Designer Labels, Brands and Swag: Most Valuable and Admired Brands in Africa
It pains me to say this but it’s true. Non-African brands in Africa, make up 84 of the Top 100 most Admired Brands and account for 99% of the value of the Top 100 most Valuable Brands. See full list here.
Samsung is one of the leading non-African brands and despite the challenges it experienced globally – think Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s fires, recall and cancellation; a crisis severe enough that it wiped out almost all of Samsung’s mobile unit profits -, the South Korean company was still able to successfully entrench itself in the African market. MTN on the other hand, a leading African brand, hasn’t been so lucky as it’s lost its #1 position, moving from 1st place to 9th position this year. The brand was heavily fined by the Nigerian government and no sooner had it settled the fine before it fell into even more trouble – accusations that it illegally repatriated $14 billion over a ten year period. These, it’s assumed, severely tarnished the MTN brand.
Samsung has now replaced MTN as the most admired brand in Africa and has even grown its value by 13% (add salt to injury), reinforcing its position as a global heavyweight and more so on the continent. It’s not all bad news for MTN though, as the company’s been named the strongest African brand and is still widely admired (even if less so). Google, not surprising, is the strongest brand overall in Africa and despite MTN’s woes, it remains the most dominant African brand.
Food for thought…if Samsung and MTN were to swap woes, would Samsung’s reputation suffer as much damage as MTN’s has? If not, what does it say about us, Africans, if local brands (and by local, I mean native to the continent not necessarily a specific region within the continent) are punished more severely for similar or lesser wrongs than their foreign counterparts?
Of even more concern is that we aren’t creating and building brands fast enough to challenge global brands. Now why is that? Setting aside the obvious lack of resources, mentorship and nurturing entrepreneurial ecosystems, could this be attributed to our foreign-bias and inherent tendency to penalize ours and/or hold ours to a different standard than we do foreign-owned businesses? So we enter into relationships with local ventures with a pre-existing negative bias (which, I must say, may not be based on personal interaction with the brand) and are not as quick to forgive perceived wrongs and make allowances for errors like we would with non-local ventures. So the local brand starts off with the deck highly stacked against it, and may never recover if not given a 2nd, 3rd or 4th chance to make a first impression.
Here are the African countries with brands on the list and the count of brands each country has:
- South Africa – 6
- Nigeria – 3. All of the brands from West Africa are Nigerian.
- Kenya – 2
- Ethiopia – 1
- Morocco – 1. North Africa’s only representation.
- Tanzania – 1
- Uganda – 1
Below are snapshots of the Top 10 by value, region and strength. For the full (Top 100) list of the most admired and most valuable brands, click here.