The Sunday Times Top Brands award winners. Picture: Supplied
The Sunday Times Top Brands award winners. Picture: Supplied

Samsung and Koo are SA’s overall favourite brands, winning the Grand Prix Awards in the business and consumer sectors respectively of the 21st Sunday Times Top Brands survey. The awards were announced last night at an awards ceremony in Johannesburg.

Other Grand Prix winners included Vodacom, Nedbank and Coca-Cola.  Shoprite was the first winner of the Proudly South African Brand Award in the consumer sector.

The survey, conducted by Kantar on behalf of Tiso Blackstar Group and the Sunday Times, is considered the leading barometer of consumer sentiment towards brands in the country. 

“With 21 years of the Sunday Times Top Brands Survey under the belt, we’re proud of the contribution the results make in assisting brand strategists and marketers in refining their approach to the market,” says Eben Gewers, head of advertising sales at Tiso Blackstar. “Understanding how consumers perceive a brand can have significant impact in directing ad campaigns and messaging to optimise effectiveness, as well as resource and budget efficiencies.”

Kantar conducted face-to-face interviews with 3,500 adults in the metro and non-metro areas of SA in the consumer sample.  The business sample represents businesses of all sizes, with 382 C-level decision-makers participating in online self-complete interviews.  The final consumer results have been weighted to represent the population according to StatsSA’s 2018 mid-year population estimates. The methodology used to establish brand ranking and category winners is based on the concept of relative advantage.  This takes into account brand familiarity and awareness, the perceptions of users and non-users, as well as the size of brand presence in the market.

Samu Makhathini, account director at Kantar, says: “That Samsung and Koo are the big winners is indicative of the changing consumer goods basket, and shows that both heritage and relatively new brands have the ability to be relevant and meaningful to consumers in their own way.  The proliferation of digital channels has created a myriad opportunities for a direct brand economy, which  has created an opportunity for all brands to  act as digital natives, to be disruptive, and to carve new paths to value in a consumer economy, creating new ways of marketing, new ways of connecting and new ways of competing.”

Consumer categories

Koo is a multiple winner of the Consumer Overall Favourite Brand Grand Prix, and once again took top spot in 2019. Coca-Cola and WhatsApp came in second and third place respectively. 

 For the third year running, Coca-Cola received the Consumer Green Award, as well as the Consumer Social Investment Award. 

Shoprite received the Proudly South African Brand Award, with Vodacom placing second and Clover third.

Eight new categories were included in the 2019 survey.  The winners in the new categories are: Soweto Gold (craft beer); Telkom LTE (fibre-to-the-home providers); Ricoffy (hot beverages); Handy Andy (household cleaning); Sunlight (laundry care); Capitec (online banking); DStv Now (paid streaming service) and WhatsApp (social networks).

Samsung was awarded the top brand in three categories: electronic goods, cellphones and large kitchen appliances. The long-term insurance and short-term insurance awards went to Old Mutual Group and Old Mutual Insure respectively. In addition to its online banking award, Capitec was also the winner in the retail banks category.

Business categories

Samsung claimed the Grand Prix award as the 2019 business overall favourite brand. Emirates claimed second place, with Apple iPhone in third.

Vodacom received the Business Social Investment Award, followed by FNB and Nedbank in second and third place respectively. 

Nedbank improved on its third-place ranking in 2018 to take the top spot in 2019 and claim the Business Green Award for the preservation of the natural environment. Woolworths was placed second and FNB third.

Four new categories were surveyed in the business sector in 2019.  The winners in the new categories are:  Sun International Hotels and Resorts (hotels); DHL (courier companies); Vodacom Fibre (fibre-to-the-business providers); and Emirates (international airlines).

Samsung and Vodacom were the only brands to win across both consumer and business categories.

The 2019 Robyn Putter Award for creative agencies

The Robyn Putter Award recognises the contributions made by creative agencies in support of winning brands, with the winner decided on a points system, based on the performance of its clients in the Sunday Times Top Brands survey.  The 2019 recipient is Ogilvy South Africa.

The complete results of the 2019 Sunday Times Top Brands survey will be published in a supplement that accompanies the Sunday Times newspaper on September 22. The Sunday Times Top Brands Awards event is managed by Tiso Blackstar Events.

The big take-out

 The Top Brands Survey is regarded as the leading barometer of consumer sentiment towards brands in SA.

Top 10 results in each category of the 2019 Sunday Times Top Brands survey:

2019 Consumer categories