The UK charity SolarAid formed a social enterprise, SunnyMoney, to sell solar lights to the 90% of the rural population in Africa does not have access to electricity. After dark, the poor in Africa have no light except from expensive, dangerous and toxic sources of light such as kerosene lamps or candles.

The Challenge

  • Solar lighting is in a revolutionary time with decreasing costs and increasing quality
  • Benefits include savings of 15% of monthly income, 3 additional study hours and improved health for off grid populations
  • SunnyMoney was selling thousands of lights but did not have a unique brand identity or effective sales tools
  • Awareness was low and the products were confused with competitors
  • The website was outdated and ineffective
  • 95% of sales was a low cost/low margin solar light with increasing competition
  • Sales were costly and not easy to scale

The Work

From 2013 – 2015 Cindy Kerr led marketing and brand strategy and sales channel development as the CMO.  Global initiatives included

    • Building a distinct brand, visual identity and range of collateral, sales tools, training across each country
    • Scaling effective ways to the demonstrate benefits of solar lights to gain trust and increase demand
    • Expanding the product range to include higher margin products such as mobile phone chargers
    • Increased demand creation and upsell a range of SunnyMoney products
    • New web portal for the global brand in five countries
    • Global media/PR campaign that generated sales
    • Developed and launched new sales channel Agents/Dealers programs marketing, training, design

The Result

  • SunnyMoney became a known and respected brand for a range of solar lights with a catalytic impact in Africa
  • 1.7 million lights sold and in 2014, they were the largest distributor  in Africa impacting 10 million people in five countries
  • Online strategy and new website  raised the profile increased product sales
  • New agent sales channel that resulted in 40% of sales and the most cost-effective sales channel
  • Expanded range of products to mobile phone charging and home systems
  • Global awareness on TV, radio, print  and online that increased sales , drove demand and new agent
  • Developed strategic partnerships and co-marketing of $500k revenue

“My kids study hours have increased because buying kerosene for them was costly. The solar light is a good light and also charges my phone.”  Philip Murgor, solar light owner, Kenya