A leading telecommunications firm is the most loved brand by women in Kenya. This is according to a survey of the top 100 brands loved by women in Kenya released on Wednesday in Nairobi.
The study was jointly done by BSD Group and Ipsos Kenya.
The Nairobi Security Exchange (NSE) listed telecommunications company is a pioneer in integrating gender responsive policies, perhaps a proof of findings of emerging studies on the necessity of gender diversity in creating a loyal market in women.
According to the BSD Group and Ipsos Kenya's study in which 1,021 rural and urban women were sampled from across the eight regions in Kenya, Safaricom was their best brand because it "makes communication easy."
In a 2019 study by NSE Equileap and New Faces New Voices, which assessed 60 listed companies on gender equality in the workplace, the telco was ranked the best firm for having workplace policies promoting gender equality.
These include five female-focused corporate social responsibility programs such as internal women in leadership program, which purposes to increase numbers of women in the C-suite as well as an external women in business initiative that provides mentorship for women-owned businesses.
A Make me special: Gender differences in consumers' responses to loyalty programs published in Marketing Letters, a journal that publishes research in marketing established that unlike men, women respond more positively to loyalty programs that emphasise personalisation.
Loyalty programs are marketing strategies that encourage consumers to continue buying a certain product or use a particular service.
During the launch, manufacturing, corporate and trade leaders reaffirmed the importance of having women in the decision making circles to drive gender responsive business and consumerism.
NSE Chief Executive Officer, Mr Geoffrey Odundo said through 30 Per Cent Club campaign, the bourse is encouraging listed firms to include women in boards and senior management.
"Why are we doing this? We have done research and the studies have shown that (firms) with women on boards have excellent results," he said.
The Club, which NSE joined two weeks ago, was established in the UK in 2010 by British financier Dame Helena Morrissey and champions for gender-balanced boards and senior management in corporates across the globe.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Chief Executive Officer, Ms Phyllis Wakiaga said: "For manufacturers (what this study means is that) we will have to consider women more as we develop our products, brand and market our products."
"We also need to take the insights of women more seriously... really involve them in decision making processes in the manufacturing sector," she added.
Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service and Gender, Ms Rachel Shebesh, said the data will inform the State's women empowerment initiatives especially in training women to invest affirmative funds in market-driven ventures.
Even as one in four women surveyed reported aspirations to start a business, the barriers to establishing and managing one are overwhelming.
"There is a big challenge (in terms of) the whole environment (in which) a woman (operates). From the pressure of raising children... (to) how to (access) finance to start a business," noted Ipsos-Kenya, Country Manager, Mr Chris Githaiga.
"We really need to find a way to remove these barriers to help women achieve their dreams," he added.
Other top 10 brands are Mpesa, which ranked the second most popular, followed by Equity Bank and Always, at third place.
Naivas Supermarket is the fifth most preferred brand among the women, Menengai bar soap, comes sixth, and Aramis body care product, seventh.
Airtel was ranked eighth while Ariel multi-cleaning products and Coca Cola came in the ninth and tenth positions, respectively.