Data and analytics company Kantar BrandZ has published its Most Valuable South African Brands 2022 report, showing that the top 30 brands in the country are collectively valued at $34.9 billion, representing a 21% increase over last year.

MTN has leapt four places in South Africa’s brand ranking to occupy the No.1 spot for the first time with a brand value of $3.7 billion. The telecom provider also claims the accolade as this year’s fastest riser, growing 85% in brand value year-on-year.

Twelve South African brands boast above-average growth (21% rise in brand value). Rising nine positions, Investec (No.16, $700 million) is the second fastest riser, followed by retail giant Checkers (No.23, $531 million), part of the Shoprite Group that has focused heavily on accelerating its digital transformation, Kantar said.

Much of Investec’s gain is due to improved finances as the group delivered strong results in Q1 2022, underpinned by resilient client franchises, strong revenue momentum, and sound asset quality.

Overall, Woolworths ($1.2 billion), placed 11th beating out Shoprite (13th, $801 million), Pick n Pay (17th, $642 million), and Checkers (23rd, $531 million), while online retailer Takealot placed 25th, with a brand value of $461 million.

Checkers was the top-performing brand for convenience – ensuring products and services fit well into consumers’ everyday lives.

“In a customer-centric environment, brands need to fit seamlessly in the everyday lives of their users. It’s hardly surprising to find Checkers as a top brand here. Its Sixty60 service is not the only rapid grocery delivery option in the country, but it is by far the most popular,” said Kantar.

MTN’s rise in brand value has been assisted by a combination of overseas expansion and sound strategic positioning. It is followed by First National Bank (No.2, $3.5 billion) and Vodacom (No.3, $3.1 billion) as South Africa’s top 3 most valuable brands.

Dis-Chem (No.27, $410 million), returned to the Top 30 after an absence of two years. Operating across multiple categories such as health, baby and beauty, the retail pharmacy is perceived by consumers as a well-trusted and purposeful brand that offers fair prices, said Kantar.

Brutal Fruit (No.28, $396 million) is this year’s newcomer to the ranking and has grown its revenue significantly while extending its branding outside of its traditional core alcohol category and into cosmetics following the launch of its ‘You Belong’ fragrance.

Size matters when it comes to performance in the alcohol category. Larger brands, like Castle and Hansa Pilsener, declined in value, making alcohol one of two categories in the red this year, albeit by a modest 1%. But Brutal Fruit and Flying Fish both notched sizable gains in value said Kantar.

“They are benefitting from a trend towards flavour experimentation that is spilling over from the culinary world. Consumers seem more open to creative and personal expression in their choices of alcohols, which is breathing new life into the category.”

Ivan Moroke, CEO Kantar South Africa, Insights Division, said: “South Africa’s most valuable brands have been leaning into their home country’s reputation for resilience and resourcefulness to meet the many health, social and environmental challenges they are confronting.

“Through technology and sustainability initiatives, as well as adding customer-centric services and expanding overseas operations, the strongest brands, led by MTN, have found avenues for significant growth as the country returns to steady financial recovery.”

Stina Van Rooyen, Kantar BrandZ Lead, South Africa, said: “2022 has been a banner year for South African brands, with sharp value growth and strategies that seem to be building several brand equity measures. Our top-performing brands are focussed on getting their four fundamentals for growth right, which are exposure, function, convenience and experience.

Brands that are growing in South Africa tend to be highly dynamic, launching new products and services, expanding into adjacent categories and occasionally entering completely different ones.

For example, telecom providers are offering payment services, insurers are opening banks, pharmacy retailers are selling their own medical insurance, and alcohol brands are launching fragrances.

Kantar’s global research indicates that this is an excellent strategy for growth. On average, brands that operate in a higher number of categories grew 24.2% in the past year, while those that operated in a single category grew 13.8%.

Diversified brands also have much more potential to grow their brand value, with 53% of them achieving above-average growth, compared to only 28% of single category brands.

Offering something different – South Africa’s top brands scored substantially higher when measured against perceived uniqueness. This difference results from brands working hard to meet the needs of a rapidly digitising populace and expanding their offerings to new categories and geographies.

The Kantar BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable South African Brands 2022

#BrandBrand Value ($M USD)
1MTN3 668
2First National Bank3 500
3Vodacom3 063
4Standard Bank3 003
5Castle2 166
6Nando’s1 785
7Discovery1 498
8Absa1 462
9DStv1 325
10Capitec Bank1 302