The year that witnessed Covid-19 supercharging the e-commerce space has seen Payflex evolving into the market leader in South Africa’s buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) payment industry. The part-payment platform grew from a shopper base of 2,000 to 80,000 in just 12 months and a merchant onboarding from 140 pre-Covid to a current figure of over 650.
Kenne Loubser, head of marketing at Payflex, says the refresh is a key component of a much broader digital payments strategy focused on creating greater flexibility, ease and security for consumers and businesses.
“Covid provided us with a valuable opportunity to take a step back and ask what we wanted our brand to stand for and where we needed to take it in order to make that happen.”
Brand new frontier
Loubser says what started out as a new strategic approach for the brand evolved organically into a brand refresh as a natural byproduct of moving the brand to the next level.
“The new branding is a bold move that symbolises the Payflex evolution from neophyte startup to market leader in the BNPL space, and reaffirms the brand’s commitment to changing the shopping experience; making it effortless and fun while empowering people through the internet economy.”
Inspired by local agency creativity and international best practices, the new look uses contrasting colours of mauve against navy to make a striking visual impression, leveraging this impact to show up and differentiate the brand in the online space and in-store as well. This includes a logo that is clean, modern and aspirational, in line with enabling shoppers to get the product they desire while facilitating merchants with a state-of-the-art win-win payment solution.
“It is simple yet effective. Similar to other payment companies like Mastercard’s dual tone of orange and yellow and Visa’s blue,” comments Loubser.
The power of partnership
Loubser says key to the success of the brand refresh was the synergy between Payflex and The King James Group.
“Their warmth, innovative approach as well as solid understanding of how to take the Payflex brand to the next level meant there was an immediate cultural fit. We felt they understood where we fit into the market and what we want to achieve from a demographic level through our mission of providing shoppers with a debt-free shopping solution.”
While Lauren Mitchell, group head art director at The King James Group, says the project was a real collaboration between creative and innovative thinkers.
“No idea was too big, no detail was too small to notice and above all, it was a real collaboration between creative and innovative thinkers, and it was a way of working where the results speak for themselves.”
At the same time, Kabelo Lehlongwane, integrated strategy director at The King James Group, says the agency’s goal was to build an authentic brand.
“Our goal was to encapsulate the joy that shopping can bring for millions of people - especially when done in a way that is sustainable for consumers.”
Loubser says the new positioning reflects the brand’s functional essence: making the world more shoppable by providing an experience that is easier, safer and more fun, with a key focus on a customer-centric approach that offers flexibility and reliability to navigate a new and better way of living.
“The new branding reflects our core purpose of being a meaningful brand, which simultaneously helps consumers budget more easily, while at the same time, assisting merchants as a partner brand that provides tangible sources of revenue and real sustainable growth after a really tough year,” comments Loubser.
This is shopping
Loubser says the refreshed brand drives the importance home of debt-free payment solutions, something that is vital amid the challenges associated with the knock-on effects of the pandemic.
Graeme Jenner, executive creative director at The King James Group, echoes this, saying: “In most homes around the country, debt is the humongous elephant in the room. Which is why it has been so refreshing to create a piece of work that signals what will hopefully be the beginning of the end for South Africa’s debt culture.”
At the same time, Skhumbuzo Tuswa, group head copywriter at The King James Group, says shopping will never be the same after Payflex.
“People will finally feel like they have options – good ones, too. I really enjoyed creating a piece of work that I know for a fact will help people put a little bit of power back into their hands.”
He says in order to reflect this, the brand went with a new pay-off line.
Payflex’s bold visual statement is accompanied by content, which shifts the previous functional pay-off line of ‘pay in four’ to a pay-off line that provides a holistic experience for both shopper and merchant: This is shopping.
Loubser says this pay-off line signals to shoppers and merchants alike that a new way of shopping has indeed arrived in South Africa.
“The new look and feel perfectly ties in with the brand’s ethos of building a legacy of interest-free online shopping, while at the same time, disrupting the South African shopping environment by offering a seamless, flexible and debt-free shopping experience through cutting-edge innovation.”
Loubser concludes: “A new generation of shopping has indeed arrived in South Africa, putting shoppers firmly in the driver’s seat when it comes to how they pay: its name is Payflex.”