M-PESA has been voted Kenya’s leading Superbrand for the fourth year in a row, ahead of parent company Safaricom, which came second in a recent survey by market research agency, Kantar TNS. This result further solidifies the platform’s positioning as being integral and essential to the functioning of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

The survey was conducted in the second half of 2020 across Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

Listed below are the top 10 Superbrands in Kenya according to the survey.

  1. MPESA – Financial-General
  2. Safaricom – Telecommunications, Broadband & Software
  3. Weetabix – Food-General
  4. The Kenya Red Cross – Relief Organizations
  5. Toyota Kenya – Automotive; Manufacturers, Distributors & Retailers
  6. Samsung – Household; Appliances
  7. Colgate – Household; Personal Hygiene – Dental
  8. Citizen TV – Media; TV Stations
  9. Dettol – Household; cleaning products – general
  10. Betika – Leisure & Entertainment – Gambling

In this survey, six new brands made an entry into the top ten for the first time, compared to the previous listing. These include: The Kenya Red Cross, Toyota Kenya, Samsung, Dettol and Betika.

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 the economic struggles brought by COVID-19.

Most consumers gravitated towards brands with purpose. These brands, according to the survey, were committed to supporting communities through COVID-19 which is why The Kenya Red Cross features fourth on this latest ranking.

In uncertainty, consumers turn to familiar brands, those that they have grown up with and ones that are dependable. Here we see long-standing heritage brands feature heavily on the list from Dettol to Weetabix and Toyota Kenya.

Whilst the local gambling industry has gone through much turmoil, it remains an industry that forms a big part of Kenyan lives, particularly football fans. Through the pandemic, many consumers have been on the search for quick money. Whilst there is less loyalty to specific companies within this sector, overall loyalty to betting is extremely high, according to the survey.

Jawad Jaffer, Project Manager, Superbrands East Africa said, “Now more than ever, credibility and value is critical to a brand’s success in the minds of the Kenyan consumer. We can see here clearly that those who have stood the test of the pandemic as a Superbrand have done so because they have earned the confidence of Kenyans. We heartily congratulate our top ten.”

On achieving this kind of brand loyalty from the consumer, David Ogara, Manager, Kantar TNS emphasizes, “To be a disruptor, emerging brands need to put in the effort to connect emotionally with consumers. Insights tell us that consumers do not only look for physical functionality in a brand, it goes beyond functional to the emotional connect.”

The insights from the Kantar TNS are further mirrored by the PWC 2020 Global Consumer Survey. Consumers have gravitated towards (and will continue to do so) brands that showed consideration for their well-being and safety in every category. Additionally price and value will continue to be the paramount decision-making factor for the consumer.