REMARKS BY IPSOS IN KENYA MANAGING DIRECTOR, CHRIS GITHAIGA, DURING RELEASE OF THE TOP 100 MOST LOVED BRANDS BY WOMEN IN KENYA STUDY AT THE RADISSON BLUE HOTEL ON 21ST MARCH 2023
The Chief Guest,
Our partners – BSD Group,
Industry Leaders Present,
Our Online Community,
Members of the Fourth Estate,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good morning to you all.
It is a great honor and privilege for me to have a chance to be here today for the release of the findings of our latest study on the Top 100 Most Loved Brands by Women in Kenya.
Let me take this opportunity to thank all of you for finding time to be here. Special thanks to our sponsors, partners, the BSD Group, and industry leaders present.
This is the third study whose findings we are releasing. The inaugural report was released around the same time in March 2021, when together with BSD Group, Ipsos in Kenya set on a journey to help brand owners, policy makers, investors get a better understand women’s consumption habits after we realised that the demographic and value of women consumers in Kenya was understated, misunderstood, and ignored.
We want to make people understand this key segment of the market. By availing analytical data, we are making it easy for those targeting this demographic to make decisions that will be beneficial not only to businesses and government agencies but also to this critical population.
It is our hope that it will give critical insights into women’s needs and preferences so that brands are able to innovate, become more profitable, and receive public recognition.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We strategically picked on the month of March since it is also the Women History Month when nations across the world celebrate the often overlooked but nevertheless outstanding contributions of women in history, society, and culture.
This is also the month when we celebrate the International Women Day – 8th March. This year’s theme was Accelerating Equality and Empowerment.
By publishing this study, we are hoping to raise awareness about the fight for gender parity, and inspiring support for brands and organizations that help women globally.
We are giving insightful data on women’s love for brands and recognizing those that stand out for the female consumer segment.
In this study, we have gone beyond numbers to add a human dimension to impersonal data. We employed a qualitative methodology which allows us to delve deeper into the Kenyan woman’s psyche to examine her values, opinions and underlying motivations, with a mix of personal ‘day-in-the-life’ diaries and ethnographies allowing us to spend time in her space.
You will agree with me that a dive into marketing strategies will reveal that a significant number of small and house-name brands are shifting towards a model that prioritizes female audience. With scientific data on what drives women’s preferences and choices, there strategies can pay off well.
But why target women if you want your brand to fare well in the market? According to studies by the Association of National Advertisers, women are now the world’s most powerful consumers, driving up to 85 percent of purchasing decisions. They buy 92 percent of vacations, 91 percent of new homes and 65 percent of new cars.
Locally, in Kenya Ipsos studies have confirmed that women play a central role in decision-making in the household. At least 97% play a critical role in the purchase of products or services used in their households, while 78% of their income goes to household purchases.
In addition, the percentage of female-headed households are on increase and can no longer be ignored. Our recent studies show that close to 50% of households in Kenya have woman as the head.
While there is some truth to the idea that women are household managers and the key decision makers in many business organizations, there is also an equally strong body of research to show that they are much more discerning than their male counterparts when it comes to engaging with digital marketing material.
This means that women’s participation in a more strategic form of sourcing and purchasing could lead them to being the country’s main drivers of long-term economic development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am alive to how inflation has affected consumer behaviour and spending habits, and this has been factored in the study.
According to Central Bank of Kenya statistics, the inflation rate rose from 9.75 in January to 8.30 in February 2023. This has had an impact in the choice of brands by women.
During these times of inflation, it is expected that consumers will switch to value for money alternatives and that they will stop spending on non-essential items. This is not only true to higher-income households but also lower-income counterparts. Everyone is tightening the belt.
That is why we were excited at the opportunity to work with BSD Group and other partners to bring the woman voice on the table and central to decision making
Further, allow me to reiterate the objectives of this study, which I highlighted at the beginning.
The aims are to: -
Demonstrate how focus and engagement with women markets contributes to financial & reputational performance.
Accelerate new market access through women markets
Enrich understanding on the opportunities presented by women markets and how they contribute to the bottom line
Empower brand managers with real insights on women markets.
Enhance understanding for brands on the needs and desires of women and to re-align their offering to meet these needs.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As I conclude, allow me to thank our sponsors, the BSD Group, for being an incredible partner on this journey. As they say, all dreams are valid – and I hope in the future we will be able to scale this study to other Africa markets
I am certain you will find insights from the study very invaluable in your quest to understand the female consumer in today’s fast changing world. At Ipsos in Kenya, we believe that by capitalizing on women’s purchasing power, offering products and services that women want or need, and embracing their purchasing behavior has a huge potential of impacting business bottom lines.
There is also empirical evidence that companies do enjoy better bottom by having more women in leadership and decision-making roles.
As a global leader in market research therefore, Ipsos delivers reliable information and true understanding of Society, Markets and People. We use data to help our clients make faster, smarter, and bolder decisions.
Congratulations to all who have made it to the Top 100 Most Loved Brands by Women in Kenya this year!
Once again, thank you very much for your time. God bless you!