The 2021 edition of the annual Top Companies South Africa (TCSA) survey comes during an unprecedented time, where companies have been grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic - putting more pressure on businesses to truly show the soul and essence of their brands. The survey is bigger, with a greater number of respondents since its launch three years ago; and studied a broader sample of variables than ever before.
The TCSA survey is an annual corporate reputation study in the country, focusing on a holistic approach to what constitutes a top company. The survey is run by Media Torque and Events in partnership with Plus 94 Research which uses quantitative research methodologies to conduct the study.
The 2021 TCSA study had over 2,600 participants and rated about 200 most well-known companies, ranging from retail, vehicle manufacturing to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs). To account for the weight of purchasing power, the survey was conducted across all nine provinces' urban areas. The majority of those who responded were from Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape, which are the most densely populated areas in the country. The respondents from Gauteng constituted 37% of the respondents, KwaZulu Natal had 15%, Western Cape had 15%, Mpumalanga had 10%, Eastern Cape had 7%, Free State had 6%, North West had 5%, Limpopo had 3%, and Northern Cape had 2%.
The TCSA reputation index has eight dimensions, each of which is significant; products and services, vision and leadership, workplace environment, Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE), financial performance, communication, corporate social responsibility, image and associations, and recognition.
“The business community plays an important role in the lives of many people as an employer and a social partner that makes a positive impact in the lives of communities it operates in. While CSI and the environment are growing in importance in the face of the social impact of philanthropic initiatives and the growing impact of climate change, it is important that we should also zone in on how companies and organisations support and respond to the national imperatives,” said Nthabiseng Mokake, MD of Media Torque and Events.
Sifiso Falala, CEO of Plus 94 Research said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the business landscape and forced companies to relook their brand and reputation strategies. We have seen customers, potential partners and employees demanding more from businesses, and wanting to be associated with more conscientious companies that have a great reputation. Coupled with that, in the age of social media and online customer review sites, reputation management has never been more complex. This survey gives companies and organisations the opportunity to showcase the strides they have achieved in effectively managing their brands and reputation and provides a platform for them to also identify gaps and establish areas of improvement.”
The survey interrogated the eight reputation pillars for its assessment. Products and services include a review of perceptions on quality, innovation, value and reliability of the company’s products and services.
Vision and leadership explore the extent to which the company demonstrates a clear vision, strong leadership and takes advantage of market opportunities. The workplace environment offers insights into how the company sets itself apart as a good employer.
BBBEE forms a crucial part of the survey and interrogates perceptions of whether the company recognises the importance of redressing the imbalances of the past.
Financial Performance and communication focused mainly on the financial sustainability of the business, and how the company communicates with stakeholders forms part of the assessment pillars.
The survey further reviews perceptions around how organisations communicate with stakeholders. Focus is also placed on recognition, which examines impressions of visibility, acceptance, and recognition of the business among other businesses as an esteemed business.
The pillars were weighted according to their potential impact on reputation to provide each company with a score out of 100. The best-performing companies will be announced online on 11 November.