If you were raised Presbyterian in East Africa or have been around friends who belong to the flock then you must have stumbled on the Woman’s Guild. I just came from a funeral service at St. Andrews church which I watch the members of the Woman’s guild all in their symbolic blue headscarf honour one of their own for her great service and sacrifice, for friendship and sisterhood.
According to the St Andrews website Woman’s Guild was founded in 1922 for girls, first dedication in 1923 and called GIRL’S GUILD. The second dedication was in 1926 and between 1930 – 1943 the Guild lapsed but was revived. The girls who started were already grown up women and so the name changed to WOMAN’S GUILD,open to both girls and married women today.
This is a 92 year old brand that deserves uttermost respect for empowering millions of families through their faith based philosophy and practical application of the principles in addressing drug abuse, Gender-Based Violence, poverty, disease, insecurity and climate change. The family institution is under threat from all forces and broken homes are on the increase. Indeed, the list is endless.
The things that caught my attention during the funeral service were the headscarf, card and badge, a standard issue to the Guild member during the dedication as a sign of membership and a reminder of the fellowship she belongs to and a reminder of vows and promises. Today the items that belonged to the dearly departed member were presented to her family by the National Chair-lady of the PCEA Woman’s guild in a short ceremony during the funeral service after the chair gave a moving speech.
The logo, the head scarf, the badge and the membership card are powerful brand signals that collectively give deep meaning to members of the guild and all who come into contact with them. The Scouts movement, Salvation Army, Red Cross and other brands use symbols to create connection and collectively give meaning.
My mom had head-scarfs, plenty of beautiful head-scarfs that she she wore to any and every occasion. They were a symbol of pride, fashion and respect as a woman in the nineteen eighties but as the years progressed the less they featured in her dressing. She like many other women have drifted away from them over time to wearing their hair open, braided or weaved.
This seemingly petite issue of the much celebrated blue PCEA Woman’s Guild headscarf may be the reason for some women and girls not joining the movement. I believe its about time the leaders of this most important woman and family empowerment movement updated its brand assets: head-scarfs, membership card, badge to something that today’s women and girls will adorn with pride and style, something timeless like the scouts scarf and beret.
Any fashion guru with a solution to the PCEA Woman’s Guild brand signal? Your market will have 62,000 members only 🙂 and many other thousands who will come in because you made it possible through your genius creation.