Top 25 Brands Transforming Lives in Kenya 2021




With the subsequent growth and improvement of local domain resources, individuals, companies and institutions can tap into more online opportunities to effectively present their services and products online.

When Kenya Network Information Centre (KeNIC) came into existence in 2002, over 90% of local and foreign businesses were already heavily dependent on top level domains of .com for an online presence. To get a new domain name or renew a pre-existing domain in Kenya, one had to:

  • Get foreign domain name approval, including domain support
  • Choose from a shrinking list of foreign and local domain name extensions
  • Settle for branding their local businesses using foreign domains
  • Manage all online challenges that include online hacking, identity theft

Today, these challenges have been predominantly resolved. Internet penetration coupled with the increased awareness of KeNIC and .KE domain extension in the market, has brought various changes suited for online internet users, consumers, and online businesses.

Domain Approval and Support

In the past, domain registration and support for non- governmental organizations (NGO) and individual websites in Kenya was largely outsourced. That is because it was considered better and enjoying basic domain support. Today, individuals and foreign businesses are seeing the need to register their local domain via locally accredited .KE registrars. KeNIC accredits various companies within the ICT industry referred to as Registrars who do domain registration for you. The companies offer additional domain services such as web hosting and SSL certificates to make your .KE domain usable.

Domain Availability

Today, finding a domain name that is short and includes your keyword is quite difficult. This is especially the case when searching for top level domains such as .com. That is because their availability is limited (1 out of 1000 chances of getting your preferred .com domain name). A second level or third level .KE domain name, on the other hand, has an 80% probability of availability, meaning better local branding for your products and services.

Brand Credibility

The entrance of the .KE domain name into the market has provided a platform for businesses to not only brand themselves well, but build their brand credibility as well. This is the case especially for online sellers who can now brand themselves without using domain name extensions that don’t resonate with their brand. This ability has transcended down to better visibility for local businesses, as most online users have a more local association with their local brands.

Search Engine Optimization

This is very necessary for Your Website. Providing product or service content to your local clientele via a local domain has made it easy for local clients to get access to your products and services much faster. That’s because local domain extensions such as CO.KE direct Google search engines to your local content as long as Google considers the content of your website relevant to your local audience.

Less Domain Hijacking

Having a secure domain is important in ensuring customers have a good experience with your website. It’s actually what prevents domain hackers or unscrupulous domain registrars from hacking into your website. This can be costly especially for your brand and business. Most .KE registrars are registered, trained and certified by KeNIC to ensure quality domain management. This ensures that there are less domain hijacking issues.

Spend less on Advertising

Besides helping your website rank higher on search engine results, having a local SEO has made it easier for advertisers who are looking to explore pay-per-click advertising. Pay-per-click is a digital marketing tactic that charges advertisers in direct relation to the number of times your ad has reached your target audience.

How much you pay per ‘impression’ on your audience is determined by the relevance and value of your ads to the consumer it reaches. This metric is called a Quality Score. A local domain can improve your Quality Score and increase your ROI (return on investment).

Uniquely Kenyan

The .KE domain is a distinct identity that is uniquely identifiable and traceable to Kenya on the internet. This means anyone accessing your brand on the internet, will have a clear association of your brand to Kenya.

According to KeNIC CEO Joel Karubiu, having a domain name is the initial step in creating a reputable local online presence for locally available brands. It differentiates brick and mortar businesses from those that are adopting the use of technology to provide solutions to their clients.

Joel Karubiu, the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Network Information Centre (KeNIC)

Use of digital technology has led to disruption of how businesses operate and do business today. Marketing being one of the most critical aspects of a business, has taken a new twist to digital, and brands are investing heavily in having a reliable digital footprints. This is due to the high number of online users that these brands are targeting with their content.

In the midst of Covid-19, many businesses have been forced to close their physical shops, as many customers are now having to make purchasing decisions through shopping online. This prompted entrepreneurs to ensure they have an online presence, so as to stay in business or get faced out.

This abrupt shift has led many entrepreneurs to invest in e-commerce platforms which in turn led to a spike in the uptake of .KE domains, so as to ensure they have an online presence. However, e-commerce is not the only trend marketers have to contend with. Social shopping – where consumers research products on social media before making a purchase – is also becoming increasingly popular, though most of them are driving traffic from social to e-commerce

platforms, where one can easily access a wider range of products and services. A .KE domain name is the first step to ensuring your business is visible, accessible, and credible online.

The Kenya Network Information Centre (KeNIC) is a company, limited by guarantee, licensed to manage and administer the dot ke Country Code Top-Level Domain (.Ke ccTLD) name and was established in the year 2002.

This was achieved through a consultative process and facilitation by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA), which was necessitated by the need to have a stable, reliable, and secure domain namespace, giving brands a competitive advantage online.

Ultimately, this has led to the .KE domain extension becoming the most sought-after domain extensions in Kenya.


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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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