Standard Bank has maintained its position as the country’s most valuable brand.

According to the latest BrandZ Most Valuable SA Brands ranking by WPP-owned research company Kantar, Standard Bank’s brand value is $3.55bn.

FNB has almost closed the gap, with a brand value of $3.46bn.

Meanwhile, an 11% increase in value to $846m made Capitec Bank rise three places to 17th on the list. It is one of only three brands whose value went up.

The combined value of the brands in the survey, now in its second year, is $37.14bn.

Kantar notes that the challenging macroeconomic and political environment has resulted in a 13% drop in brand value from 2018. But SA’s top 30 brands were resilient and outperformed the JSE top 40 index.

The total brand value of the top 30 in relation to the SA economy (GDP) shows the top brands to be in relatively good health, with a ratio that is on a par with, or stronger than, that of many other countries with larger GDPs.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

The BrandZ study, the only brand valuation ranking that combines company financial data with consumer insight and opinion, reinforces the importance of strong brands.

The fastest riser is entertainment brand DStv, which increased its value by 38% to $1.07bn (in part due to parent company MultiChoice now being listed on the JSE) to rise six places up the ranking to No 18.

The expanded scope of the research to include life insurance brought two newcomers to the top 30. Sanlam, valued at $1.04bn, is 15th and Liberty, with a value of $406m, 27th.

Ivan Moroke, CEO SA of Kantar’s insights division, tells the FM: "While we can’t control the winds of change, we can control the sails, and we see that brands that differentiate, innovate and communicate while offering superior customer experience ride the headwinds better than those that don’t."

Companies that don’t invest in developing a strong brand can easily be replaced by those that are more effective in meeting rapidly changing consumer needs, Moroke adds.

"Strong brands are the key building blocks of resilient business, and while the brand values reflect the tough economic times, just like SA they are poised to bounce back."

Fast-food brand Nando’s also made the fastest-risers category, lifting its value 2% to $2.21bn, to retain the No 6 slot for the second year.

David Roth, CEO of The Store WPP Emea and Asia and chair of BrandZ, says: "Brands can’t control their external environment, but they can cushion themselves from its effects by investing in being strong.

"This is very clear in SA, where the success stories show that brands are demonstrating significant resilience in the face of extreme economic pressure."