Safaricom
Zaheeda Suleman, Pauline Kerre, Eva Wangui, Juliet Kalekye, Grace Murugi of Safaricom at the Superbrands award ceremony in Nairobi.

Mobile payment platform M-PESA has for the fifth year in a row earned the top badge, beating its parent company Safaricom after it was voted Kenya’s leading Superbrand in the latest survey by market research agency, Kentar TNS.

The ranking was derived from a survey administered to urban Kenya consumers in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu cities, which placed telco giant Safaricom at position two.

The just-released results solidify the platform’s positioning as being integral and essential to the functioning of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The survey further revealed six new brands including; Jik, Darling, Beyond Fruits, Nescafe, St John’s Ambulance and Kenya Airways that made an entry into the top 20 for the first time, compared to the previous 2020 listing.

With the strained economic times, some brands have ceased to be as relevant as they were. Consumers no longer have the luxury of spending disposable income on brands such as those in betting business for instance. From the survey, no betting company features in the top 20 rankings, compared to 2020 when Betika appeared in position 10.

However, there are notable shifts for brands playing in the hygiene and medical space; two critical categories/industries in the COVID era such as Jik that is up from rank 36 in 2020 to three, St. Johns Ambulance from rank 51 in 2020 to 19, and Dettol up to six, from rank 9 two years ago.

Read also: Kenya inflation rate hits five-year high of 7.9 percent on sky-high fuel, food prices

Key consumer insights from the survey indicated that consumers opted for more affordable brands because of budget constraints brought about by job losses or pay cuts caused by pandemic-induced economic struggles.

Most consumers gravitated towards brands with purpose,  committed to supporting communities through COVID-19 that saw the Kenya Red Cross maintaining fourth on the latest ranking.

Similarly, with the increased adoption of e-commerce throughout the Covid-19 era, consumers are now increasingly researching products before they make their purchase decisions.

Some consumers are starting to place emphasis on differentiation, and punishing brands that are more premium or value, but not differentiated from the low-priced mainstream brands.

2022 RANKINGBRANDCATEGORY
1M-PESAFinancial – General
2SafaricomTelecommunications, Broadband & Software
3JikHousehold – Cleaning Products – General
4The Kenya Red CrossRelief Organisations
5KenpolyHousehold – Plastic products
6DettolHousehold – Personal Hygiene – Bodycare
7WeetabixFood – General
8Bamburi CementBuilding Materials – Cement
9DarlingPersonal Hair Care – Wigs
10NaivasRetail – Supermarkets
11Citizen TVMedia – TV Stations
12ColgateHousehold – Personal Hygiene – Dental
13Supa LoafFood – Bread and bread products
14Beyond FruitsRetail – Greengrocers
15DasaniDrinks – Bottled Water
16NescafeDrinks – Coffee
17AutoXpressAutomotive – Services
18Jumia FoodsSupport Services – On Demand Delivery
19St Johns AmbulanceSupport Services – Healthcare
20Kenya AirwaysTravel – Airlines

Asked about the impact the Superbrands seal had on their decision-making process, eight out of 10 respondents were more likely to go with a brand that featured the seal.

Consumers believed Superbrands affiliation helps build a company’s reputation and sees them stand out from the competition.

“We continue to see that the Kenyan consumer is a savvy decision-maker. They want brands to deliver value and purpose. This is reflected in the survey with 85 percent of respondents associating the Superbrands seal as a mark of quality and reliability,” Jawad Jaffer, Project Manager, Superbrands East Africa said.

David Ogara, Manager, Kantar TNS observes, “With the middle-class consumer now experiencing brands across different price points in search of low-cost, higher value alternatives they are better informed and more selective. This now places them in a better position to truly decide which brands they believe are Superbrands across the different categories. The Kenyan consumer of today wants innovation and functionality”.

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