Safaricom Signage at the I&M Building along Muindi Mbingu Street, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Mobile telecommunication service providers are the most loved brands by women in Kenya, with Safaricom the most popular followed by its cash transfer service M-Pesa, and competitor Airtel Kenya.

This is according to a survey by research firm Ipsos and brand and business advisory consultancy BSD Group, with the report released on Tuesday an insight-led tool for Kenyan businesses to tap into the power of women markets.

The telcos were followed closely by Equity Bank, Arimis, Always, Coca Cola, Naivas, GOtv and KCB Bank as the top 10 in the second edition of The Top 100 Most Loved Brands by Women In Kenya study.

Research shows that 80 per cent of consumer decisions are made by women.

At the tail end of the list from position 90 to 100 were Emathia dispensary in Western Kenya, TK Agricultural products, Supa Loaf bread, Clere, Jik, Khetias, Gucci, Golden Fry, Lido home cleaning products bar soap, Brookside and Pembe.

Car manufacturer Toyota made a surprise appearance on the list at position 24, making it the only vehicle brand to appear on the list.

Speaking at the event, Public Service and Gender Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Ms Rachel Shebesh said the ministry would rely on the research and data gathered to help address the various issues captured.

“We are pleased that the insights collected in this study bring out issues affecting women in Kenya, which will inform development of evidence-based policies by the government,” she said.

The study was based on a nationally representative sample of women from Coast, North Eastern, Eastern, Central, Rift Valley, Western, Nyanza and Nairobi regions, and covered women across age groups and socio-economic backgrounds.

According to the study, women in Kenya are now interacting with more products and services as the country slowly eases out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It recorded an increased number of women as banking and insurance consumers, more women using and influencing the choice of vehicles, increased use of fuel products, products in the agricultural sector, and increased usage of media subscriptions.

Ipsos Chief Executive Mr Chris Githaiga said the demographic and value of women consumers in Kenya has often being understated, misunderstood and ignored.

“It is important to explore this emerging demographic as studies globally have proven that women’s economic empowerment has more impact globally in poverty reduction,” he said.

He said it has been difficult to attach a number to the holistic value of a brand and to communicate that number in a way that makes CEOs, investors and policy makers confident enough to use it as a guide to decision making.

The CEO added that the top 100 most loved brands by women used the best of science, technology and know-how to enable clients to act faster, smarter, and bolder with surety in the women’s market space.

In the ranking of top 100 hundred brands, small neighbourhood supermarkets, hospitals, milk brands, personal care, hair and body care products, flour and mobile phone lending services made a strong showing.

The study launch event was one of the side events of the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women that took place in New York, USA.

The research also found increased alcoholic beverage consumption among women, slight increases as a purchaser or influencer of alcoholic beverages, women spending more on cosmetic products and using cosmetic and beauty products more often, and a slight decrease in purchase of home cleaning products.

Forty-five of women in Kenya also claim to interact with e-commerce, 44 per cent own a smartphone for their personal use, and 52 per cent of women said they interact with solar products.

Physical insecurity and social inequality, and poor economic empowerment are women’s biggest day-to-day issues and are more pronounced compared to first wave of the pandemic.

Poor economic empowerment is the leading issue women face on a daily, followed by barriers to ease of doing work, poor access to quality healthcare, inequality in the workplace, domestic abuse, early marriage, barriers to accessing education, physical abuse, sexual abuse and violence, social inequality, political under- representation, and early marriage.

The study also revealed that women feel that elected leaders need to deal with issues of inflation, poverty, road transport, food prices, water resources, insecurity, cost of living, employment, and women empowerment among others.

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