Kenyan Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are losing 30 percent of revenue to brand distinctiveness according to a new survey by Elite Mawu Agency.
Elite Mawu Agency Chief Executive and Founder Esther Murugi says the data reveals that SMEs struggle to differentiate their brand from their competitors as most business ventures are just copied from other people or places.
The research dubbed Kenya Branding Report Card 2021 was done between October 2021 to December 2021.
The research was done online through a survey and had 1000 respondents from Kenyan consumers (30 percent and from Kenya’s SME sector (70 percent) in different categories that include, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Logistics, Agriculture, Fintech among others based in Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa.
According to the research, 70 percent of respondents said that they got their business ideas from other existing businesses, that could not fill the demand gap. while 30 percent of the respondents said their business idea was original.
“There are very few people who come up with ideas that are new and able to solve people’s problems and in return enable them to earn some cash from the idea. The fact that these ideas are borrowed means that differentiating them from the original idea makes it difficult,” she explained.
Sixty percent of respondents said they paid higher salaries than their renowned competitors, while 40 percent of the respondents said they paid lower than their competitors.
“People are constantly bombarded with different products and services – from the moment they get up until they go to sleep, across different devices, and in real life.
A young company emerging in such a tough market can find it difficult to establish itself. And that’s where branding comes in. The primary purpose of branding is helping businesses stand out from the competition. Branding your company means sharing your brand values with customers and creating trusting relationships with them,” Murugi noted.
When asked how they came up with their brand names, 70 percent of the respondents said they used their names to come up with their brand.
“Color improves brand recognition by up to 80 percent, While your logo should not be the be-all-end-all of your branding efforts, you should still put the time and effort into coming up with a professionally-designed, memorable logo. Not only should your logo be memorable, it should give the desired impression of your company so when people see it, they instantly think and feel what you want them to think and feel,” she explained.
The report shows that over 70 percent of Kenyan consumers love a brand because of helpful customer services while over 80 percent of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their value. Interestingly brands that blog generate over 60 percent more leads.
“Branding is one of the best ways to get referral or word-of-mouth business. And again, this is why it’s important that your logo, marketing, and reputation work cohesively to form an indelible impression on consumers minds. Think about it, you can’t tell your friend about the amazing chicken you just bought if you can’t remember the brand,” she added.
The research indicates that a business with elements such as a distinct logo, attractive colors and other visual elements will be much more memorable and thus generate more leads.