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    What's in a brand?

    Day 298

    One Stop Asili Shop

    For the past couple of days, we’ve seen how the Asili team and some friends from the U.S. are working together to try out new ways to serve the Asili community. And today, the group is taking another small step toward testing yet another idea that could change how Asili does business – the Asili marketplace.

    Asili water points are natural gathering places. And the Asili team has always been curious about the potential of these water points to sell more products, bringing needed supplies closer to home. But what could we sell? Is the Asili brand strong enough to attract attention at the market? And how can we be sure that our products meet Asili quality standards?

    On Day 298, the team decided to find out.

    They wanted to test the Asili marketplace in an area that’s already an economic hub – near the water kiosk at a bustling nearby market. People already come to the area for their shopping needs, but Asili’s products would stand out – they would be sold under the Asili brand, in Asili-labeled bags and under an Asili tent.

    The team arrived at the market bright and early, set up their tent, and laid out their products – things like soap, body lotion, pre-packaged flour and sugar. They also sold some food – samosas from a restaurant in town and pre-packaged nutritional meals for kids, a kind a “just add water” porridge designed for a mother’s convenience.

    And what did we learn? People were interested – very.

    By the end of the day, the team had sold out almost all their products.

    “People were so curious,” said Mama Josee of the Asili team. “They wanted to know what Asili was up to next.”

    Reagan, our head of sales at Asili, agreed that the marketplace attracted huge crowds because the products were attached to the Asili name. “People wanted to know what was inside our food packages because of the Asili brand,” he said.

    There was a particular demand for the samosas and the “just add water” nutritional porridge. “We can’t find this kind of quality samosa around here,” said one woman. “And the nutritional porridge sold in packages makes it so easy for me – I can carry this home.”

    The Asili marketplace test taught the team lot of things – that there’s a demand for quality, intentional products that are not only better, but convenient for families. And, that Asili has become a trusted brand throughout the area – it’s become synonymous with world-class, yet locally relevant products.

    It was just one day, but this simple test has opened our eyes even further to the possibilities of Asili – the good it can do, the people it can reach, and the idea that a trusted, loved brand is important for markets everywhere.

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    Changemakers 365

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