In South Africa, the country's top brands have been surveyed and analysed in the newly published 'Markinor/Sunday Times Top Brands Survey 2005', revealing Coca-Cola in top position. The survey also identified brands that lead the country in advertising efforts and community improvement efforts.
According to the survey, Coca-Cola is not only South Africa's favourite brand but also its "coolest". Likewise, mobile telecoms operator Vodacom is the country's favourite advertiser, and Cape Town was highlighted as "the ideal travel destination".
South Africa's top ten favourite brands were identified as:
- South African Breweries
- Vodacom (mobile telecoms)
- Castle Lager
- Telkom (fix line telecoms)
- Pick 'n Pay (supermarket)
Coca-Cola was also ranked first as the company that does the most for "community upliftment" (improving social and economic conditions for less-privileged communities). The drinks maker was followed by Eskom (the national electricity utility company) and Telkom. The remaining seven community improvement leaders were: SAB Ltd, Vodacom, Pick 'n Pay, ABSA (bank), Shoprite (supermarket), MTN (mobile telecoms), and Standard Bank.
Heidi Brauer, marketing director for Markinor, commented: "Longevity is obviously a factor in creating a brand, with three of South Africa's favourite brands (Coca-Cola, SAB Ltd and Nokia) all having been in existence for at least 100 years."
In the Favourite Advertisers category (which includes adverts featured on billboards, radio, TV and printed media), five brands are from the telecoms industry. The top ten are:
- Cell C
Brauer found the survey encouraging, as relatively small advertisers (such as Klipdrift) have managed to break through into the top ten list through the creative use of "sassy" advertising campaigns.
An interesting that emerged from this year's Business-to-Business survey is the sudden appearance of electronic media in the Business Media list (which was dominated by the print media in 2004). The South African Broadcasting Company (SABC), which did not appear in the top ten last year, headed the list this year followed by Business Day and then the Sunday Times Business Times. No radio programmes made the top ten, and only four of the business media brands that were in the top ten last year made the list again this year (The Sunday Times Business Times, Business Day, Financial Mail and Die Beeld). The top ten are:
- Business Day
- Business Times (Sunday Times)
- Die Beeld
- Financial Mail
- The Star
- Die Burger
In the Domestic and International Airline categories (in the business survey), there have also been some dramatic changes in scores since last year. On the domestic front, budget airline Kulula.com moved up into second place (replacing BA Comair) and improving its score by more than 60%. Likewise, 1time, which did not feature in the category last year, moved into sixth place. Finally, South African Airways (SAA) has evidently lost some status in the minds of South Africa's business-people, having fallen behind British Airways (BA) by some 8.9% (compared to being only 1% behind BA in 2004).
According to Brauer, "We may need to reconsider the concept of the 'Big Four' in banking too. From the consumers' point of view, three brands dominate, with Standard Bank (40%), ABSA (35%) and First National Bank (30%) being well ahead of Nedbank (7%) and People's Bank (6%) in terms of brand relationship scores." An interesting twist came from the banking sector, too: the power of the brand living on in the mind of a consumer became evident when consumers continued voting for two banks (Perm and Volkskas) which haven't existed for some time.
In the television category, SABC1 turned out to be the nation's favourite station, followed by SABC2, eTV, and SABC3. While the first four entries in the list are terrestrial free-to-view channels, fifth place went to subscription-based family channel M-Net (despite the station providing two hours of free-view prime time daily). In terms of radio stations, the SABC was also a dominant force.
In the Cool Brand category, respondents were not given any rules in defining what a cool brand is meant to be, resulting in 924 different brands being suggested across the board. Apparently, 'cool' is in the eye of the beholder. Coca-Cola received double the mentions that it did last year, with Nike moving into second position but leading the pack in the metropolitan areas. Six out of the top ten are clothing and footwear brands. The top ten cool brands are:
- All Star
The 'Ideal Travel Destination' category is new to the survey this year, and Cape Town (which has the distinction of being South Africa's first-settled town) was the convincing winner, with Durban in second position. The next eight top travel destinations are: Johannesburg, Gauteng, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Mpumalanga Sun City, Knysna, and Kruger National Park. Interestingly, six of the top ten are not on the South African coast and, although the question specifically asked about a travel destination, only two actual destinations (Sun City and Kruger National Park) made the top ten.
The Markinor/Sunday Times Top Brands Survey is a research-based, consumer-driven guide to brand loyalty in South Africa. Marketers can purchase the survey as a whole, or per category, directly from Markinor. Included are trended measurements of awareness, trust, confidence and loyalty, plus past and present usage data.