Clicks. Picture: SUPPLIED
Clicks. Picture: SUPPLIED

Banks achieved the top two positions in the BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable South African Brands ranking this year. First National Bank assumed the No 1 position, with a brand value of $2.8bn, overtaking Standard Bank, which had a brand value of $2.75bn. Castle beer came in third, with a brand value of $2.72bn.

The BrandZ ranking is an annual survey commissioned by advertising group WPP and conducted by brand equity research experts Kantar. It is widely regarded as the most definitive study of brands in the country.

Special awards went to Capitec for Brand Purpose, Nando’s for Communication and Woolworths for both Brand Experience and Responsibility. Clicks won the award for the Best-Loved Brand.

The biggest take-outs from this year’s BrandZ report is that strong brands deliver superior shareholder returns. Even with market volatility in the current crisis, BrandZ’s portfolio’s dipped much less than the global average. The survey also found that brands are definitely still important, as is the task of building them. A strong brand helps differentiate a brand from its competitors; it is a major source of value for shareholders and helps protect them from risk.

The report found that SA’s top 30 brands are in excellent health, far exceeding the “average” brand performance on the core brand equity elements of being meaningful, different and salient. Brands that continue to meet consumers’ needs in difficult times and make a real difference in people’s lives are the ones that will survive.

Retail and pharmacy chain Clicks was the only brand in the top 30 this year to increase its value. It rose 10% to $407m, in the process moving up five places to No. 24, a particularly noteworthy achievement given the current macroeconomic conditions and the impact of Covid-19, which brought SA’s top 30 most valuable brands down 20% in total value.

Clicks also scored the highest in terms of fair pricing. According to Kantar, a total of 76% of consumers now say they pay more attention to prices and 42% will visit multiple stores to ensure they get the best value. “Given the economic headwinds customers are facing, now more than ever they need to feel brands are on their side and can be trusted to deliver on promises made,” says Rachel Wrigglesworth, chief commercial officer at Clicks. Critical to succeeding in the current environment, she maintains, is to have empathy with customers, to understand their needs and then to deliver solutions to help solve those needs.

The big take-out:

Brands that continue to meet consumers’ needs in difficult times and make a real difference in people’s lives are the ones that will survive.

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