Equity has continued to prove that doing well can go hand in hand with doing good. This has over time earned East Africa’s largest lender trust capital that has enabled it to grow in leaps and bounds. This is evidenced in the top positions it scored in the Brand Finance’s Brand Strength and Brand value index released earlier this year.
In the Banking category, Equity was ranked as the 5th strongest banking brand in the world, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) Score of 90.8 out of 100 and an elite AAA+ brand strength rating. The only other banking brand in the continent that scored an AAA+ rating was South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB).
The key drivers of a strong brand are strong stakeholder perceptions of its range of products and services, the quality of its digital platforms, strong customer service and overall accessibility to customers.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Equity has continued to offer innovative and convenient services to its customers alongside investing heavily into the development of innovative solutions and products that meet customers’ evolving lifestyles. Key among them is the digital banking suite which offers flexible, convenient and secure transactions without having to physically visit bank branches.
This focus on innovation has allowed Equity to continue delivering successful products, and services and build a strong portfolio which positions the brand for its next face of growth.
Currently, Equity has rolled out an ambitious plan dubbed “the Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan.” It envisages providing financing of up to 2% of the combined GDPs of the six countries it operates in in the form of blended financing of short-term loans, medium-term loans and credit facilities which require long-term project and development financing.
This plan is part of the bank’s intervention in helping the regional economy build back better from the pandemic.
The Plan comprises 6 strategic pillars that ensure a systematic and holistic framework for execution:
- Ecosystems of natural resources in agriculture and extractives: more coordinated, connected, and capacitated supply chains and mechanization that will drive higher throughput of raw materials and ultimately lead to a more inclusive industrialization of Africa.
- Manufacturing and logistics ecosystem: Africa has an opportunity to leverage off and expand existing productive capacities to industrialize by connecting to global value chains that are in the process of regionalizing and diversifying.
- Trade and investment: access to new markets, technology, capital, and skills intended to enrich and enhance offtake of African products and services
- MSMEs connectivity of small businesses into formal value chains which will drive inclusive, broader, and more sustainable growth
- Social and environmental transformation: capacity building of value chain stakeholders, especially amongst smallholder farmers and MSMEs that will drive productivity gains of African value chains
- Technology-enabled economy: online businesses to accelerate connectivity and velocity in ecosystems.
Commenting on the initiative, Equity Group CEO & MD, Dr James Mwangi said “The Africa Recovery & Resilience Plan will have special focus on youth and women, supporting them to be the primary drivers of creating and expanding opportunities in the real economy. Under the Young Africa Works Initiative in partnership and collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, the plan will build capacity in young people through financial literacy, entrepreneurship training and digital literacy.”
It is this kind of focus on the bigger picture which includes impact programs like Wings to Fly, Elimu scholarships and Equity Leaders Program that makes it a brand that is so easy to identify with; even beyond its products.
Stacked up against other Kenyan brands, Equity leads the pack in brand strength. KCB Group and Safaricom both have an AAA BSR and a BSI score of 87.7 and 85.8 respectively. Other strong Kenyan brands in the Brand Finance rating are Co-Operative Bank, Bamburi Cement, Tusker, M-Pesa, NCBA, Diamond Trust Bank and Kenya Airways.
Brand Finance is the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy with its headquartered in London and has a presence in more than 20 countries.