Zain Kenya will commence its re-branding exercise on 15 October, taking up the identity of its new owner, Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel. Zain has said that unlike previous re-branding exercises, when its predecessors entered the market using expensive above-the-line (ATL) strategies, Bharti Airtel will adopt corporate social responsibility (CSR) as its entry strategy, prioritising community empowerment as a key part of its branding drive. Zain has reportedly enlisted the assistance of vendors and street traders in rural markets to increase brand awareness.
A Zain Kenya official commented: ‘This is the first time a telecoms firm will be launching in the country with less activity recorded in the above-the-line strategies and more emphasis on ground activities.’ The shift to Bharti Airtel marks the fourth time that Zain Kenya has changed its brand name during its ten year operating history. The operator entered the Kenyan wireless market as Kencell in 2000, before changing to Celtel Kenya in 2004 and Zain Kenya in 2008. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as at June 2010 Zain Kenya reported 1.89 million subscribers, giving it a 9.4% market share.