Consumers' shrinking wallets send marketers back to drawing board

In Summary
  • The report shows that 84 per cent of consumers are glaring at the reality of financial uncertainty
  • 47 per cent of Kenyans are relying on food donations to survive.

Consumers shrinking wallets has seen a drastic shift in spending, purchases and routines as they juggle through the harsh economic effects of COVID 19, a new report by marketing agency Scanad shows.

Dubbed ‘Understanding the New Normal Consumer" the report aims at helping brands understand the massive changes in the consumer environment as they adjust to a new way of living.

According to the report, 84 per cent of consumers are glaring at the reality of financial uncertainty, 40 per cent are financially vulnerable while less than 30 per cent are hopeful of a financial rebound in three months with the rest looking at 6-12 months.


It further shows a decline in economic activity in the country’s main hubs, putting immense financial pressure on Kenyan households and businesses.

This has led to over half the employed populations receiving a salary cut, an estimated 435,000 Kenyans losing their jobs with up to 47 per cent of them relying on food donations to survive.

Scanad CEO Sandeep Madan said understanding this new context will be crucial for brands as they seek to maintain and grow demand.

‘’This report takes a look at this changing consumer environment across various standpoints - behaviour, consumption and culture – in a bid to help brands navigate these truly unprecedented times,” Madan said.

He added that social disruption; business closures, mass unemployment and an uncertain future are just some of the things preoccupying the minds of Kenyans today.

''Because of this negative impact, there is increased uncertainty which has triggered bulk buying and adventure as consumers are now trying out new products and brands,” Madan. Said.

While COVID 19 affects every single person on earth at the same time, the report records that as a result of various inequalities that existed before, different social classes are experiencing the effects in very different ways and intensities.


For those on the top of the economic pyramid, the pandemic has only meant a disruption in their lifestyles yet for those at the bottom, it has threatened their very survival.

For marketers, these changes mean that they are dealing with a new breed of consumers, however, for brands the report records that it is a time for them to take responsibility to lead and serve as opposed to capitalising on the existing crisis.