Branding Company news South Africa

Growth of SA's Most Valuable Brands outpaces the economy, increasing 21% in value to $34.9bn

MTN surges up the Kantar BrandZ ranking to take the No.1 spot for the first time as South Africa's most valuable brand
Growth of SA's Most Valuable Brands outpaces the economy, increasing 21% in value to $34.9bn

The combined value of the Kantar BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable South African Brands 2022 is $34.9bn, representing a 21% increase over last year. This $6bn rise in overall brand value now makes the Top 30 brands roughly equivalent in value to the entire GDP of Cameroon.

Fastest risers and newcomers

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 $3.7bn. The telecom provider also claims the accolade as this year’s fastest riser, growing 85% in brand value year-on-year. 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, $3.5bn) and Vodacom (No.3, $3.1bn) as South Africa’s top 3 most valuable brands.

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

Dis-Chem (No.27, $410m), returns 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.

Brutal Fruit (No.28, $396m) 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.

Resilience and recovery

Ivan Moroke, CEO South Africa for Kantar’s Insights Division commented, “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.”

Reflecting South Africa’s broader economic resilience, the growth in the ranking’s overall brand value was deep and distributed throughout. Although the Top 30 ranking showed a slight decline of -3% in 2021, with only nine brands growing in value, this year the picture is very different. Only two brands show any decline at all, while 28 grew, and 12 grew in value by more than 20%.

Fundamentals for success

Commenting on the reasons behind the growth of South Africa’s most valuable brands, 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. Brand managers should continue more of the same: investing in brand equity, expanding to new categories and geographies, and helping young South Africans create a more equitable and sustainable society they desire.”

Diversification throughout the nation

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.

The Kantar BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable South African Brands 2022

Rank 2022BrandCategoryBrand Value 2022 ($M USD)
1MTNTelecom Providers3,668
2First National BankBanks3,500
3VodacomTelecom Providers3,063
4Standard BankBanks3,003
6Nando’sFast Food1,785
9DStvMedia and Entertainment1,325
10Capitec BankBanks1,302
15Old MutualInsurance788
16InvestecBanks 700
17Pick n PayRetail642
19Mr PriceRetail594
21Flying FishAlcohol557
24Cell CTelecom Providers502
26Life HealthcareHospitals418
27Dis-Chem PharmaciesRetail410
28Brutal FruitAlcohol396
29Hansa PilsenerAlcohol396

Read the report: The 2022 Kantar BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable South African Brands ranking, report and extensive analysis are available now at

Hot on the heels of global brands

Despite a sharp reduction in advertising spend at the onset of the pandemic, South African brands made a strong return to the market. This has now put them on par with successful global brands.

It is not always about how much marketers spend on advertising, but the quality and efficiency with which they spend. Ensuring that you’re using the right channels and using messages that really connect with your customers can make your marketing budget go further.

Stina Van Rooyen added, “Our research shows that strong brands tend to be more resilient during downturns and return to growth more quickly when good times return. This may help explain the exuberant performance of the Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable South African Brands 2022, which have greatly outpaced the broader economy.”

The 2022 Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable South African Brands at a glance

Other key highlights from the analysis include:

    - Category analysis – Banks, Telecom Providers and Retail dominate the ranking in both value and growth, with a 31%, 21% and 15% share of the overall brand value respectively. Alcohol and Insurance decline slightly.

    - 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.

    - Sustainability impact – While globally, sustainability drives 3% of brand equity, in South Africa this number rises to 5% with consumers more motivated by social issues than environmental ones. Brands must learn how to tap into this opportunity to drive additional growth.

    - A new generation of consumers – 28% of South Africans are under the age of 15, with 53% of the population under 30. For marketers, connecting with this young demographic is essential to long-term growth. Imbued with a strong sense of social justice, young South Africans are disruptive and innovative at heart. Technology is a means of solving personal and societal problems, while entrepreneurship is the key to a better life.

Special Awards

Woolworths has been awarded the 2022 Kantar BrandZ Sustainability Award. The following brands received special awards that recognise their performance in the four cornerstones of brand-building proven to drive consumer demand. Clicks was awarded for both Experience (offering superior experience across all touchpoints) and Function (creating a range of well-designed products and services); Checkers was the top-performing brand for Convenience (ensuring products and services fit well into consumers’ everyday lives); FNB was recognised for performing highly on Exposure (cutting through with advertising, featuring memorable icons and messages).

The 2022 Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable South African Brands ranking was revealed at the launch today, Wednesday, 3 August. Click here to watch on demand. Download the report:

About Kantar BrandZ: Kantar BrandZ is the global currency when assessing brand value, quantifying the contribution of brands to business’ financial performance. Kantar’s annual global and local brand valuation rankings combine rigorously analysed financial data, with extensive brand equity research. Since 1998, BrandZ has shared brand-building insights with business leaders based on interviews with 4.1 million consumers, for 19,250 brands in 51 markets. Discover more about Kantar BrandZ here.

This year’s ranking is based on opinions of 37,500 South African consumers, 820 brands across 53 categories. The ability of any brand to power business growth relies on how it is perceived by customers. Grounded in consumer opinion, Kantar BrandZ analysis enables businesses to identify their brand’s strength in the market and provides clear strategic guidance on how to boost value for the long-term.

The eligibility criteria for the South Africa report:

  • The brand must originally have been created in South Africa and be owned by an enterprise listed on JSE or a credible stock exchange.
  • For private brands originated in South Africa, their complete financial statements must be available in the public domain.

About Kantar: Kantar is the world’s leading marketing data and analytics company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks and our innovative analytics and technology, we help our clients understand people and inspire growth.

For further information please contact:

Stina Van Rooyen

Kantar BrandZ Lead, South Africa
t. +27 21 657 9500
e. moc.ratnak@neyoornav.anits

Ilse Dinner

Marketing Director, Middle East & Africa
t. +27 01 036 0600
e. moc.ratnak@rennid.esli

Kantar is the world's leading evidence-based insights and consulting company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks, our innovative analytics and technology we help our clients understand people and inspire growth.
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