Safaricom, Arsenal top list of preferred brands

Kenyans have picked Safaricom as a quality
Kenyans have picked Safaricom as a quality brand in a survey. FILE 

Safaricom, milk processor Brookside, and English Premier League club Arsenal are top quality brands among Kenyans, a new survey shows. Others, according to a Swiss market and consumer research agency, are high street Swiss watch brand, Rolex, Visa card and music by international superstar Beyoncé.

Kenyans also named local artiste Sauti Sol as a preferred brand.

Brookside, which is majority-owned by the Kenyatta family, was in the news last week after French food processor Danone bought a 40 per cent stake in the milk processor.

Nescafé, Delmonte juice, Keringet drinking water, Fair & Lovely lotion, Nike footwear, Equity Bank and underwriter Britam ranked top in their respective categories. The International Certification Association (Icertias) study, which awards quality medals to products (Qudal) sampled 1,200 Kenyans aged 15 years and above online.


“Qudal – Quality medal research – therefore, gives a completely new picture of Kenya and the Kenyan market, revealing what Kenyan citizens think of products and their perception of that value,” said the report on the June study.

When asked to specify the company, product or service that is the symbol of the high quality in the Kenyan market, majority of respondents picked Safaricom, said the report. In the recent past, the telco has been involved in a dispute with the communications industry regulator CAK over quality of its service.

Safaricom, whose licence has just been renewed, was last year rated at 50 per cent but contested the Authority’s assessment, saying an independent assessor gave it a score of 87.5 per cent. The study assessed buying decisions according to quality and not prices.

Jaguar, a Kenyan rapper, got most votes as Kenya’s best artiste while David Rudisha, the 800-metre Olympic champion, was picked as best sportsman.

Shopping malls

Gor Mahia, despite the negative publicity around its fan base, is the best local sports club, says the study.

Qudal market research doesn’t measure market share or brand power but focuses exclusively on consumer experience and opinions on quality they get for money spent, says the report.

In the last two years, Kenya has seen the emergence of the middle-class that has become the economic engine of the country as seen in their power to spend.

Big spenders

This has attracted top brands and retail chains into Kenya, especially in Nairobi where the known brands are competing for space at shopping malls.

Some of the global firms that have pitched tent in Kenya to take advantage of the emerging middle-class big spenders are Subway, the American fast food franchise, Revlon, L’Oreal, Oriflame, Clarks, Danone and KFC.

Danone last week announced it had bought 40 per cent stake in Brookside whose turnover last year stood at Sh15.4 billion.