Blaze Kenya, the new sub-brand for Safaricom is promising to guarantee friendship, success and freedom to young people between the ages of 10 to 26, remarked Muthoni Maingi, Safaricom’s Digital Manager in charge of consumer segment.
Speaking at Blaze experience, she was emphatic that Blaze will revolutionize how young people view life, careers and success, going by how the product is designed. Her remarks were supported by Marion Wanyoike, the Senior Manager Youth Segment at Safaricom who challenged parents to see the benefits that Blaze offers and support their children to join it.
On its website, the sub-brand defines itself as
A new network by Safaricom, created to speak to, empower and deliver youth-specific products & services to youth. As a sub-brand it has its own products that are specifically customized for the youth, its own events and a countrywide empowerment program- all exclusive to youth aged between 10-26 years.
Already, Blaze held its first summit in Eldoret which the company felt was a huge success going by the number of people who turned up and the curiosity that they had in benefiting from the brand. These summits, to be held across the country will provide young people the opportunity to learn from creative industry professionals how to grow and be successful, learn how to explore the tariff feature and also how to redeem bonga points using the service to access things like movies and buy food among others.
As currently structured, Blaze Kenya while still a sub-brand of Safaricom, is its own ecosystem. It has its own staff and assets including a different public relations company, Saracen Media Limited.
Safaricom’s budget for the sub-brand was sh700 million, a quarter of its marketing budget and it hopes to re-coup the investment by ensuring that 25 per cent of its revenues are from these young people being empowered today.
The company felt that these young people need to stand out, be different and not fixated with the mentality of white collar jobs to succeed. Be Your Own Boss (BOYB) is their answer to giving young people an opportunity to create and co-creative and nurture their creative skills into business venture of naught.
At the experience, creative writer Magunga Williams shared his story in writing. Having studied law, his parents and family expected him to practice it but his passion was in writing. While he started writing, he realized he could make money from it hence earning a living. Over the period, he has also started an online bookstore where African books can be bought and he delivers them to the buyers.
Through Blaze, the summits will instill entrepreneurship knowledge to young people. Successful and promising young people will be funded to help them realize their dreams.
The question Safaricom will need to grapple with is how they transition these young people who will soon be above 26 years but still want to benefit from the service. Being a permanent service, the company has to think about tomorrow, something they are yet to better visualize.