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MTN retains the top spot on the ranking of the world’s most valuable South African brands

The brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance report showed that the leading telecoms brand value had surged this year, returning to growth after a disappointing result last year. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg.

The brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance report showed that the leading telecoms brand value had surged this year, returning to growth after a disappointing result last year. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg.

Published Apr 8, 2022

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Telecommunication company MTN, whose brand value was up 34 percent to R59.8 billion, has retained the top spot on the ranking of the world’s most valuable South African brands, according to the new Brand Finance South Africa 100 2022 report.

The brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance report showed that the leading telecoms brand value had surged this year, returning to growth after a disappointing result last year. MTN’s value has extended its lead over second-ranked Vodacom, whose brand value rose 5 percent to R29.9 billion. MTN’s brand value was now worth almost exactly double Vodacom’s brand value.

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Every year, Brand Finance polls 5 000 of the biggest brands and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. South Africa’s top 100 most valuable and strongest brands were included in a dedicated national ranking – the Brand Finance South Africa 100 2022.

Brand Finance Africa Managing Director Jeremy Sampson said South African brands were powering the economy, and as the world looked towards life after Covid-19, MTN had cemented its leadership role as the local most valuable brand. “MTN’s brand value has grown considerably. With the current refresh of the brand, it is well-positioned and re-energised for the future,” Sampson said.

While the introduction of new regulations in Nigeria had slowed growth in Nigeria, the number of MTN subscribers across the African continent increased by 2.9 million this year, to over 272 million subscribers globally. MTN was delivering on its brand commitment by carrying significantly higher levels of data traffic and significantly higher levels financial transactions on its Mobile Money service.

The aggregate value of the top 50 South African brands grew by 15 percent this year, from R452 billion last year to R519 billion this year. Similarly, the aggregate value of the top 100 South African brands grew by 17 percent this year, from R488 billion last year to R570 billion this year. This increase in brand values reflected significantly improved revenue forecasts in a future of lessened Covid-19 harm and the likelihood of reduced civil unrest in key markets for South African brands.

Standard Bank, whose brand value went up 12 percent to just over R23.4 billion, had marginally edged out First National Bank, whose brand value went up 6 percent to just under R23.4 billion to become the most valuable banking brand in South Africa for the first time in several years. Standard Bank and First National Bank have both built valuable brands as the third and fourth most valuable South African brands overall.

Standard and First National Banks remain ahead of Absa, whose brand value was up 3 percent to R21.3 billion, which was the third most valuable South African banking brand, and fifth most valuable South African brand overall. Absa’s brand faced many of the same challenges as Standard Bank and FNB, but with its brand value increasing slightly to R21.3 billion, it had not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

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Checkers, with its brand value up 71 percent to R11.1 billion, was the fastest growing brand in the entire South Africa 100 2022 report, reflecting its ability to adjust to changing consumer demand through the pandemic. Over the two years of the pandemic, amidst a time of significant economic disruption, the value of the Checkers brand has more than doubled from R4.9 billion in 2020 to its current value of R11.1 billion.

Checkers’ brand value was part of the same group as Shoprite, whose brand value was up 22 percent R15.7 billion), which also achieved significant brand value growth. The combined muscle allows Checkers (and Shoprite) to benefit from being part of a larger group with opportunities to leverage the two brands in appropriate market segmentation.

Woolworths SA, with brand value up 37 percent to R17.3 billion, also achieved significant brand value growth this year.

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Capitec Bank is South Africa’s strongest brand as its brand value was up 26 percent to R9.2 billion. It was the strongest brand in the ranking with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) with a score of 92.4 out of 100 and a corresponding brand rating of AAA+. Capitec Bank achieved the honour of being South Africa’s strongest brand by only a fraction of a point ahead of second-ranked First National Bank, which earned a Brand Strength Index of 92.0 and also achieved a AAA+ rating.

The AAA+ brand rating puts Capitec Bank and First National Bank among some elite global companies, alongside strong, iconic brands such as WeChat, Google, YouTube and Coca-Cola. Both South African bank brands benefited from strong local support and customer affinity for South African brands.

In recognition of the booming demand for commodities and reflecting the significant and increasing importance of mining brands to the South African economy, Brand Finance has included several mining brands in the Brand Finance South Africa 100 2022 ranking for the first time. The largest new entrant was the 23rd most valuable South African brand Northam Platinum (brand value R8.1 billion), with Anglo American Platinum (brand value R5 billion) coming in at 34th place, just ahead of 36th ranked Implats (brand value R4.7 billion).

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Newly ranked AngloGold Ashanti (brand value R4.1 billion) was ranked in 39th place, immediately ahead of Kumba Iron Ore (brand value R3.9 billion) in 40th place, and Gold Fields (brand value R3.2 billion) was 43rd.

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