What women want: M-Pesa tops list

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 20 Mar, 2024 06:00 | 4 mins read
M-Pesa has secured its position as the most beloved brand by women in Kenya, closely followed by Safaricom, in the latest edition of The Top 100 Most Loved Brands by Women in Kenya. PHOTO/Print
M-Pesa has secured its position as the most beloved brand by women in Kenya, closely followed by Safaricom, in the latest edition of The Top 100 Most Loved Brands by Women in Kenya. PHOTO/Print

M-Pesa has secured its position as the most beloved brand by women in Kenya, closely followed by Safaricom, in the latest edition of The Top 100 Most Loved Brands by Women in Kenya.

This study, a collaboration between communication consultancy firm, BSD Group, and market research and consulting firm, Ipsos Kenya provides critical insights into women’s brand preferences and their significant role in driving economic growth.

The top brands women choose reflect shifting consumer preferences, with M-Pesa and Safaricom dominating the mobile money and telecommunications sector.

Equity Bank, Samsung (representing phones), and Ajab all-purpose flour round up the top five most loved brands.

Naivas emerged as the most beloved retail brand, highlighting its strong appeal among Kenyan women.
Diverse preferences

Airtel, KCB Bank, Menengai soap, and Apple completed the top ten most loved brands, reflecting the diverse preferences of female consumers in Kenya.

With 68 per cent utilising mobile money and 33 per cent engaging with mobile lending platforms, the study underlines the increasing influence of women in mobile money usage.

The proliferation of smartphones among women has fuelled a surge in daily usage of mobile money applications, signalling a digital revolution in financial transactions.

Additionally, women play a significant role in retail decisions, with seven out of 10 women being financial decision-makers for household purchases at retail outlets.

Ranked according to categories, Harrier emerged as the most loved car make, as Nivea trumped Arimis in the beauty category.

Beyond brand preferences, the study provided insights into the multifaceted challenges faced by women in Kenya.

Balancing work and family responsibilities emerged as a top concern, with 28 per cent of women expressing worries about this juggling act.

Additionally, domestic abuse, barriers to education and the high cost of living were identified as pervasive issues affecting women’s lives.

The study also shed light on women’s critical role in health-related decisions, with 69 per cent of women playing a key role in healthcare choices within Kenyan households.

Recognising women’s influence as key decision-makers and consumers, the study underscored the need for businesses to engage and empower women strategically.

The study notes that since women control significant market segments and contribute significantly to household purchases, making them a vital force in driving economic growth.

Investing in women through education, economic empowerment, and healthcare benefits individuals and translates into increased incomes, business growth, and economic expansion.

The study also unveils the diverse preferences and challenges faced by women in Kenya, it emphasises the importance of recognising and addressing women’s needs in business and policymaking.

By empowering women economically and strategically engaging with them, businesses can harness the full potential of this influential consumer segment, driving innovation, growth, and value creation in the marketplace

“This is a huge opportunity for most brands that actively seek to engage women as an opportunity for growth since women play a critical role in our economy. They truly control multiple market segments through their influence and purchasing power,” said Ipsos Kenya Managing Director Chris Githaiga.
This year’s ranking indicated a shift in consumer choice and brand preference when compared to 2023’s ranking.

Industry data shows that women used mobile money more often at 68 per cent, followed by mobile lending platforms at 33 per cent.

Further, about one in two women with mobile phones own a smartphone which has led to a daily usage of mobile money applications growth from 36 per cent in 2023 to 54 per cent in 2024.

That 92 per cent of women are loyal to their favourite retail outlets explains why Naivas led in the retail sector as seven out of 10 women are financial decision-makers in issues to do with retail outlets that families or people do shopping.

This gives the retail sector a loyal and stable female customer base. 70 per cent of Kenyan women personally shop for groceries.

Interestingly, the study also found out that a shift has developed where women have moved from passive consumers of alcohol to purchase decision-makers. This, however, did not relate to an alcohol brand making it to the top 100. The represented brands in the top 100 reflect the lifestyle of the Kenyan household.

Favourite household items such as tea made the list with Kericho gold topping Kagwe tea. Sugar and milk were represented by Kabras and Mumias and Delamere and Tuzo made the list for milk. Foreign brands were represented by Apple, NIKE, Nokia, Netflix and Cocacola. In energy K gas made the list.

NHIF made to the list informing the significant role the insurer makes in the lives of women. Recent policy pronouncements of shifting NHIF to SHIF will be an interesting watch in the coming year.

The study looks at the scope of women consumers in Kenya, demographics, psychographics, and behavioural profiles, seeking to understand what informs preferences in brand choices among women.
Mainly it seeks to highlight the space women consumers occupy as an emerging, significant and profitable consumer market in Africa.

The study is the first of its kind in Africa and focuses on insights that inform, empower and enrich understanding of women’s markets to unlock growth for businesses and brands.

Insights drawn from the study elaborate how the Kenyan woman drives consumer purchase decisions within her household as the primary shopper. The study also highlights the reasons behind women’s purchase decisions and therefore, points out the need for utilisation of data-driven business methods and strategies.

Beyond brand preferences, the study sheds light on the multifaceted challenges faced by women in Kenya, including balancing work and family responsibilities, domestic abuse, barriers to education, and the high cost of living.

Despite these challenges, women continue to wield significant influence in healthcare choices, with 69 per cent playing a key role in healthcare decisions within Kenyan households.

In its methodology, the study explores the crucial elements of brand desire, including peer endorsement, brand presence and trust among women. Additionally, it delves into the market effects that drive brand preference, such as accessibility, availability, product diversity, and taste alignments with preferences and lifestyle.

“The Study provides critical insights and much-needed value to leadership and management in strengthening product and service delivery to a key demographic that has been repeatedly proven to be extremely bankable. As we navigate a very volatile market environment, those who invest in this data will be able to access insights that provide a strengthened competitive advantage, reputational equity and opportunity for innovations and disruption,” said Eva Muraya, founder and C.E.O, BSD Group at the launch.

Numbers from the study shows 28 per cent of women are concerned about balancing work and family responsibilities. 7.8 per cent of young single mothers, live with their children and their parents. And in at least two out of five (43 per cent) of these households, the woman leaves financial planning to someone else.

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