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Most Influential Brands in SA

Ipsos South Africa has released the results of its inaugural survey measuring the influence that brands have on South Africans, at an event held at Melrose Arch on Friday, 16 November.

The Most Influential Brands study unveils and ranks the most influential brands in South Africa, and offers a case study perspective on the dimensions that drive each brand’s influence. These dimensions, which differ slightly from country to country, include a brand’s perceived “leading edge”, “respect”, “presence”, “trustworthiness” and “engagement”.

“Far from being a popularity contest among brands, this study speaks to the actual influence that a brand has on South African consumers’ everyday lives,” says Ray Kong, who chaired the event on Friday morning.

Some interesting themes that have arisen among the South African brands include:

The significant influence of retail: Out of the top 10 brands, four are retail names, probably as a result of retail outlets becoming a one-stop household management destination, by offering banking services, payments on utility bills and licences, as well as becoming distribution points for social grants and allowing people to send money to each other quickly and effectively.

Local is lekker: Many local brands sit at the top of the list, and this is in contrast with many other markets around the world. Localisation speaks to the fundamental needs of a community and these brands have excelled at making consumers feel understood.

Accessible for the people: The essence of most of these brands is that they are inclusive, relatable and warm, which speaks to the principle of Ubuntu, which is ingrained in South African culture and way of life.

Simplicity works: South Africa really is unique in the brands that have come out tops when comparing it to the top 10 list in other markets, which has been dominated by digital and tech brands. WhatsApp is the only digital brand to make the South African top 10, and has taken off in a big way in South Africa because of the simplicity and affordability in using this service.

Rooted yet progressive: The brands that have emerged at the top of the influence scale are those that are rooted in South Africa, retain and uphold the traditional uses and values of the brand, yet continue to move forward to address what their customers need with line extensions and upgrades when needed.

The top 10 most influential brands in South Africa are:

1) Pick n Pay
2) Shoprite/Checkers
3) Coca-Cola
4) Colgate
5) Vaseline
6) Spar
7) Sunlight
8) WhatsApp
9) Woolworths
10) Koo

The presentation of results was followed by a lively panel discussion, including Woolworths and MTN, as well as many comments from the audience about building contextual and local relevance and influence in the South African market.

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