THE most admired home-grown brands in Africa are Dangote and MTN, while the most admired brand in Africa is Nike. This is according to research done by Brand Africa to find Africa’s Best Brands for 2017/18.
Brand Africa in association with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), announced the Top 100 best brands in Africa on their 6th annual Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands at the JSE in Johannesburg.
The US sports and fitness brand, Nike, is the overall #1 brand in Africa spontaneously recalled by consumers. South African tele-communications brand MTN is the #1 African brand spontaneously recalled irrespective of continent of origin; while Nigerian industrial brand Dangote is the #1 African recalled when consumers are prompted about the continent (Africa) of origin.
The Brand Africa 100 ranking is based on a survey among consumers 18 years and older, conducted in 23 countries across Africa. The countries, representing all African economic regions, collectively account for 75 percent of the population and the 74 percent of the GDP of Africa.
African brands rose slightly to account for 17 percent of the Top 100 brands in Africa, non-African brands retained their firm position in Africa with 83 percent share of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa. Europe leads the table with 40/100 (-2), North America at 24/100 (- 2) and Asia 19/100 (+2). West Africa (6) with only Nigerian brands (6) and Southern Africa (6) with South African brands (5) lead the table, East Africa (5) leads with Kenya (2) among brands recalled spontaneously.
Tech brands dominate
The Top 100 is dominated by technology and electronic brands (29 percent), consumer (non-cyclical) (19 percent), apparel (15 percent), automobile (8 percent), food (7 percent) and sports & fitness (5 percent) categories are the top categories.
Overall, the 2017/18 Brand Africa 100 list, which started out with over 15,500 brand mentions covering over 2,200 admired brands, illustrates a very diversified portfolio of categories and brands in Africa. There is an incredible year-on-year consistency, with 60 percent of the Top 10 brands common among the Top 10 Most Admired African Brands and Most Admired Brands in Africa, led by Nigeria’s Dangote and Glo, South Africa’s MTN and Shoprite, Kenya’s Tusker and Ethiopia’s Anbessa. Out of the 16 African brands in Top 100 in 2016/17, six exited and seven entered the Top 100 in 2017/18.
The major change on the list is the status of the Safaricom/Mpesa brand. Because Vodacom/Vodafone recently became majority owner of the business, in the 2017/18 tables the Safaricom/Mpesa brand was consolidated into the Vodacom/Vodafone brand. Singled out, the Safaricom/Mpesa brand ranked 27, higher than the Vodacom/Vodafone brand, which is at #31. Collectively, the Vodacom/Vodafone/Safaricom brand is now at #17. But Safaricom/Mpesa remains a highly recalled ‘African’ brand among Financial Services and the Most Admired Brands in Africa.
Zimbabwe’s Econet made the most spectacular first time entry into the Top 100 at #40. After a long stay on the list despite its innumerable challenges, BlackBerry finally fell off the list as the brand exited the consumer markets. On the other hand, Etisalat, which dropped 31 spots remains on the list of the Top 100 despite exiting Africa in 2017.
Lifestyle, sporting brands
The highest gains are dominated by apparel and lifestyle sport brands Ralph Lauren (+48), Versace (+41) and a resurgent Reebok (+43). The sports category, led by Nike (#1), remains a strong performer, due to strategic repositioning or expansion in their positioning towards lifestyle and high profile endorsements and partnerships which have freshened and broadened the brands’ appeal, particularly to youthful and young consumers.
The biggest faller was Ford, dropping 78 percent from 50 to 89, possibly due to their much publicised safety issues and recall of the Kuga and Focus brands. Sprite also lost some fizz, dropping 38 spots and Etisalat dropped 31 positions.
In a country-by-country analysis, non-African brands are #1 in 17/23 countries, led by Samsung (8/23), Nike (6/23), Coke (2/23), Gucci (1/23). African brands are #1 in 6/23 countries, led by MTN (2/23), Econet (1/23), Trade Kings (1/23) and Azam (1/23).
Because of their transformational impact in Africa, Brand Africa also includes a focused prompted media and financial services sub-survey.
In the media sub-survey, DStv (incorporating GoTV, Multichoice and Supersport) is the lone pan-African media brand within the Top 10 media list. The media list is led by BBC, which has an extensive history and coverage of Africa through its BBC Worldservice radio and specific African programming.
The media list is dominated by America (40 percent), Europe (30 percent) and Asia (20 percent). A deeper analysis of the media category shows high levels of fragmentation, with many local and regional players – thus in general only global players with extensive African reach and resources dominate the top of the list.
In the financial services sector, 60 percent of the Most Admired Brands are made in Africa. GTB retains its #1 position as the Most Admired Financial Services Brand, and Safaricom Mpesa retains its pole position among mobile money brands. Mobile money brands, Safaricom Mpesa (#9), Airtel Money (#21), PayPal (#24) and Orange Money (#25)’s presence underscore the impact of not only Mpesa as the catalyst, but mobile as a key enabler for financial access. Nigeria (6), South Africa (5) and Kenya (3) lead the finance brand tables in a continent that’s cash rather credit led.
‘African brands have an important role in helping to build the African brand,’ says Thebe Ikalafeng, founder and chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership. ‘These rankings are an important metric of the progress Africa is making in creating home-grown world class brands that are changing the narrative on African competiveness, image and reputation and contributing to its socio-economic transformation.’
Brand Africa 100 was developed by pan-African branding and reputation advisory firm, Brand Leadership Group supported by GeoPoll, the leader in mobile-based market research throughout Africa, and strategic analysis and insights by Kantar TNS, the world’s largest information research firm and Brand Leadership, Africa’s premier brand and reputation consultancy.
GeoPoll used their sophisticated mobile survey platform to identify the most admired brands in Africa among a representative sample of African consumers in 23 African countries. These countries collectively represent an estimated 75 percent of Africa’s population across all political and economic regions.
‘Success for brands is about establishing an emotional connection, creating intimacy and being more present in consumer’s everyday lives. This survey is a critical assessment of the various brands that play that vital role in Africa,’ says Karin Du Chenne, CEO, Kantar.
In conclusion, Zeona Jacobs, director marketing and corporate affairs at the JSE, commented: ‘The JSE is a platform of African and global companies alike to raise capital and grow their businesses and brands. It is our continuous aim that as an exchange we continue to provide a platform for growth with innovative products to meet the needs of our clients and grow the African continent from strength to strength.’