On 15 July 2014, the Ask Afrika Group will release the survey results for the 2014/15 ICON Brands Awards, which identifies the top 31 South African brands, as voted for by South Africans, with their wallets and hearts.
Brands are closely woven into the fabric of identity in today's consumer centric societies and brand affiliation is often unconscious, with consumers not completely aware of why certain brands are their favourites. This research brings understanding to the dynamics of consumer behaviour.
"The brands define a common experience, often on a daily basis to which South Africans are committed in a real sense. They put their money where their mouths are to demonstrate this commitment. South Africans love these brands, are loyal to them and will look for them when abroad," said Maria Petousis, director at Ask Afrika.
Brands do more than just satisfy consumer's wants and needs. Brands become symbols and contribute to the way users define their status and their personalities. Some brands even achieve iconic status, which helps to define nationhood and nations. These brands sometimes become symbols of the nations that created them.
Examples of some international icon brands include, Coca Cola and Big Mac (US), BMW and Mercedes (Germany), Fosters (Australia), Dom Perignon (France), Rolls Royce and MG (Britain), Guinness (Ireland), Bells and Glen Fiddich (Scotland) and Smirnoff (Russia).
In addition to identifying icon brands, this survey also ranks brands, using the same methodology, in 163 product categories. Thousands of brands across hundreds of product categories were included in the initial analysis with only 31 brands emerging as icon brands. A further 31 brands were awarded Platinum status, which means that their total score was at iconic levels but not across all population groups. Not all categories had icon brands, given the differences in socio-economic levels and therefore the means to access certain products. Nonetheless, these category leaders often dominate their space and are often iconic amongst those consumers that have access to these products.
The Icon Brand Survey is one of the largest of its kind in South Africa, with 19 sectors, hundreds of product categories and thousands of brands included in the measurement. The survey uses a representative sample, 15,169 consumers were surveyed representing over 23.3 million adult South African consumers. The data was weighted using the Statistics South Africa's population estimates.
Its brand metrics can be included in CEOs', CFOs' and chief marketing officers' scorecards as a measurement that goes to the heart of measuring marketing return on investment. It rewards brands that have generated critical mass in their categories and have built a high level of consumer loyalty at the same time.
City Press, Rapport and Ask Afrika have collaborated to bring 2014/2015 Ask Afrika ICON brands. The event will be held at Summer Place in Johannesburg.