South African brands dominate in Africa, making up the 10 most valuable brands according to the inaugural Africa 150 ranking by brand valuation consultants, Brand Finance.
Mobile operator MTN is the most valuable brand at R54.4 billion ($3.3 billion), followed by Vodacom and First National Bank (FNB).
MTN added 11 million subscribers in the first six months of the year to reach a total base of 262 million. It only lost 1% in brand value.
“As with all big telcos globally, MTN is being squeezed from all sides as OTT (Over-The-Top) messaging apps like WhatsApp are impacting voice and SMS revenue, and challenger brands offer comparable data services at below-market rates, leading to fierce price competition and decreasing margins,” Brand Finance said.
Mzansi brands also claimed 87 of the 150 spots and accounted for 76% of total brand value. Only 19 countries out of the 54 on the continent made the rankings.
But the 150 brands in the rankings could lose almost R1 trillion ($60 billion) in value because of the Covid-19. This is in line with the R16.4 trillion ($1 trillion) drop the 500 most valuable brands globally experienced.
Brand Finance Africa managing director Jeremy Sampson said the African market “remains immature and fragmented” compared to its global counterparts.
“The lack of connectedness between nations across the continent means that brands’ growth is being stifled and they are unable to flourish beyond their home markets,” Sampson said. “This does pose, however, a great opportunity for African brands to develop in a market ripe for consolidation and M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions).”
Brand Finance London valuation director Declan Ahern said there are no “truly Pan-African brands” and that the highest performing ones often operate from their home countries, so they find “themselves a complete unknown across the continent and globally.”
Brand Finance ranked Vodacom the strongest brand, scoring 89.5 out of a 100 on the Brand Strength Index (BSI). It said Vodacom’s brand investment metrics such as place, price, products and promotion were “considerably stronger” than MTN’s.
“Vodacom has committed to a 34% price cut its in-data services following an agreement with the Competition Commission, after criticism that it was exploiting its market dominance.
“This price cut is no doubt going to bolster the brand’s already burgeoning subscriber base, which is currently growing on average by a staggering 67,000 a day,” Brand Finance said.