Ecobank has ascended to the number one position as the Most Admired Financial Services Brand in Africa. Brand Africa which released the top 100 brands in Africa recently also listed Dangote conglomerate, MTN Group and Anbessa shoe of Ethiopia as highly admired brands in different categories. Brand Africa 100 is involved in a pan-African survey and valuation of brands in Africa to create a unique index and ranking for the Best Brands in Africa. Brand Africa 100 believes that one of the key catalysts for Africa’s growth, competitiveness and reputation lies in developing and growing globally competitive and locally relevant African brands and global brands in Africa.
Brand Africa 100 announced winners at an event at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange JSE, with industry leaders from across Africa, hosted by the JSE in partnership with Geopoll, Kantar and Brand Leadership in their 7th annual Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands. Nike, MTN, Dangote, Ecobank and BBC were recognised as the most admired brands on the continent.
In the Most Admired Financial Services Brands category, Ecobank ascended to the #1 position as the Most Admired Financial Services Brand, and Safaricom Mpesa retains its pole position among mobile money brands. 60% of them are made in Africa. The presence of multiple mobile money brands on the list, including Safaricom Mpesa (#13), Orange Money (#18), MTN Mobile Money (#19) and Tigo (#23), underscores the impact of not only Mpesa as the catalyst but mobile as a key enabler for financial access.
According to the organisers since 2011, the Brand Africa 100 has been surveying and ranking the most admired brands spontaneously recalled by African consumers. In a relatively stable Top 100 list, the US sports and fitness mega brand, Nike, retains the overall #1 brand in Africa spontaneously recalled by consumers. South African telecoms brand MTN is the #1 African brand spontaneously recalled the brand, while surging Ethiopian brand Anbessa Shoes, at #2, swapped positions with Nigerian conglomerate, Dangote, which is the #3 most admired brand of African of origin. However, when consumers are prompted to recall the most admired African brand, Dangote retains the #1 position. Overall, African brands faltered to an all-time low 14% share of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa. Faced with a relentless focus on the African opportunity and investment by non-African brands, Africa’s share of the most admired brands has been rapidly declining over the past 3 years from a high of 25% in 2013/4 to lows of 16% in 2015/6, 16% in 2016/7 and 17% in 2017/8.
Non-African brands have entrenched their positions in Africa, with North American brands, dominated exclusively by the United States of America brands (28%), leading with a growth of 17% versus 2017/8. The strength of USA brands was boosted by the entry and/or re-entry of stalwart American brands such as #71 Levi’s, #91 Chevrolet and Pepsi’s Miranda at #80, who are all among the 20 new entrants. European brands (41%) are up by 2.5% and Asian brands (17%) down by 10%, round up the continental spread of brands Africans admire. The Brand Africa 100 rankings are based on a survey among a representative sample of respondents 18 years and older, conducted in 25 countries across Africa. Covering all African economic regions, collectively these countries account for an estimated 80% of the continent’s population and 75% of the GDP.
In a reconfigured category listing where technology and electronics and telecoms categories were separated and new categories of luxury and personal care were introduced or re-introduced, the Top 100 is dominated by technology and electronic brands (18%) and telecoms (7%), consumer (non-cyclical) (16%), auto manufacturers (11%), luxury (10%), automobile (11%), apparel (8%), retail (7%), food (4%), non-alcoholic beverages (5%), personal care (4%), sports & fitness (4%) and media (1%) categories are the top categories. Overall, the 2018/19 Brand Africa 100 list, which is calculated from 15,000 brand mentions illustrates a very diversified range of brands in Africa and shows year on year consistency with 80% of the Top 100 brands have been in the Top 100 Most Admired Brands in previous years.
The highest gains are dominated by apparel and luxury brands Vans (+65), FILA (+50) and a resurgent Levi’s (+29). The sports category, led by Nike (#1), remains a strong performer, due to strategic repositioning or expansion in their positioning towards lifestyle high profile endorsements, and partnerships which have freshened and broadened the brands’ appeal, particularly to youthful and young consumers. The biggest faller was Peak Milk, dropping from 33 to 98, possibly due to the dairy industry globally seeing a significant drop in sales of cows’ milk as alternatives are becoming more and more popular amongst consumers. Victoria’s Secret and Indomie dropped 36 and 33 spots respectively. Because of the transformational and catalytic impact of media and financial services in Africa, Brand Africa has a separate promoted question of the Most Admired Financial Services Brands and Most Admired Media Brands.
In the media sub-survey, DStv (incorporating GoTV, Multichoice and Supersport) has welcomed its brother the SABC onto the Top 10 media list. The media list is led by BBC, which has an extensive history and coverage of Africa through its BBC Worldservice radio and specific African programming. The media list is dominated by Europe (40%), North America (20%) and Asia (20%). A deeper analysis of the media category shows high levels of fragmentation, with many local and regional players – thus in general only global players with extensive African reach and resources dominate the top of the list.
The Top 25 Most Admired Financial Services Brands list is dominated by South Africa (6), Nigeria (5) and Kenya (2).