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MTN head office at Fairland in Randburg, Johannesburg. Picture: FINANIAL MAIL/FREDDY MAVUNDA
MTN head office at Fairland in Randburg, Johannesburg. Picture: FINANIAL MAIL/FREDDY MAVUNDA

MTN has retained top spot in the rankings of the most valuable African brands according the annual Brand Finance Africa report, as the mobile operator diversifies into fintech and mobile money to maintain its competitive edge.

MTN’s mobile money (MoMo) application has surpassed its closest competitor, Safaricom’s M-Pesa, in terms of the volume of financial transactions, according to the latest report by the brand valuation consultancy, published on Wednesday. 

Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the world’s biggest brands to the test annually, and publishes about 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries.

African brands from various sectors, including banking, telecommunications and food & beverage have adjusted to Covid-19 world by using digital tools to navigate supply chain issues and national lockdowns, according to the Brand Finance Africa 150 rankings.

The digital transformation has helped the continent’s top companies achieve a 28% increase in aggregate brand value to $50.1bn, or R782bn.

SA brands are the leaders in Africa, followed by Nigeria and Egypt.

“African brands have achieved strong performances by being agile amid change in the business environment,” Brand Finance Africa MD Jeremy Sampson said in a statement.

“Whilst SA brands will continue to dominate the ranking for some time, there are encouraging signs of strong brands emerging around the continent, especially amongst the banking and telecommunication sectors.”

Kenya’s Tusker more than doubled in brand value to become Africa’s fastest growing beer.

Besides value, Brand Finance determines the relative strength of brands using a metric that evaluates marketing investment, stakeholder equity and business performance.

Capitec Bank is the strongest brand in that ranking with an index score of 92.4 out of 100 and a corresponding brand rating of AAA+.

SA’s biggest bank by retail clients is forming partnerships to keep up with market and sector-wide trends in online banking and digital transformation.

Banking has the most valuable brands in Africa, according to the report, followed by telecommunications.

Standard Bank, FNB and Absa have contributed significantly to the success of African brands. The growth of African banks in the ranking is facilitated by focusing on digital payments and online banking.

Similarly, the telecommunications sector, led by MTN, Vodacom and Maroc Telecom, is also focusing on mobile applications as a means to engage with users. Telecom brands have relied on growth in internet usage and mobile data requirements and pivoted to a primarily digital strategy.

SA retail brands such as Woolworths, Shoprite and Spar have recovered from the impact of the pandemic with their ability to adapt to changing customer needs in a time of economic disruption, the report notes.

mahlangua@businesslive.co.za

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