Africa's Queen B has a calling card and it's pink. That is how I knew exactly where to go when I got to Rockets in Bryanston for the launch of her app, Bonang By Cell C.
Earlier this year, Queen B let us in on her plans which included an app, a reality show, a book, her own emojis, a clothing label and her own personalized Revlon range and so far, she has made 4 out of those 6 things happen. When we first saw that list, we envisioned these things rolling out over a few years but B has managed to knock down majority of those goals in a matter of months.
The latest of those goals being the Bonang by Cell C app.
Why an app?
Well, as one of South Africa's biggest celebrities, interest around Bonang (her life, the things she does, likes and loves) is at an all-time high. An app seems like the most accesible and lucrative way to feed that interest while bolstering her brand.
According to Team Matheba, "the app is the first of its kind and will curate exclusive content to subscribers and fans. Bonang by Cell C boasts features such as exclusive photos, videos, never seen before content and will grant subscribers an all access pass into Bonang’s life as she shares tips on make-up, outfit of the day to her videos and songs."
Yes, you read right, subscribers. Those who download the app and wish to gain first-hand access into the media darling's life will have to pay a monthly subscription fee of between R50 and R90p/m after their 7-day free trial is over and many have taken issue with this fact.
What the subscription fee gets you:
The app functions much like a website in that it has five tabs.
Love it - features Bonang’s favourite items and habits
Play it - features Bonang’s top songs and playlist picks and allows you to watch videos of her personal life (outside of the spotlight)
Do it - gives you B's recommendations on what to eat, how to dress and best places to go so that you can experience your own celebrity moment
AMA (Ask Me anything) - a section that allows you to ask Bonang ANYTHING you want, and she promises to answer
- 24/7 - an automatic feed of Bonang’s social updates from Twitter and Instagram (all in one place)
The app has a black, white, pink and orange colour-scheme with a fairly user-friendly interface and what (at the time) seemed like a quick response time when switching between tabs and loading content. The content that was already on the app during the time we got to play around with it was pretty much more of the same (if you already follow her on Twitter or Instagram) but that's maybe just because the development team used what was already out there.
In addition to pink being her new-found calling card, the Bonang Matheba brand has always been synonymous with exclusivity.
Her reality show is on Vuzu Amp (not many of her fans have/can afford DSTV premium)
Her BMoji range costs R40
And now, her app carries a subscription fee in addition to the data it will cost people to use it (in a mobile-first country where high data costs are an issue)
At the time of writing, the Google Play Store showed that there were only 100 downloads for her BMoji as well as her Bonang By Cell C app. According to the July ABC figures, her show had failed to perform as well as Vuzu Amp's other shows.
All of this begs the question - is B's penchant for exclusivity hurting her brand?
Granted, you've got to make money somehow but when your target market just can't afford it, is it really worth it?
Main image credit: twitter.com