By Eva Muraya

The Kenyan consumer market ought to embrace women in a special way. This is mainly because times have significantly changed for Kenyan women. The country’s female consumer has equally become one of the most lucrative consumers and her prowess in the consumer market ecosystem is only expected to grow over the next decade. This is due to higher labor participation, higher brand influence, and growing numbers of women in leadership positions.

In essence, women are gradually dominating the country’s consumer landscape as earners, buyers and influencers in all aspects of social, cultural and business leadership. Yet, little is known about the impact of their consumer power on long-term industrialization and economic development across the region.

They too continue to present the country’s largest growth opportunity. Besides, the female gender is likely to play a critical role in the future economic success of not only our nation but various nations across the continent. This specific role can only be enhanced by the multiplier effect of their purchasing power. Thus because they tend to make more purchasing decisions in most households.

Additionally, women account for 85% of consumer purchasing decisions and nearly half of all purchases in traditionally male-dominated categories such as cars and electronics. But little is also known about whether the Kenyan woman takes a more strategic approach to purchasing or sourcing behavior or whether she takes the long-term developmental implications of her spending power into account.

However, according to recent findings by the ‘Top 100 Most Loved Brands by Women in Kenya’ – an IPSOS and BSD Group Study, sourcing behaviors have a direct impact on industrialization and national-wide development. 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. Therefore as we continue to gather more data on female purchasing practices over a sustained period of time, more information will become available on what exactly does influence women’s purchasing behavior and how it impacts national and regional growth. Such data will too be beneficial towards understanding the female spending patterns, and how such spending could contribute to lifting families from extreme poverty.

Limited access to precise data related to the Kenyan woman’s buying practices could also mean that little is known about the long-term impact of women’s purchasing activities on industrialization and economic development across the country. Also not much is known about natural tendencies of women while sourcing products and services. Yet it is this kind of knowledge that is required for the realization of the country’s development agenda to be achieved. Furthermore, consumer sourcing is key to the country’s long-term sustainable development. And since women largely influence overall consumer purchases, we need to direct our attention to the long-term impact of their purchasing choices. We also need to deconstruct strategic sourcing and its impact on widespread economic growth.

Basically, capitalizing on women’s purchasing power, offering products and services that women want or need, and embracing their purchasing behaviors has a huge potential of impacting business bottom lines. The bottom lines, according to the Top 100 Most Loved Brands in Kenya, can further be strengthened by having more women in leadership and decision-making roles. Correspondingly, it’s time brands addressed the needs of the female consumer. In the long run, Brands that this approach and position themselves accordingly, stand to benefit from increased brand equity and loyalty.

Consequently the woman’s sheer economic strength will vastly improve bottom line profit for most businesses besides acquiring invaluable brand ambassadors. Of much importance is the urgent requirement for brands to create products and services that meet the needs of those actually clicking the purchase button. Lastly, both the government and corporates need to invest more in understanding the evolving purchasing patterns among women for business and economic growth.

They too require to spend more time and resources in nurturing the next generation of female-driven consumption. After all, the future of Consumption currently appears to be female.

Eva Muraya is the Founder and CEO of BSD Group



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