Kushe: Orange in Sierra Leone, a year on

Approximately a year ago we reported that the worldwide telecommunications company Orange had taken over the previous Airtel operations and entered the Sierra Leone market. It’s hard to believe that their first year in Sierra Leone has gone by so fast. We thought it would be a good idea to look at their presence in Sierra Leone during this first year.

They entered the market with a smart marketing campaign and a year later Orange has continued to build on its advertising and promotions activity in Sierra Leone. Their slogan in Sierra Leone has been “it’s all about what matters to you”. In this spirit they have figured out fast that Sierra Leoneans enjoy music and socializing. One way they have capitalized on this is the TV show Orange Da Playlist which airs on SLBS TV. This show which is hosted by young media and entertainment personalities Regina Clarkson and DJ Rampage serves as a way for Orange to heavily advertise its products and services. But this show is not just advertising. It features music, videos and talk segments with guests who are featured on the show that viewers can enjoy while being promoted the latest in Orange’s products and services.

Orange has also sponsored major events such as the upcoming concert by Kao Denero at the National Stadium. We did notice however that a lot more events are sponsored by competitor Africell. But Orange does seem to have a lot more advertisements than Africell.

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Orange has shown a commitment to the Sierra Leone market and to building their brand name in the country through their investment in advertising. These advertisements are relevant to the Sierra Leone market and features local terms which makes them very relatable. Below are some of Orange’s advertisement. These adverts are eye-catching and share a consistent theme. They also have funny commercials which are well done. Orange shares its advertising across many platforms including the all important these days : social media. They have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where they share consistent and well executed marketing materials.

Another thing that matters to Sierra Leone? Raising revenue through tax collection. As the capital city of Sierra Leone and the center of economic activity in Sierra Leone this is especially important in Freetown. Recently Orange has made it possible for individuals in Freetown to make their local tax payments through their Orange Money app. Orange has even gotten involved in the Street cleaning initiative.

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While all this promotional activity is good, what about the thing which matters most though? …service. Orange is extending their network coverage all over Sierra Leone in places such as Joru, Tefeya Town and other provincial areas in Sierra Leone. These extensions require investments in Sierra Leone’s infrastructure  which is good. Feedback has been that their services are getting better but could improve even further as customers experience weak signal even in Sierra Leone. In a country such as Sierra Leone where the internet is notoriously slow and rain can disrupt network services, having reliable network coverage will be a strategic differentiator for Orange.

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