Caribbean Connections

Ever heard of Digicel? Yeah, me neither – until a few weeks ago. When my eyeballs were saturated with their branding.

Upon landing in Haiti, I was surrounded, not only by a sea of people, but by an ocean of red Digicel signs. They are a company run by an Irish entrepreneur, who targeted Jamaica and other Caribbean islands (and has now expanded outward). You will look in vain to find much reference to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint in Haiti. But you can hardly look anywhere without seeing Digicel branding. Day or night.

Digicel painted on walls. Digicel T-shirts. Digicel sun-umbrellas lining almost every street. I saw red all week.

While we, here in the first-world, have now turned to on-line/social as the new ubiquitous, Digicel knows its market. Ubiquitous is being on every wall, every sign, every visual. It may seem old-school, but it works. There are a couple of other cell providers in Haiti, but after a week there, only one stands out. Digicel.

One of my reference points for a mission house we went to several times was a couple of Digicel signs painted on a seawall. There was no escaping their presence.

And, even in the poorest of countries, cellphones are becoming common currency. When we ran a generator to power a circular saw, the workers plugged their phones in to recharge. Having money to buy new minutes was a big deal. Clearly, Digicel has latched onto a money-making service, even in the poorest of environments. A lesson for us all, when we think there is a lack of opportunity.

I’m sure there are many other brands operating in Haiti and the surrounding islands. But the major one I’ll always connect with Haiti is Digicel. I don’t know if I’ve seen such saturation before. Not bad for a company I’d never heard of!

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Hire Steve Woodruff  if your identity and message need clarity (Brand Therapy)

Recent posts on Connection Agent:

>> Out of my Comfort Zone

>> Not All Business is Good Business

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Twitter: @swoodruff

Out of my Comfort Zone: Haiti

As many of you know, I recently went on a mission trip to Haiti (small team from my local church). My role was to help one of my long-time friends with a building project – topping off the walls of a partially-constructed church building and putting up a roof on it.

The trip was an amazing privilege, and the whole adventure was WAY outside my comfort zone! Nonetheless, it was a fulfilling and eye-opening experience.

I thought I’d share some of the pictures I took of the country, its people, and the project. Here is the photo set on Flickr. If you scroll through, you’ll see the captions; you can also view it in slideshow mode.

Pictures, and words, can’t do justice to the experience. But maybe they’ll give you a glimpse of a nation and a people far more in need than we are here in the “first world”.

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Hire Steve Woodruff  if your identity and message need clarity (Brand Therapy)

Recent posts on Connection Agent:

>> Who Are Your Influencers?

>> Not All Business is Good Business

Please feel free to subscribe to the Connection Agent blog via Reader (RSS) | via e-mail

Twitter: @swoodruff

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