Cheryl Hunter (research at’s weekly wrap of the latest market and consumer research:

  • Standard Bank is SA’s biggest brand
  • Banking sector set for change

SA BrandZ worth over US$40bn

BrandZ Top 30 most valuable SA brands 2018 logoStandard Bank, with a brand value of US$4.79bn, is South Africa’s no.1 brand in the first BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable South African Brands announced yesterday, Wednesday, 31 October 2018, by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown. The ranking reveals that the Top 30 South African brands show more potential for global growth than their counterparts in the Chinese and European rankings, but have less exposure to overseas markets.

The BrandZ Top 15 Most Valuable South African Brands 2018

Rank 2018



Brand value (US$m)

1 Standard Bank Banks 4.788
2 First National Bank Banks 3.675
3 Vodacom Telecom providers 3.258
4 Castle Beer 3.172
5 MTN Telecom providers 2.913
6 Nando’s Fast food 2.160
7 Absa Banks 2.019
8 Nedbank Banks 1.882
9 Discovery Insurance 1.708
10 Old Mutual Insurance 1.692
11 Woolworths Retail 1.434
12 Sasol Oil & gas 1.213
13 Investec Banks 1.161
14 Shoprite Retail 1.122
15 Hansa Pilsener Beer 1.121

With a combined value of US$42.6bn, the BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable South African Brands ranking covers several industry categories, including banks, telecom providers, retail, insurance, fast food, beer, hospitals, oil and gas, entertainment and airlines. The report flags the potential for brands to grow locally and globally but warns that brands will need to work hard to stand out from competitors in a digital landscape in which offerings are increasingly homogenised; future winners will be those which are able to differentiate themselves in a meaningful way that will enable them to deliver superior shareholder value.

The most meaningfully different South African brands are Woolworths, Dis-Chem, Nando’s and Clicks. These brands are differentiating themselves by driving strong brand purpose and a unique brand experience, and then amplifying this through great market communication. Brands that are perceived as creative by consumers capture interest and grow more than competitors which are perceived as unimaginative and dull. Nando’s clever and controversial advertising campaigns are good examples of how a brand can communicate effectively with its target audience, in a very real and relevant way.

Technological disruption

While technology brands have not yet entered South Africa’s Top 30, many of the country’s brands have adopted technological disruption to distinguish themselves from competitors. Examples include First National Bank’s “open a bank account with a selfie” and Capitec’s biometric security. Up-and-coming brands are also using technology to disrupt, with Takealot having purchased Mr Delivery a few years ago and Showmax partnering with DStv.

Says Charles Foster, Kantar insights division Africa and Middle East CEO, “South African brands show great potential for growth in a region undergoing change. BrandZ demonstrates how brands with strong equity are protected and recover more quickly during tough economic periods, while growing faster during the good times. Those that focus on innovation and building emotional connections with consumers will grow faster.”

• For more, go to Millward Brown.


Banking on success

BrandMapp logoWritten by Brandon de Kock, WhyFive Insights director, this third in a selection of interesting insights from the 2018/19 BrandMapp survey looks at the banking sector and why its clients are so unhappy.

by Brandon de Kock. With six new banks set to launch in South Africa in 2019, BrandMapp 2018 asked a simple question — “How likely are you to change banks in the next two years?” — and discovered that 15% of the total sample (representing adults living in households earning R10 000 or more) ticked a box to say they were either likely or very likely.

Now, 15% may not seem like much but, when you’re talking about banks with millions of customers paying service fees every single month, small shifts could mean a lot of cash. Perhaps more concerning for the traditional banks should be that another 21% of respondents ticked the “unsure” box — which sounds like a lot of people who would be swayed by a good-enough offer. And if you’re thinking there must be huge differences between demographic segments, you’d be wrong. Even among the 50+ segment and the wealthiest segment (people living in R80 000-a-month houses), there’s a significant enough group of doubters to make the private bankers worried.

Seventy percent of affluent respondents said they were unlikely or very unlikely to switch — which means that 30% might well be tempted by something like a fistful of Vitality points!

The point is that the banks haven’t really done a great job of pleasing us as customers, verified by 44% of all respondents saying they’d be ‘happy never to go back into a bank again’!

Whichever way you look at it, 2019 is going to be a very interesting year in the banking industry.

• For more, go to WhyFive Insights.

Cheryl Hunter

Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison. She now does the new weekly “Market Research Wrap” column for

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One reply on “Market Research Wrap: First SA BrandZ ranking released”

  1. Please can you detail the 6 new banks – I know of Bank Zero and Discovery……thanks

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