Kenyan Consumers Tighten Belts as M-PESA Retains Top Superbrand Spot

Aiden Kiprop
By Aiden Kiprop 2 Min Read

In a clear reflection of the challenging economic climate, the 2024 Superbrands survey in Kenya has revealed a drastic drop in consumer optimism, with the level declining to a new low of 50% from 70% in 2019.

The annual survey, conducted by Kantar across key Kenyan cities, shows that Kenyan consumers are differentiating between needs and wants, and spending cautiously as inflation continues to rise.

Mobile payment platform M-PESA has retained its position as the leading Superbrand in Kenya for the third consecutive year, while parent company Safaricom came in at second place.

“With challenging economic times, it’s been interesting to understand how consumer perception and brand value offerings have evolved,” said David Ogara, Associate Account Director at Kantar. “Inflation has divided brands and products between ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to have,’ creating a clear distinction when purchase decisions are being made.”

The survey results reveal several key trends:

  • Consumers are gravitating towards flexible lending providers and heritage brands as their trusted sources, with M-KOPA rising from 36th to 6th position in the rankings.
  • Media channels like Citizen TV, Radio Citizen, and The Daily Nation have entered the top 10 list for the first time, as consumers shift towards free content-based services.
  • Household essential brands like Kenpoly and Bamburi Cement have maintained their top 10 positions, reflecting the practical needs of Kenyan consumers.
  • The Superbrands seal continues to hold sway, with 8 out of 10 respondents more likely to choose a brand that features the seal.

“Once again, the study has emerged as a barometer for changing consumer needs and preferences,” said Jawad Jaffer, Project Manager at Superbrands East Africa. “Brands must strive to provide value to climb the ranks as consumers prioritize needs over wants.”

As the Kenyan economy navigates the global downturn, the 2024 Superbrands survey highlights the resilience and adaptability of Kenyan consumers, who are making prudent choices to manage their expenses and maintain their quality of life.

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