Brand Chats Series: Telling the Story of Batswana Brands

In celebration of Women’s Month, we had a chat with Keabetswe Gagoiponwe, the owner of Sparkle It, a detergent brand that produces a variety of products, including cream cleaner, bleach, blood stain remover, dishwasher, sanitiser, heavy duty greaser, window cleaner and hair shampoo.

Asked about the story of Sparkle It and what it represents, the young and vibrant owner of the company, Keabetswe Gagoiponwe, responded: “The brand is centred around its effect on the items it is meant for. When you use it, all things ‘sparkle,’ hence the name ‘Sparkle It.’”

Inspired by her mother’s resilience and work ethic, Gagoiponwe built her brand from scratch with the help of CEDA and LEA. Becoming an entrepreneur has always been her dream and her passion for cleaning started when she was in STD 6. It contributed to her decision to get into a manufacturing business.

Bright pink
Like Donatella Versace, Gagoiponwe wanted a name that resonated with her personality for the brand. Although “sparkle” may not be her name like Donatella’s Versace, the name is easy to remember and tells you a little about who the person behind the brand is.
One of the key elements of building a desirable brand identity is developing a great brand name, slogan and colours, which is exactly what the Serowe breed entrepreneur is doing with the bright pink brand.

Sparkle It is a fun, vibrant and eye-catching brand whose use of popping colour was paramount in ensuring that they appeal to the customer’s eye and create excitement, which eventually will lead to curiosity and eventually a sale.

However, the local market is not easy to penetrate primarily because Batswana are habitual consumers and loyal too. To gain their trust and loyalty, Gagoiponwe vowed to work hard to ensure she produced quality products and stayed consistent while continually improving her products to meet customer needs.

Given the ever-changing market, the fractured economy and unpredictable buying behaviour, Sparkle It has been received quite well by consumers, despite the current increase in the prices of all commodities, which affected her pricing too.

Brand ambassador
Detergents are an everyday need and therefore everyone is a potential customer. To reach and appeal to different markets, Gagoiponwe harnesses the power of social media as a communication tool. The main objective is to position Sparkle It as a preferred option, this being the basis of all her marketing efforts.

Like any other entrepreneur, her personal brand plays a pivotal role in the success of her products. She personally engages with customers, her team, and acts as a brand ambassador.

Asked about how she stays motivated and determined, she answered: “Believe in yourself. Trust the process and don’t share your dreams with any one. A dream is like pregnancy; you protect it until you birth it. You don’t go around telling everyone about it.

God is not fallible
“Most importantly, believe in God and include God in all that you do and He will bless the work of your hands. He is not a fallible man who can lie or a human being who can change their mind…#KeepOnKeepingOn #GivingupIsNeverASolution.”

The brand Sparkle It is more than just a detergent brand but is also passion turned into purpose. From the hardworking hands of a loving mother has emerged a young woman who seems destined to become business mogul.