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Research shows SMEs are losing revenue due to poor branding

African women in the weaving business [Courtesy]

Small businesses are losing a third of their revenue due to poor branding, a new survey shows.

The survey by Elite Mawu Agency found that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) struggle to differentiate their brand from their competitors’ as most of them are just copied.

“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,” said Elite Mawu Agency Chief Executive Esther Murugi.

Ms Murugi said the fact that these ideas are borrowed means that differentiating them from the original idea makes it difficult.

The online research, titled Kenya Branding Report Card 2021, was done between October and December 2021. 

It had had 1,000 respondents from among Kenyan consumers in different categories including fast-moving consumer goods, manufacturing, real estate, logistics, agriculture and fintech based in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.  

According to the research, 70 per cent of respondents said that they got their business ideas from existing businesses that could not fill the demand gap, while 30 per cent said their business idea was original.

Sixty per cent of respondents said they paid higher salaries than their renowned competitors, while 40 per cent 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,” said Murugi.

“A young company emerging in such a tough market can find it difficult to establish itself.  And that’s where branding comes in.”