Sunday, 24 March 2013

Market positioning in the Kenya telecommunication consumer markets

The Kenyan telecommunication industry which features several firms like Safaricom, Airtel and Orange offer a variety of products and services to their target market. Among some of the services offered include mobile communication, fixed line communication, data and mobile money services. The firms have continued to compete by positioning themselves within the market through changes in the marketing mix elements price, place, product and promotion. The telecommunication firms seek to offer competitive prices of their products and services, superior products, stronger networks in terms of distribution and effective promotion to reach their customer market. This can be best explained through the following cases of the firms as they interact with their market and changes they make to ensure they develop and maintain a competitive edge.
Price: Airtel moves to increase its tariffs
In a recent twist of events Airtel Kenya announced an increase in their prices which will place them slightly higher than that of the industry leader Safaricom. Although Airtel has not confirmed a change in strategy this move signifies an attempt to stop the price war. The move to increase tariffs on its major tariffs (Klub 254 and Vuka) is likely a result of the need for the firm to invest and improve the quality of its data products. But the company still maintains the low pricing strategy on its (Tosha) tariff for competitive advantage on cost leadership within the customer market.
Product: Safaricom Product innovation M-PESA/ M-SHWARI
Safaricom through introduction of its M-PESA Product placed Kenya on the world map as the first country in the world to use the service. M-PESA allows its subscribers to use their mobile phones to access banking services where the user can send and receive money on their mobile phones. M-SHWARI which is a complementary product offers the ability to save and earn interest for their users.  This shows a commitment by telecommunication firms to improve their products to attract more customers.
Place: $293m investment by Safaricom to improve its network coverage
Safaricom recently invested $293 million to improve its network and make it the best in the country. In a statement by its CEO Bob Collymore, the company has increased its sites to 2,905, 1,604 of these are 3G enabled and this has improved the distribution of their products and services to reach more customers in the market.
Promotion: Digital promotion
Firms within the telecommunication are increasing the use of digital platforms for promotion. All the companies have an online presence through their websites and social media profiles. They use these platforms to engage with their customers who prefer interactive channels of promotion instead of the traditional static methods. Digital platforms have offered the firms an opportunity to interact in real-time with their customers.


Thiong’o, P. (2013). Will Airtel kenya’s move to raise call rates end price wars among telcos?. The East African.
Institute of Developing Economies- Japan External Trade Organizations. (n.d.). Safaricom Limited

Sato, N. (2013). Safaricom in $293m investment to have “best network in Kenya”. Human IPO.