Nike's sponsorship of record-breaking African athletes such as Caster Semenya has helped it to become the most popular brand among African consumers for the third consecutive year. Photo: Supplied
Nike's sponsorship of record-breaking African athletes such as Caster Semenya has helped it to become the most popular brand among African consumers for the third consecutive year. Photo: Supplied

Nike voted most admired brand on the continent​

By Dineo Faku Time of article published May 26, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - US sportswear and apparel brand Nike has been voted the most admired brand in Africa, according to the 2020 edition of the Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands survey released on Monday.

The survey found that non-African brands accounted for 87 percent of the Top 100 brands in Africa, as Africans mostly preferred non-African brands for luxury items and African brands for essentials.

It said Nike had topped the rankings for the third consecutive year, buoyed by partnerships with record-breaking African athletes, including Caster Semenya.

Nike sponsored the T-shirts of the South African and Nigerian football teams, making it the go-to brand for fitness and lifestyle in sub-Saharan Africa. Its collaborations with South African-based designer Poppy Karabo and Nigerian singer Wizkid on his Starboy brand also boosted the brand.

The survey said the dominance of non-African brands was unabated.

“In the survey question to determine the most admired African brands, a host of non-African brands are identified as African. Brands such as Coca-Cola top the list of such brands,” the report said.

The report found that both Coca-Cola and Nike had managed to create an intimate and infectious relationship with the African consumer. 

“The strategy for these global brands has been, as Brand Leadership terms it, to ‘think locally and act globally’. This is the case for brands such as Vlisco, the Dutch wax fabric designer, which is dominant in its sector, and Guinness, consumed by more people in Africa than its own domestic market in Ireland,” said the report. 

Thebe Ikalafengcrt, the founder and chairperson of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership, said it was disconcerting that in the 10 years since the FIFAifa World Cup in South Africa, which highlighted the promise and capability of Africa, and despite the vibrant entrepreneurial environment, Africa was not creating more competitive brands to meet the needs of 
its growing consumer market.

“African brands have an important role in helping to build the image, competitiveness and transforming the continent’s promise into a real change,” said Ikalafeng.

South African-based MTN and Nigeria’s Dangote were the most admired African brands, recalled spontaneously and when prompted, respectively, according to the survey. 

The survey was conducted in 27 countries that account for more than 85 percent of the continent’s population and gross domestic product.

It found that only in Zimbabwe, with Econet,; in Zambia, with Trade Kings,; and in Tanzania, with Azam, did respondents vote a local brand into the number-one spot in their countries. 

“In Liberia, MTN took the number-  one spot, but in all the other countries it was a non-African brand. 

“Powerhouse African brands, such as Dangote in Nigeria, Safaricom in Kenya and MTN in South Africa, don’t even make the top spot in their domestic markets, and in North Africa all the Top 10 most admired brands in Egypt and Morocco are non-African,” said the report.

BUSINESS REPORT 

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