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Captive markets revisited: How brands lure customers

Xn Iraki
 Some markets can’t capture anything. [XN Iraki, Standard]

Why should we have a Java restaurant in a hospital? Why pay parking fees in a hospital? Visitors are the key target, they often visit during lunch hour or evening hours. 

Why kiosks at bus stations? Commuters have basic needs from hunger to buying home accessories.

Why do we have hotels and shopping malls at the airports? Travellers rarely carry their own food or some items like chargers.

Why do we find hawkers near roundabouts? Drivers in the jam often go for impulse buying; note hawkers sell lowly priced items like caps or sweets which buyers don’t think much about. Safaricom benefits from this market, we make lots of calls once in a traffic jam.

Noted very active hawkers on graduation days, funerals and even weddings?  In all these cases, attendants want food, drinks or even gifts. You often buy something after seeing it. Supply can create demand. Recently, I found someone selling masks outside an embassy. Some of the visitors assumed a mask was a must. Captive market again! 

Once you go for a haircut, you are likely to have a pedicure, manicure, or other associated services. I often find men “crossfied” with someone taking care of their feet, hands and head! Seen the nail bars?

Even churches have captive markets. Seen their seminars and chamas?

Bancassurance is a captive market, the bank already has your money. They also want to invest the money for you at a fee. Ever been called by a bank informing you that you qualify for a loan?  

Supermarkets lead in captive markets. How often do you buy what you had not planned for just because you find yourself in the supermarket? Noted ladies who want to keep you company once you become tipsy?

It’s not just the private sector that loves captive markets. There is evidence in the 2024-2025 budget.

The government intends to get more taxes in the market it already holds. Car circulation tax is one good example because insurance is compulsory.

Tax on digital services is going up, they know we are in that market. The formerly employed are the tax man’s captive market, and the State wants to get more taxes and more levies.

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