Revealed at an event at Kantar’s offices in Bryanston, Gauteng, another trait these brands have in common is that they are moving beyond their category to grow, and in this way, they are disrupting the status quo, shaking the category up and leading the way.
The No. 1 brand on the rankings, MTN catapulted itself into the top position from the No. 4 slot last year by following its core vision and embracing its customers in African territories.
General manager: brand and communication, MTN SA, Nomsa Mazibuko credits their Foundation 2025 strategy to their success and how the brand plays a crucial role in this. “Brand equity is critical; it is what is driving consideration and brand love – and we proved this in how we showed up today.”
MTN is the most salient brand in the Top 10, which means that it has built connections both rationally and emotionally. Mazibuko says that this is because the brand lives its core vision ‘Everyone deserves a modern connected life’ through an orchestrated ecosystem that delivers exactly that to its customers.
"Our success is through the coming together of that vision, translating it into brand equity, and connecting to our customers.”
She also says they believe that MTN progresses when Africa progresses.
Having the brand stick in Africa across different territories and countries is the power of the brand. “We tap into the nuances of the territories that we operate in as well as the customer and culture in those countries. We export MTN to those countries, and they own the MTN brand and translate it to understanding their customer,” she says.
“That’s why we are seeing the growth in Nigeria and other African countries. It shows you can have a monolithic brand that it is truly rooted within the communities and customers that you serve,” she adds.
FNB, ranked second this year, was also awarded the special award for Exposure (cutting through with advertising, featuring memorable icons and messages).
FNB SA’s chief marketing officer, Faye Mfikwe, says it’s been a really tough year. “This is especially for financial services, as we understand the impact we need to make in society by providing services and products that make a real diffrence to our customers."
She adds they are grateful to their customers. “They keep us honest and continue to challenge us to deliver real help to make a difference in their lives.”
Making up the Top 3 is Vodacom. Andisa Ntsubane, Vodacom managing executive: brand, marketing and communications for Africa, says Vodacom has been an integral part of South Africa and the brand is very connected to its culture and society.
“This includes being connected to the issues that the county is dealing with. Leadership brands need to take leadership positions.”
As such, Vodacom has taken a stance on gender-based violence (GBV). “We are proud of our work around GBV. That is a massive space for us to play a role. We know this is an issue that the country and women are facing, and it was important that we play a role and step in.”
One of the only brands to have grown over the past three years is Checkers, which also walked away with the special award for Convenience.
This brand has accelerated and transformed through digital and is growing through a variety of platforms amplified by great marketing such as the Swindler campaign.
“And then its customer experience is delivering on that. The brand’s ‘Making lives easier’ is lived through its putting the consumer relationship first and delivering on customer experience at all touchpoints,” explains Natalie Otte, chief client officer SA, Insights Division, Kantar.
She adds that this has made Checkers, especially the Sixty60 app, a necessity for consumers, not a nice to have.
Moving beyond their category is a characteristic of the brands in South Africa that are growing. “All of them are disrupting the status quo, shaking the category up and leading the way,” says Otte.
A brand actively achieving this is Dis-Chem, which has returned to the rankings following an absence of two years, making it this year’s boomerang brand. It is also this year’s second most meaningful brand in the rankings.
“The brand has seen huge organic growth and acquisitions through which it is creating an ecosystem beyond its normal category and across categories, such as offering medical aid,” says Otte.
Woolworths was once again awarded the Sustainability Award this year. “If you think sustainability in South Africa is about the environment then you are wrong. It is about addressing issues such as inequality, education, and poverty, amongst others,” says Feroz Koor, head of sustainability, Woolworths.
The Experience (offering superior experience across all touchpoints) and Function (creating a range of well-designed products and services) Awards went to Clicks.
This is the first year since the inception of the Kantar BrandZ Top 30 rankings in South Africa that there has been overall growth of brand value in the Top 30, with the value of the Top 30 showing a 21% increase. Otte says this is a picture of resilience and paints a more positive picture for 2022.