Fresh In A Box is one of the fastest growing tech startups in Zimbabwe. The company now moves over 2.6 tonnes of vegetables a day with a network of over 1200 farmers. The company is also making waves across the region as they were recently featured on international news platforms such as Al jazeera and DW news.
Founded in 2018 by Kuda Musasiwa and Rufaro Dhliwayo the company is basically a grocery delivery e-commerce platform. They started out in Harare and they have now expanded to multiple cities across the country. The company saw an unprecedented growth surge due to the Covid-19 induced lockdowns and curfews because more and more people were now dependent on them for their groceries and basic commodities. Their website saw a 1 000 percent usage growth and according to Musasiwa it was a logistical nightmare. That’s a good problem to have isn’t it? So much better than no orders at all. Fresh In A Box is not the first e-commerce platform in Zimbabwe and they’re definitely not the last.
In this article we are going to be looking at why do people love them so much? How have they resonated with Zimbabwean consumers?
- Cool and catchy name
There’s something about the name ” Fresh In A Box.” It’s like a breath of fresh air. Most folks would have named the company, “Online Vegetable Supply Company of Zimbabwe” or some random name such as Kumlex (I laughed!). Complex names are quickly forgotten just like email passwords. Having a catchy name is a good way to promote your business without having an extra marketing cost. ” Fresh In A Box,” self-explanatory. The company sells groceries packed in a box. It reminds me of the Senditoo name, both are based on clever word play. It makes the customer’s job easier as they can easily tell what the company does. When selecting a name, you need to think of the personality you would want your business to project. What type of customer are you seeking? With Fresh In A Box their target market were diasporans who were already farmilia with e-commerce platforms such as Amazon as well as tech saavy urban youths who were too lazy to walk/drive to the local stores to get their groceries.
- Fun and simple logo
The Fresh in a box logo has been able to carefully balance out between being fun and simple with effectively conveying the brand messaging. The words “Fresh in a box” are wrapped in a white square with lime green borders which symbolizes the box. Two leaves sit at the top of the box symbolising the company’s origins as a vegetable delivery service. The logo is easily recognisable which boosts the company’s brand recognition. The logo on a packaging design easily communicates their message effectively since the customer has no time to decipher what it is that your logo is trying to communicate. A cluttered and confused design will imply to the customer that you don’t know what you’re doing and customers are less likely to have confidence in your brand. Stick to one or two colors and don’t have any unnecessary gradients on your logo.
- Consistency with their visuals and messaging
Consumers want to buy from brands they know and keeping consistent visuals, messaging, voice and personality is a big step towards letting consumers get to know you as an organisation. When consumers know you, they will identify with your purpose and they will be more likely to purchase from you because they trust you. You want your business to trigger certain positive emotions in your target audience. Those emotions can then be evoked when the consumer sees your brand’s logo or hears your brand name. Consumers that feel connected to you and your mission are more likely to be loyal to your business. Fresh In A Box is consistent with their visuals, brand personality, brand voice and their messaging. They stick to a specific color palette (4 colours at max) and maintain the same tone of voice (they always say “we” when addressing customers making them feel like they’re part of the team). A brand must have a style of writing or advertising that is exclusive only to their brand. Imagine if a person is dressed in a business suit one day, gym shorts the next and then jeans another time, it will be hard to nail down who they are and what they are all about. This is something founder Kuda knows too well. He is always dressed in a Fresh In A Box golf shirt and a pair of jeans. I’m pretty sure I have never seen him putting on a business suit.
Consumers do not want to deal with unpredictable businesses. They want to pay for what they see and get it.
Fresh In A Box uses a building-in-public model for their social media and brand personality. They share details of their projects, their delivery processes, their achievements and their failures. Building in public refers to the business practice of taking an audience along the ride as entrepreneurs develop a product or service even before it is ready for prime time. The builders aerate their ideas and incorporate helpful feedback, sharing early versions of their work and honest updates on their processes, to ensure the finished product is solid. Founders generally share their wins, struggles, learnings, anectodes and business metrics. For example, when Fresh In A Box started their chicken project, they shared videos of how they constructed the shelters, the progress of the chickens through to slaughtering. This is in contrast to what Zimbabwean businesses are known for: being secretive and giving out the bare minimum when it comes to customer relations and information.
Years back, founders used to avoid sharing their building ideas in public to avoid getting their ideas stolen.
Times have changed and there are numerous benefits of sharing and getting feedback on your ideas from the public. Building in public means that your company is building an environment of support for your entrepreneurial journey and starting relationships with your customers. Building in public helps a brand and a business seem more authentic and original. This in turn builds trust among consumers of the brand and the target audience. It also helps a start-up build an audience before the official launch rather than spending a lot of time, energy and money on marketing. This helps build interest around the brand.
Leslie Mupeti is a graphic designer and brand strategy expert. He can be contacted on +263 785 324 230 and [email protected] for feedback.