellies.
Things change.

read: The rise & rise of Stabex International: now occupies No.3 after Shell & TotalEnergies

As the millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996) and Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) took over the streets, to them, having a belly was a sign that you’re in disciplined—you don’t look after yourself properly. To them, Bell [and her slogan] connoted an old drunkard who was anti-change and fixated—all of which a modern drinker did not want to be associated with.
The sales of Bell Lager, the flagship brand of Uganda Breweries Limited, dropped significantly. The UBL lost market share. That’s when Nile Breweries took over the market.
To match the desires, tastes, and preferences of the ever evolving and demanding consumer, UBL had to come up with slimmer bottles that projected that drinkers are classy, intelligent, and mindful of their weight and health-with a new tagline, Live Life Every Day.
Bell Lager has since regained its position in the market. UBL also re-claimed the number one position in the market, controlling over 50% of the market.

MTN from “Y’ello”, to Every You go

Back then, all the telecom provided was voice. Things have changed for the better.
As Generation Alpha takes over the streets, some companies are already positioning themselves to suit the changes. For example, as the world increasingly becomes digitized, telcos are calibrating their business models towards fully integrated digital and financial services enterprises. Early this year, continental telecoms giant MTN Group shed its traditional branding and ushered in a new look.
The new identity replaced the old red-and-white lettered logo with all-blue letters surrounded by an oval, with a slogan, “Y’ello,” which replaces its mobile-era strapline, “Everywhere you go.”
President and chief executive Ralph Mupita said: In 2020, almost a billion people were under the age of 35, representing about 23% of the world’s youth population. “The alignment is perfect. “We are shifting from being seen as a predominantly Telco business to a company that feels relevant and fresh to the youth market we are trying to target across Africa,”


John Walker: The legend that keeps walking

At every joint, UBL has a beautiful sign of John Walker with the tagline, “Keep walking. The man on the poster is smart, healthy, and energetic. This tagline has turned out to be a cloud puller. The sales of John Walker are up there.
The striding man stands for a journey of progress from one milestone to the next. Each bottle in the stack has a story of excellence which mirrors the milestones the consumer sets for himself. When one joins a job, one usually prefers Red Label, but as one progresses to higher ranks Blue Label becomes the choice.
The future belongs to those who prepare for it today

read: A Bank on a Mission: How Equity is Shaking Up Uganda’s Banking Industry

Today’s success is not a guarantee of tomorrows. In about six years from now, a new generation-with different preferences-will be on top. On Old Street, the millennials will be. As part of your strategy, you must position yourself to appeal to them.
If you still use the logo you developed 20 years ago, you still have that old jingle. Don’t ask me why your sales are going down, or why you have lost market share…

read: Wave sacks over 300 staff; As MTN finalizes plans to launch a fighter brand

About the author: The writer is a marketing and distribution expert. He sees business in everything. He loves writing business news, reviews, and analyses. Reach him on +256782507579 or Twitter: @mkaketo LinkedIn: Moses Kaketo

also read: NIC life license suspended: Is National Insurance Corporation on verge of disappearance?

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