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The brand that gets Africa’s heart racing

By , ITWeb
Africa , South Africa , Nigeria , 27 May 2022

MTN Group, with operations in 17 countries across Africa, has been ranked the number one African brand and among the top ten brands on the continent in the annual Brand Africa 100 Survey.

Non-profit brand evaluation and marketing firm Brand Africa unveiled the 12th annual Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands 2022 rankings of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa at a live event hosted in Nigeria.

Brand Africa said that MTN was the #1 African brand in both the spontaneous recall (where respondents are asked to name a brand across any category and region) and prompted recall (where respondents are guided to recall an African brand) rankings.

MTN was also named the highest-ranking telecoms brand on the continent.

“We are humbled by the recognition and remain focused on playing a leading role in building a more digitally inclusive society across Africa,” said MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita. “Using our brand power, distribution footprint and best-in-class connectivity infrastructure, we are working to facilitate a real change in the continent’s digital and financial inclusion.”

According to Brand Africa, the awards have taken place at the same time as the release of Brand Finance’ Africa 150 2022 report, which showed that MTN had retained its position as the most valuable African brand.

Assigning MTN a brand value of US$4.0-billion, up 49%, it said: “Apart from telecommunications, the leading brand has diversified its services into Fintech and mobile money across Africa. MTN’s Mobile Money (MoMo) application is performing exceedingly well and overtook its competition.”

MTN Group Executive for Marketing Bernice Samuels said it was pleasing to see the resurgence that African brands had made in the rankings in 2022 and called the MTN awards heartening: “They encourage us to work harder to deliver on our purpose of enabling the benefits of a modern connected life to everyone.”

Growth of African brands

Brand Africa commented that against a backdrop of internal focus as a consequence of an urgent rebuilding of economies devastated by COVID-19, and the acceleration of AfCFTA’s goal of driving greater intra-African trade, after a five-year decline, African brands have surged 4% to 17% - this from an all-time low of 13% in 2020 and 2021.

“Challenger brands such as South Africa’s lifestyle footwear brands, Bathu (#52) and Drip (#65), despite being primarily available in South African but accessible everywhere through e-commerce, massive growth in retail footprint in the middle of the pandemic and unmatched marketing and PR dollars, rocketed into the Top 100 as 17 brands exited, and heralded a notable return of African brands which once dominated the rankings as high as 34% when the rankings started in 2011,” the brand company stated.

MTN switched places with Dangote as the #1 African brand recalled when prompted to consolidate its status as the #1 African brand.

Dangote, the pre-eminent African brand founded in 1981 by Nigerian Aliko Dangote, emerged as the #1 brand that symbolises African pride in a question where Brand Africa sought to establish which brand in Africa “is a flag carrier and embodiment of rising optimism and pride in Africa.”

South Africa, led by MTN, leads the African list, with Nigeria, led by Dangote, the overall #1 brand, at 28%, and Kenya with flag carrier, Kenya Airways, at 8% and Ethiopia, with its flag carrier brand, Ethiopian Airline at 4%.

Non-African brands, led by overall pace-setter Nike for the 5th consecutive year, continue to dominate with a share of 83% of the most admired brands in Africa.

In a separate list of the Top 25 most admired financial services brands, African brands dominate with 68% of the share to 32% for non-African brands.

DStv, through its brands across the continent, has consolidated its position as the #1 African media brand for the second year running, in a category that is fast going digital and mobile.

Recognising that while the rebound in African brands is notable, the results will not be sustainable without committed and inspirational leadership, in 2022, Brand Africa recognised those leaders who are the catalyst for growth for Made in Africa brands both in corporate and in those who have championed and supported the development of great local brands in supporting industries.

GT Bank’s Group CEO, Segun Agbaje and Nigerian doyenne of marketing, founder and chairman of Troyka Group were awarded the inaugural Africa Brand Leadership Excellence awards for inspiring brand-led excellence that drives the growth of made in Africa brands.

Thebe Ikalafeng, Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership, said, “As we emerge out of the pandemic and Africa seeks to assert itself, the results are very inspiring and bode well of an African renaissance led by competitive world class African brands.”

Bernard Okasi, Director of Research, GeoPoll, which has been the lead data collection partner since 2015, added, “With increased number of countries and greater sample size this year, more than ever, and especially so during the pandemic, mobile proved to be the effective tool for us to reach and access respondents across the continent.”

Karin Du Chenne, Chief Growth Officer Africa Middle East for Kantar, which has been the insight lead for Brand Africa since inception in 2010 said, “despite volumes of brands analysed as a results of increased sample size in terms of respondents and countries, the survey continues to yield a very consistent picture of brands and trends that are transforming the continent.”

Now in its 12th year, the Brand Africa survey covers 29 countries that represent as much as 85% of the continent’s GDP and population. The 2022 survey was conducted between March and April 2022 and yielded over 80,000 brand mentions and over 3,500 unique brands.

* The 2022 Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands were organised by Brand Africa partners in Nigeria, AT3 Resources and Open Squares Africa, and supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria, South African Tourism and NQR, Africa Media Agency and BCW Africa. 

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