Mobile operator MTN remains the nation’s most valuable brand with a value of R40.8 billion, according to research group, Brand Finance, which has published a list of the top 50 most valuable brands in the country for 2017.
Despite being plagued with a recession, political instability and a higher unemployment rate, the total value of the top 50 brands increased 3% year-on-year from R384 billion in 2016 to R395 billion in 2017, Brand Finance said.
Jeremy Sampson, director of Brand Finance Africa, said: “South Africa is in many ways typical of an emerging market with an economy founded on natural resources and mining, underpinned by banking and telcos. However, when a country is struggling to grow at 1% whilst its brands grow by 3% it says much about the future potential if not interfered with.”
The banking sector – comprised of nine brands, outperforms all others, with a total brand value of R100 billion, making up nearly 25% of the total brand value of the table. Telecoms follows in second with R73 billion and retail in third with a total value of R49 billion.
Best SA banking brands
|#||Overall||Brand||2017 Brand Value ($m)||2016 Brand Value ($m)|
|1||3||Standard Bank||1 512||1 319|
|2||6||Absa||1 335||1 335|
|3||7||First National Bank||1 160||1 050|
|9||34||Rand Merchant Bank||263||224|
Capitec is not only the nation’s fastest growing bank brand, but the fastest growing brand overall, the report said. Its brand value is up 25% to R5 billion, with a Brand Strength rating of AAA-, claiming the title as one of strongest South African brands in the table overall.
Capitec’s customer base continues to grow, with over 120,000 new customers added every month, putting the bank closer to 8.4 million customers at the end of 2016. The bank attributes its success to its simplified and affordable product offering, providing a competitive advantage over the often complex products offered by competitors.
At the end of February 2017, Capitec enjoyed headline earnings of R3.8 billion. It also scores highly on customer satisfaction – the bank emerged as the best in South Africa, garnering a score of 83.3% on the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) in April 2016.
Like Capitec, First National Bank boasts a AAA- rating making it one of the nation’s strongest brands. The bank launched its own-branded smartphones as it expands into the mobile banking space.
MTN remains the nation’s most valuable brand, with a value of R40.8 billion, up 10%. The company’s financial results for 2016 reflect the most challenging year in the company’s 22-year history, fuelled by regulatory, macro-economic and political challenges.
In spite of these conditions, MTN continues to strive for growth. MTN invested R4.6 billion to improve its network, working towards its aim of unlocking value in the digital-and data-adoption space for future growth. Data revenue contributed 20% to its revenue in the quarter ending March 2017.
MTN’s brand value is nearly 30% lower than it was at its peak in 2014, illustrating a downward trend for the brand despite its growth. Vodacom, the nation’s second most valuable brand with a value of R24.3 billion, is closing the gap, the report said.
Should MTN continue its regressive trend, it may be that Vodacom closes the gap and usurps MTN as South Africa’s most valuable brand in the near future, Brand Finance said.
Top 20 SA brands
|#||Brand||2017 Brand Value ($m)||2016 Brand Value ($m)|
|1||MTN||2 975||2 579|
|2||Vodacom||1 767||1 532|
|3||Standard Bank||1 512||1 319|
|4||Sasol||1 385||1 378|
|5||Woolworths SA||1 337||1 212|
|6||Absa||1 335||1 355|
|7||First National Bank||1 160||1 050|
|15||Carling Black Label||692||615|
|19||Pick n Pay||495||531|