The good people at Safaricom sat down and brainstormed and, after spending 25% of their marketing budget on it, came up with BLAZE, a sub-product of Safaricom that is purely targeted at the youth.
1. Safaricom BLAZE targets the young and not the young at heart
We have an interesting trend around here: the term “youth” refers to almost everyone below 50 years. Yup, all our politicians in their late forties consider themselves “youthful”. That serves their purpose but it still won’t get them on the Safaricom BLAZE train. For one to be able to join the BLAZE youth platform, they need to be 26 years of age or younger. Those who are below 18 years of age can still join BLAZE by going through the same process that every minor goes through to get a mobile subscriber line in the country.
Oh, and Safaricom is just another big brother. It knows all about you so you can’t fool your way around if you are over 26. Remember those birthday texts they always send you every year? You registered for M-PESA or registered your line upon purchase didn’t you? Stop trying.
2. BLAZE is permanent
It is not promotional so you will not wake up some time in September and find that you’ve been kicked out. As long as you stay opted in, you will be on the platform.
3. Setting up is easy
You only need to go to dial *555# on your mobile phone, follow the prompts and later go to blaze.co.ke to set up your own plan.
4. You need to be online to set up your own BLAZE profile
You must navigate to cyp.blaze.co.ke in order to be able to create your own plan. You can’t do the same using the short code.
Here’s what happens:
- You go to cyp.blaze.co.ke
- You will be prompted to input your mobile phone number
- Once you key it in and submit you will get a text message with an activation key
- Enter the activation key on the pop up on the BLAZE portal
- The portal will show that your number has been validated. Click OK
- Now play with that slider!
5. The gist of BLAZE is giving you the freedom to choose what works for you and where your money goes
As you will notice as soon as you are done setting up, the whole point of BLAZE as a platform is the flexibility it gives you about how much and where your airtime is going. For most young people with smartphones, all they need is data, data and more data. Such needs are already catered for by the current Safaricom internet bundles rates but those rates may not be too friendly to the pockets of most young people. As such, by choosing the duration (e.g. daily, weekly or monthly) and using the slider on cyp.blaze.co.ke, one is able to dictate the amount of money and where that money will go to.
For instance, for just 100 shillings a day, one gets 405 megabytes of data. Or 35 voice minutes. Or a mix of everything: 243 MB data, 7 voice minutes and 210 SMS. The ceiling is Kshs 2,000 monthly which gives one a whopping 7.9 GB data or less if they choose to activate some voice minutes and SMSs as well.
6. You can opt into BLAZE and continue using your Safaricom line like you always have – as if BLAZE never existed
This is exactly what I’m doing. I opted in and realized my needs are way too complex. However, BLAZE is an attractive proposition for me so I won’t walk away from it. I’ll stay around. I’ll still subscribe to my normal monthly bundles but keep BLAZE on the side as a backup plan. Who doesn’t want 405MB data for just Kshs 100 when their bundles run out?
7. You can walk out of BLAZE when you want to
Opting out is easy. While BLAZE is targeted at the youth, it won’t work for every one of us. Some of us have developed complex use cases and are already accommodated in Safaricom’s existing plans. Others will join BLAZE and quickly realize it will just never work for them. That’s unfortunate but still real at the same time. Just dial *555# and find the exit sign. No biggie.
8. There’s a lot of BLAZE branded merchandise on sale including limited edition BLAZE SIM cards and devices
Like this device that Safaricom’s director for consumer business, Sylvia Mulinge, is pictured holding.
That’s the Tecno Camon C5 that has been renamed the BLAZE Flame. Joining it among the smartphones on offer through BLAZE is the Huawei Y360, another entry-level Android smartphone that costs Kshs 5,500 or can be redeemed for 18,330 BLAZE Bonga points (yes, there’s such a thing. Just Bonga points but within the BLAZE programme but since the youth are the target, can be redeemed for even more stuff like movie tickets).
There also some limited edition BLAZE SIM cards which will, when inserted in a device, display the BLAZE logo on the top left of the device.
9. BLAZE is more than a service, there are other components like motivational talks and mentorship programs as well
These have not been rolled out in their totality but will be fully implemented in due course under the BYOB (Be Your Own Boss) brand as Safaricom targets to empower the youth under the BLAZE programme. There will even be funding for some select youth enterprises in the country courtesy of an upcoming BLAZE TV show.
That is BLAZE at a glance. Safaricom has a comprehensive FAQ section on the BLAZE portal that has all the information about the platform and the entire programme you will ever need so you should definitely make a point of checking it out.