Ivan Moroke, CEO of Kantar South Africa Insights Division, says, "South Africa's most valuable brands have been leaning into their home country's reputation for resilience and resourcefulness to meet the many health, social and environmental challenges they are confronting."

Moroke adds, "Through technology, sustainability initiatives and adding customer-centric services and expanding overseas operations, the strongest brands led by MTN have found avenues for significant growth as the country returns to steady financial recovery."

Fastest risers and newcomers

According to the report, MTN has leapt four places in South Africa's brand ranking to occupy the number one spot for the first time with a brand value of USD$3.7-billion. The telecom provider also claims the accolade as 2022's fastest riser, growing 85% in brand value year-on-year.

MTN is followed by number two, First National Bank with USD$3.5-billion and number three Vodacom with USD$3.1-billion as South Africa's top three most valuable brands, adds the report.

According to the report, 12 South African brands boast above-average growth (>21% rise in brand value). Rising with nine positions, Investec (number 16, USD$700-million) is the second fastest riser, followed by retail giant Checkers number 23, USD$531-million), part of the Shoprite Group that has focused heavily on accelerating its digital transformation.

Dis-Chem (number 27, USD$410-million), returns to the Top 30 after an absence of two years. Operating across multiple categories such as health, baby and beauty, the retail pharmacy is perceived by consumers as a well-trusted and purposeful brand that offers fair prices.

Brutal Fruit (number 28, USD$396-million) is 2022's newcomer to the ranking and has grown its revenue significantly, while extending its branding outside of its traditional core alcohol category and into cosmetics following the launch of its 'You Belong' fragrance.

Resilience and recovery

Reflecting South Africa's broader economic resilience, the growth in the ranking's overall brand value was deep and distributed throughout.

Although the Top 30 ranking showed a slight decline of -3% in 2021, with only nine brands growing in value, 2022's picture is very different. Only two brands show any decline at all, while 28 grew, and 12 grew in value by more than 20%.

Fundamentals for success
Stina Van Rooyen, Kantar BrandZ lead of South Africa, says, "2022 has been a banner year for South African brands, with sharp value growth and strategies that seem to be building several brand equity measures. Our top-performing brands are focussed on getting their four fundamentals for growth right, which are exposure, function, convenience and experience."

"Brand managers should continue more of the same: Investing in brand equity, expanding to new categories and geographies and helping young South Africans create a more equitable and sustainable society they desire," adds Van Rooyen.

Diversification throughout the nation

According to the group, brands that are growing in South Africa tend to be:
  • highly dynamic
  • launching new products and services
  • expanding into adjacent categories, and
  • occasionally entering completely different ones.
For example, telecom providers are offering payment services, insurers are opening banks, pharmacy retailers are selling their own medical insurance and alcohol brands are launching fragrances.

Kantar's global research indicates that this is an excellent strategy for growth. On average, brands that operate in a higher number of categories grew 24.2% in the past year, while those that operated in a single category grew 13.8%.

Diversified brands also have much more potential to grow their brand value, with 53% of them achieving above-average growth, compared to only 28% of single-category brands, according to the report.

Hot on the heels of global brands

Despite a sharp reduction in advertising spending at the onset of the pandemic, South African brands made a strong return to the market, says the report. This has now put them on par with successful global brands.

It is not always about how much marketers spend on advertising, but the quality and efficiency with which they spend, adds the group. Ensuring that you're using the right channels and using messages that really connect with your customers can make your marketing budget go further.

van Rooyen says, "Our research shows that strong brands tend to be more resilient during downturns and return to growth more quickly when good times return. This may help explain the exuberant performance of the Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable South African Brands 2022, which have greatly outpaced the broader economy."

Special Awards

Woolworths has been awarded the 2022 Kantar BrandZ Sustainability Award.

The following brands received special awards that recognise their performance in the four cornerstones of brand-building proven to drive consumer demand:
  • Clicks was awarded for both Experience (offering superior experience across all touchpoints) and Function (creating a range of well-designed products and services).
  • Checkers was the top-performing brand for Convenience (ensuring products and services fit well into consumers' everyday lives).
  • FNB was recognised for performing highly on Exposure (cutting through with advertising, featuring memorable icons and messages).
The Kantar BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable South African Brands 2022 ranking, report and extensive analysis can be accessed here

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