The Icon Brands Survey, conducted in association with Target Group Index (TGI), has identified the 39 Icon Brands for 2016, headed up by Sunlight Laundry Bar.
A further 64 brands were awarded platinum status, as runners up to Icon brands, having achieved high usage and loyalty scores in most, but not across all population groups.
The survey, one of the largest of its kind in South Africa, ranges across 19 sectors, from airlines to footwear and from frozen fish to motor vehicles. Categories surveyed have nearly doubled to 163 for 2016. In all, 15,107 South African consumers, aged over 15 years old, were interviewed, with the sample weighted according to Statistics South Africa’s mid-year population estimates to represent the country’s 24+ million consumers.
“These Icon Brands are brands used most loyally by South Africans, regardless of age, income, race or language,” says Andrea Gevers-Rademeyer, CEO of Ask Afrika. “They include both home-grown brands and international favourites, such as Sunlight Laundry Bar, Coca-Cola and Huletts Sugar.”
“The robustness of this survey rewards brands that have built significant and sustained consumer loyalty. At the company, we say that knowledge is power and we know that CEOs, CFOs and CMOs track return on marketing investment through these metrics and include them in their marketing scorecards. Being named an Icon Brand is the ultimate benchmark for brand owners and marketers who are serious about their brand strategy.”
|Icon Brands ranking||Category||Ranking|
|1||Household products: Laundry soap bars||Sunlight Laundry Bar|
|2||Non-alcoholic drinks: Colas||Coca Cola|
|3||Household products: Washing liquids for washing dishes by hand||Sunlight|
|6||Condiments and sauces: Tomato sauce||All Gold|
|7||Frozen Fish Products||Sea Harvest |
|8||Liquid and dry seasoning||DRY: Knorr Aromat|
|9||Frozen fish products||I & J|
|12||Frozen Chips and Potato Products||McCain|
|13||Alcoholic drinks: Sparkling wine||JC Le Roux|
|14||Tinned fish||Lucky Star|
|16||Household products: Fabric softners||Sta-soft|
|18||Pasta||Fatti's and Moni's|
|19||Frozen Vegetables and Peas (excl. Potatoes and Chips)||McCain|
|20||Spreads: Peanut butter||Black Cat|
|21||Non-alcoholic drinks: Fruit juice (100% fresh)||Clover Krush|
|22||Non-alcoholic drinks: Iced tea (ready to drink)||Lipton|
|23||Tinned meat||Bull Brand|
|28||Glasses/Contact lenses||Spec savers|
|29||Non-alcoholic drinks: Energy sport drinks||Energade|
|30||Sweets: excluding gum and breath freshner || Clorets|
|32||Hot drinks: Instant coffee||Frisco|
|33||Cheese: Natural and blocks||Clover|
|35||Household products: Domestic bleaches||Jik|
|36||Female Sanitary products||Pads/towels: Always|
South Africans comfortable with change
The survey reveals a great deal about current consumer mindsets in the country, with consumer loyalty at the lowest level since the survey was launched in 2008. Gevers-Rademeyer believes this only partly reflects significant economic pressure on consumer spending patterns, because the South African market is now polarised by financial means, not demographics. Loyalty is harder for brands to sustain, as consumers demand quality and value for money as an essential. Consumers who are more financially comfortable also tend to more promiscuous, flirting with loyalty.
“South African consumers generally are becoming more promiscuous, volatile and comfortable with change, as long as the risk of change is well managed. They are open to experiment, choosing to identify with brands that work for them and using loyalty cards to maximise their personal benefit rather than display consistent loyalty to a brand.”
Another key factor affecting consumer loyalty is whether brands succeed in meeting their emotional demands. Perceptions and feelings have become as important to consumers as facts are, so brand managers need to plan and focus all their interactions to reinforce their connection with consumers, enabling them to manage the risk of consumer volatility better.
“This means more than creating an affinity. It demands an open and transparent commitment to sustainability and good governance, as well as an authentic relationship and dialogue.”
As consumers redefine their relationships with objects through technology, for example, she believes that brand experiences need to drive a more intimate relationship with consumers by aligning with human experiences. Personifying a brand through comprehensive storytelling can prompt the brain to release the pleasure chemical oxytocin in the same amount as when you are hugged by a loved one.
“That emotional reaction can consolidate a sense of loyalty and meaning for consumers, making them more likely to share their response by word of mouth or on social media that could go viral. This blend of emotion driving action and reason enabling conclusions is becoming a vital element in the marketer’s toolbox and will define South Africa’s Icon Brands into the future,” concludes Gevers-Rademeyer.