To create a more complete and realistic solution, the first step was to create a brand to communicate and represent the final solution. The first step in creating the brand was designing a logo. The first step in designing a logo was designing an icon that would be used in conjunction with text to create a full logo.
The word 'Funda' is a Zulu word that means read. Therefore the brand Funda Friend suggests a reading companion. The tagline 'Learning Made Personal' suggests the idea of a personalised audio learning device as hinted at in my ideation and prototyping.
The colour scheme needed to represent a youthful, fun and exciting brand.
The main/heading typeface needed to represent something fun and friendly while the body copy needed to be a font that was easily legible and showcased that the brand was a company that understood the importance of literacy.
Below are the proposed brand partnerships, which will be discussed in detail further on down the page.
The final solution was a portable and interactive children's audio device that narrated books page by page to children, helping the teacher as well as the children by letting them relax and take in the story whilst helping them improve their literacy skills.
On the front of the device we have a number of different functions. Firstly we have a page display screen, which will show which page the audio is playing, allowing the child to follow the words.
Then we have the interactive buttons (previous, repeat, next) which allow a child to skip, rewind and repeat audio for pages which allows them to read a book at their own pace.
There is a headphone jack port where the headphones that come with the device can be plugged in, allowing the child to listen closely to the audio.
At the foot of the device is a charging port where the device's internal battery can be charged.
The first noticable feature on the back of the device is the power button that allows a child to turn the device on and off.
The second feature is battery level indicator lights which notify the teacher how much charge the device has.
The third feature is one of the most important features. This is a memory card slot that allows the teacher or child to slot in a memory card that will contain the audio files needed to read a certain book. The nice thing about this feature is that it allows a child to easily read and listen to multiple books just by changing a memory card.
Lastly, on the top of the device is a solar panel which can be used to trickle charge the device in the sun. This feature will help children in rural areas where there is no readily available electricity.
An example of the pair of headphones that will come with the device.
A handy charging station that allows teachers to mass charge a number of devices at once. Devices are clipped into the side of the charger via a c-clip after which a connecter on the side of the charger slips into the charging port at the base of the device.
MTN's role as a brand partner is to sponsor the Funda Friend brand by financing the manufacturing and distribution of devices.
Firstly, MTN is one of South Africa's largest telecommunications companies. Since their core business revolves around communications - and literacy and writing is a form of communication - I felt the brand linked well with what I wanted to achieve with my solution. Secondly, the company also has a social investment vehicle, the MTN SA Foundation, which strives to connect disadvantaged communities through MTN's telecommunication plaftorms so that they can become self-reliant. One of the main 'pillars' for investment for the foundation is education. Therefore I felt they would be the perfect sponsor for this brand.
There are a couple of benefits that MTN will recieve as a sponsor to the programme. Firstly MTN gets to contribute to a meaningful social cause that will undoubtedly uplift and empower lower income communities and therefore the brand will create positive brand associations in the public eye, which they can then leverage to grow the MTN brand equity.
Secondly, they get to create a positive perception around MTN in lower-income communities where they will be seen as a brand that helps nurture and educate the youth in these communities, creating a strong emotional connection to consumers in these areas which will persuade them to use MTN, creating more business for the brand.
JBL's role as a brand partner is to manufactor the headphones that are to be used with the audio device.
JBL is a global electronics company that manufactures speakers, headphones and other audio electronics of which many are sold in South Africa. Secondly, it is a well established brand that has been around for a long time.
Pearson's role as a brand partner is to provide educational content to be used in conjunction with the audio device through their Vuma reading instruction programme.
Pearson is a leading world learning and education company that creates and publishes a multitude of edcuational content for schools, corporates as well as directly to students. In South Africa they have rolled out a reading instruction programme for educating children in the foundation phase called Vuma. The programme publishes books in an African context for specific use in lower-income communities as a way of relating to children in these areas, through rich stories illustrated in an African townships. The books are also written in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu. Therefore I felt the programme would be a great fit for producing educational books and content to go with the Funda Friend device.
Shine Literacy's role as a brand partner is to act as a distribution channel for the devices whilst being a facilitator for the Funda Friend programme at a school level.
Shine Literacy is a national non-profit organisation based in Cape Town that has volunteer programmes throughout the country, including a few in KZN, where volunteers read one-on-one with children in Shine Literacy Centres to progress their reading skills. These Shine Literary Centres are based within various under-privileged schools around South Africa therefore they have a perfect network for the Funda Friend brand to tap into and reach the schools and children that need help.
Due to the fact that, from a school perspective, Shine Literacy is an external organisation whose aim is to further and improve literacy skills in schools, they will be the perfect partner to help manage and oversee the use of the devices and the books at these schools without getting caught up in the daily runnings of the school, which would happen to a teacher or headmaster. Thus the organisation will act as a facilitator for the programme helping schools to implement it on the ground and acting as a channel to handout rewards, from MTN, to children, teachers, headmasters and schools that run with and utilise the programme.
The packaging that the audio device will arrive in.
The device when setup the headphones and a book.
The packaging that the audio device will arrive in.
These are booklets given to teachers to provide information on how the devices work.
This website provides information on how the devices work for teachers who have access to the internet.
Below are various Funda Friend Learner Awards which will be handed out to children in class for successfully progressing through the programme as an incentive to carry on and as a form of recognition to the children for the progress they have made.
Below is a consumer journey of the Funda Friend programme and how it will be rolled out at various schools around the country.
Audio Devices, Charging Stations, Books and Memory cards are delivered to Waterloo Primary school and stored in the Shine Literacy Reading Centre/Classroom.
Megan, a Shine Literacy representative at the Waterloo School holds a talk with teachers along with a live demonstration in the teacher’s staff room.
After the talk, the Grade One teacher Thuthuka, receives a Funda Friend booklet which has information about the audio devices, the charging station, the Vuma books and the audio cards that accompany them. The booklet also has a guide on how to set up and implement the charging stations in her classroom. Information can also be found online on the Funda Friend Website which has instructional videos.
When Thuthuka goes back to the staff room at break time, she sees that there are Funda Friend informational posters put up around the room including an Awards Progress Chart which help her to remember how the Funda Friend Program works, as well as detailing information about the different incentives and rewards that are on offer if Thuthuka gets her class on the Funda Friend Programme.
Thuthuka then introduces the device to her class of children. Here Siboniso is given his own Funda Friend audio device with his name on it. He is then allowed to personalise his audio device by picking a sticker which he can place on the backpack of his audio device.
Thuthuka shows Siboniso how to use the device with his Vuma book in a dedicated Funda Friend class period.
Siboniso then uses the audio device on his own and completes his first Funda Friend activity. He is awarded a sticker which he adds to the backpack on his audio device.
Siboniso proceeds to complete multiple activities and finally finishes all his activities for the first level of the Funda Friend Program. He is awarded a Funda Friend badge which he is able to pin on his shirt and take home with him.
A Shine literacy representative comes to check Thuthuka’s class and verifies (conducts peer review) that all the students in her class have completed level one of the Funda Friend Programme. Thuthuka is awarded an MTN Data Bundle for helping all her students progress past level one.
To test his knowledge after a reading and completing various Funda Friend books and activities, Siboniso is given a test book in which he has to complete the first assessment about past books he has read. He uses the Funda Friend device to read the questions to him and then proceeds to write down his answers.
After a few months, Megan, the head Shine Literacy representative at the Waterloo School, reviews the Funda Friend Programme at the school and concludes that the entire junior primary is using the Funda Friend audio device and they have progressed past a certain level. The school then receives a gift from MTN in the form of a paid and scheduled school excursion. The teachers also receive a lunch for their hard work.
The Headmaster of the Waterloo Primary school notices that the marks and mood of the junior primary have lifted. He is so impressed with the Funda Friend Programme that he recommends it to other neighbouring schools and is awarded a networking prize from MTN.