Branding News South Africa

Part 1: South Africa Speaks BAV Top 20 Brands in 2024 - Siya Kolisi most esteemed

South Africans' strongest brand is Woolworths, while they named Siya Kolisi their most esteemed, quality brand.
Source: © Mens Health  South Africans have named Siya Kolisi their most esteemed, quality brand
Source: © Mens Health Mens Health South Africans have named Siya Kolisi their most esteemed, quality brand

These are just two of the findings from the recent Brand Asset Valuator (BAV) in South Africa, which looks at how South Africans perceive brands, not only how they play out in their categories but also in everyday local culture.

The research surveyed 12,500 respondents in South Africa, measuring 1,600 local and international brands. The overall results are divided into

  • The International Brandscape, a mix of local and international brands.
  • The Local Brandscape to understand which homegrown brands are living in our lives.

International Brandscape: South Africans value progressive brands

Trends across the Top 20 show South Africans value global brands who are not only progressive in their fields, but also how they live in our everyday lives.

Additionally, we value these brands for their creativity, performance, quality and innovation.Whatsapp is the overall strongest brand in South Africa, knocking Google from first place in 2023.

The chat app tops the charts among South Africans and is the only brand known, recognised and used by each of the 12,500 respondents.

Brandscape View: International

8Land Rover+14
12First National Bank+20
14South Africa-

As a possible sign of the global economy, year-on-year changes show South Africans are prioritising everyday needs such as connection, financial health, physical health, and food.

Across Brandscape, while international luxuries and luxury brands have dipped, they are not completely lost yet These trends tend to follow on the local front as well.

Local Brandscape: South Africans value equality

For the second year in a row, Woolworths is the strongest South African brand, showing the retail giant can hold up against even the biggest international brands, beating Netflix, Apple and even our country's brand itself.

Also for a second year in a row, the grocery brands have dominated demonstrating the overall local brand needs of local innovation, customer care, everyday value and most of all being dedicated to equality.

When we double-click on equality, this includes their commitment to diversity as well as the environment.

Brandscape view: Home grown

2First National Bank+4
4South Africa-
5Siya Kolisi+12
8Pick n Pay-5
12Cape Town-
15Checkers Sixty 60-
17Mr Price+23
20Standard Bank+26

Most differentiated local brand

Cape Town is the most differentiated local brand in South Africa followed by Caster Semenya, First for Women insurance and then the Gautrain.

What each of these brands has in common is their kindness and friendliness to not only the environment, but through dedication to equality as well.

Most relevant local brand

The most relevant local brand (since sliced bread) goes to Albany Bread, followed by Pick n Pay, Checkers and Sunlight.

South Africans find these brands the most relevant owing to their commitment to the environment, customer care and good value, showing how in this economic turmoil you need to get close to the consumer’s heart.

Most esteemed, quality brands

The most esteemed, quality brands start with Siya Kolisi (beating even Whatsapp, Google and Samsung), followed by Woolworths, Clicks and FNB. Esteem is 100% driven by trust, which each of these brands ranked high on among South Africans.

Trust in turn comes with displays of leadership, reliability, kindness, and care for the everyday South African.

Surprise, surprise … all these brands also ranked high for their commitment to equality and environment.

What’s next

While BAV makes it possible to compare brands across the Brandscape, it’s also vital and potentially more relevant to look at brands within their categories to gain deeper insight into drivers and uncover deeper learnings and insights.

This series of South Africa Speaks will dig into the SA Brandscapes of transport, playtime, adults only, pet, sport and more.

About BAV

WPP backs BAV. It measures brands in the broader brandscape of people’s minds – it shows where a brand sits in the collective culture, rather than limiting the study to how a brand is perceived versus its direct competitors.

BAV has over 20 years of data on the SA Brandscape and its partnership with academics like the University of Oxford, London Business School, Wharton, and Berkeley Haas (to name a few).

The South Africa Speaks series is named due to the demographic accuracy of BAV’s research across provinces, languages, genders and generations.

Look out for the next in this Series of three articles, South Africa Speaks: BAV Top 20 playtime brands in 2024

About Dono White

Dono White is the strategic planning director at VMLY&R and WPP BAV South Africa champion.
Let's do Biz