These are the most valuable brands in South Africa

 ·18 Apr 2023

With a brand value of R74.3 billion, MTN is South Africa’s most valuable brand, according to the Brand Finance South Africa 100 2023 ranking report.

Brand Finance said that it looks at over 5,000 of the biggest brands and ranks them according to sector and country.

MTN’s brand value grew by over 24% and is South Africa’s most valuable brand for the 12th time in the last 13 years.

Brand Finance added that MTN’s brand value is up 50% from its pre-pandemic level, saying that this is impressive considering the difficult operating conditions and the complex geopolitical environment in which the brand operates.

MTN’s brand value is almost double the value of Vodacom (brand value up 33% to R39.8 billion), which is the second most valuable South African brand.

Despite Vodacom not operating on the same scale as MTN, Brand Finance said that it outperformed its competitor in several key metrics, including customer satisfaction, usage, reputation, quality and customer service.

“It is invariably the case that when economic conditions are particularly challenging, strong brands show off their pedigree. As the world economy and South Africa recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic the brands that have continued to invest in their future are prospering,” Jeremy Sampson from Brand Finance said.

Banking strength 

Brand Finance said that South Africa’s banking brands showed impressive brand value growth in 2022, with the sector having five brands in the top-ten.

It is also the most valuable sector in the rankings, making up 24% of total brand value.

The combined value of the eleven banks included in the ranking was R146.5 billion – R25 billion more valuable than the telecoms sector, which is second.

Standard Bank (brand value at R29.7 billion) is the most valuable banking brand for a second consecutive year, and the third most valuable brand overall.

The bank’s 27% year-on-year growth widened the gap with FNB (brand value up 5% to R26.1 billion) and Absa (brand value up 19% to R25.3 billion), the fourth and fifth most valuable brands in South Africa, respectively.

Investec (brand value up 15% to R16.8 billion) has risen three places since last year’s rankings.

Fastest growing brands 

Spar SA, South Africa’s sixth most valuable brand, is the fastest-growing brand in South Africa, up by 48% to a brand value of R21.4 billion.

Despite the challenging operating condition across 2022 – particularly load shedding, Spar SA opened 41 new stores in 2022 and recorded 6% growth in revenue and increased forecast revenues.


MTN sustainability

Brand Finance also looks at the specific attributes that drive overall brand value. One attribute is sustainability, which is growing rapidly.

Brand Finance uses the ‘Sustainability Perceptions Score’ to measure how sustainable specific brands are perceived.

A value linked to sustainability perceptions, the ‘Sustainability Perceptions Value’, is also measured for each brand.

MTN is not only South Africa’s most valuable brand but also had the highest Sustainability Perceptions Value (SPV) of all the brands in the report – ranking at R8.6 million.

Brand Finance said that this indicates that MTN’s brand value is connected to sustainability perceptions (11.6%).

MTN’s sustainability Perception Score was 5.23 out of 10m, the 10th highest in the ranking.

However, Woolworths SA (brand value up 25% to R21.7 billion) had the highest Sustainability Perceptions Score, 6.02 out of ten, with the brand recognised as a pioneer in the sustainability field.

Woolworths SA’s high Sustainability Perceptions Score correlates to just under R2 billion in value contribution to the brand.

Read: Load shedding costs MTN R695 million – as it gears up for stage 8

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