The results of the 18th Sunday Times Top Brands survey were announced at an awards event last week, recognising those brands that had earned top consumer sentiment in South Africa over the past 12 months. The Sunday Times Top Brands survey, conducted by TNS, remains the leading barometer of consumer sentiment in the country. Trevor Ormerod, GM Group Sales and Marketing at Times Media believes the Sunday Times Top Brands Awards provide the vital consumer feedback that brands require in order to remain relevant to their customers. “Research is a timely and resource intensive expense for companies, which is why Times Media has spearheaded Top Brands for the past 18 years – the research is based on sound, solid methodology from TNS, whom we commission, and we know the results have directed the course of many brands in finding their ‘sweet spot’ in the market,” he says.
The 18th annual Sunday Times Top Brands Awards
Commenting on the trends, changes and surprises noted in the 2016 survey, Nuala Harris-Morele from TNS says, “The economic climate has meant that people are making smarter, more traditional brand choices. In the essential / staple food and drinks categories people are choosing brands that have a strong heritage that they trust and the old favourites continue to come out on top. This thinking manifests slightly differently in the luxury and high spend categories where we see a rise of premium, high quality brands. It’s not about spending less in harder times, it’s about choosing brands that won’t disappoint.”
Top Brands Business Awards winners
This year, 502 corporate decision-makers were polled in the Business sector.
Vodacom was awarded the Overall Top Brands Grand Prix as the best regarded brand in 2016, and triumphed in the telecommunications providers category as well.
Woolworths was awarded the Community Upliftment Grand Prix, ahead of Sasol and SABMiller in 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
Nedbank again received the Top Brands Green Grand Prix Award for its environmental sustainability campaigns, and placed third in the corporate banking category where FNB walked away with the Top Brands accolade and Investec made an impressive surge to take second spot.
British Airways proved to be the business traveller’s favourite domestic airline, with Avis being the preferred car hire company, while Mercedes-Benz remained the car of choice for business people.
Old Mutual took prime spot in the long-term insurance category, with Santam succeeding among the short-term insurers.
The Apple iPhone jumped from fourth place last year to become the top cellphone device among executives. Nokia dropped from 1st place down to sixth in 2016.
Times Media’s dominance of business sector publishing continued with Business Day and Sunday Times Business Times being awarded 1st and 2nd place respectively in the business newspaper category.
Allan Gray topped the charts in the investment company category. Discovery Health was a resounding winner in the category evaluating medical aid companies. Johnnie Walker was toasted as the winner in the whisky, brandy and vodka category.
Top Brands Consumer Awards winners
3500 consumers were polled, with 2500 interviews conducted in SA metros, and 1000 in non-metro areas.
KOO maintained consumer appeal to win the Overall Favourite Top Brands Grand Prix in the consumer category, with Coca-Cola placing second. KOO also held its position as number one in the tinned food category.
Coca-Cola was however awarded the Top Brands Community Upliftment Grand Prix, and the Top Brands Green Grand Prix Award for its contribution to environmental sustainability. Coca-Cola also bubbled to the top in the soft drink category.
Castle Lite proved to be the country’s favourite beer, and Johnnie Walker claimed its second award at the event, winning the alcoholic spirits category. Clover Krush was favourite fruit juice, and Clover remaining top in the milk category. Hunters Dry/Gold/Extreme reigned amongst ciders, with Red Square being the most chilled alcoholic cooler.
Two new categories included in 2016: Weetbix claimed first place in the cereal category, while Enterprise won in the chilled processed meats category.
The appetite for Cadbury slabs did not wane as it claimed top spot yet again in the chocolates category. Tastic ranked first in the essential foods category, a position it held in 2015 as well.
Rainbow remained the top choice in the frozen chicken category.
Shoprite was voted top grocery store, KFC as favourite fast-food restaurant, and Spur continued its winning streak as best sit-down restaurant.
This year, the beauty and cosmetics category sees Nivea receiving the award.
The electronics category remains unchanged from last year, with Samsung holding onto top position and LG and Sony close behind.
Defy could be relied on to win the large kitchen appliance category. Toyota took the Top Brands award in the car category. Engen remains ahead of the competition in the petrol station category.
South African Airways landed first among domestic airlines. Capitec Bank received the most interest among retail banks, and also held onto its top spot among micro-lenders.
Old Mutual and Santam duplicated their business category wins by taking spots in the long- and short term insurance consumer categories respectively.
Samsung was selected as favourite cellphone, and Vodacom as top telecommunications provider. DStv Compact featured as the top TV service provider, knocking SABC1 down into second place.
The Pick ‘n Pay Smart Shopper loyalty programme was leader in the category.
Sunday Times was awarded as SA’s most popular weekly newspaper, and the Daily Sun in the daily newspaper category.
The 2016 Robyn Putter Award for creative agencies
The prestigious Robyn Putter Award recognises the creative agencies behind the big brands, and is calculated on a points system for agencies based on their clients’ achievements at the Top Brands Awards. This year, FCB earned the Robyn Putter for the third consecutive year (with 32 points), and its fifth award in total. Ogilvy & Mather Jhb placed second with 18 points, with King James in third place on 17 points.
The results of all categories was published in the Top Brands supplement accompanying the Sunday Times on 28 August 2016.
To summarise the Grand Prix and multiple award winners in 2016
Vodacom 3 awards including 1 Grand Prix Overall Top Brands Grand Prix (Business)
KOO 2 awards including 1 Grand Prix Top Brands Overall Favourite Grand Prix (Consumer)
Coca-Cola 3 awards including 2 Grand Prix
Top Brands Community Upliftment Grand Prix (Consumer)
Top Brands Green Grand Prix (Consumer)
Nedbank 1 Grand Prix Top Brands Green Grand Prix (Consumer)
Woolworths 1 Grand Prix Top Brands Community Upliftment Grand Prix (Business)
Old Mutual 2 awards
Santam 2 awards
Times Media 2 awards
Samsung 2 awards
Capitec 2 awards
Johnnie Walker 2 awards
Sunday Times/TNS Top Brands 2016 Methodological note
Overview of the Top Brands study
2016 brings the eighth successful year in partnership with TNS South Africa for the Sunday Times Top Brands. The study applies the same methodology since 2009.
The approach looks at a brand’s penetration in the marketplace whilst also examining its relative strength amongst its users and its relative attraction amongst non-users – the concept of relative advantage. This was accomplished by asking three questions:
Brands used within a defined time period (this period differed for each category)
Brands with which people were familiar enough to rate on a 10-point scale
The actual rating of all those brands on a 10-point scale
From this, an index score for each brand is generated from three variables derived from the questions above: the actual usage of a brand in a specified time period, the rating it receives from its users relative to others in the category, and the rating it receives from those non-users aware of it, also relative to competitors in the category. The non-user rating carries only half the weight of the user rating in the final algorithm.
The final index can be thought of as the brand’s standing in both the market place and in people’s heads. This is in line with the current thinking that brand equity is a function of both Power in the Mind and Power in the Market, coupled with the view that one must always take the attraction of competitors into account in any assessment of brand equity.
How a brand can win
A winner occurs in one of three situations:
If it is big AND rated above average by both its users and its non-users.
If it is truly big but perhaps only rated as average by its users and non-users.
It is smaller but very well loved by its users and is strongly aspired to by its non-users.
Why is this approach more useful?
Most brands have a good sense of their relative size – publicising this is good for the ego but not much else. The approach adopted by TNS allows more useful marketing insights to be gained: a brand can assess by how much more – or less – its users rate it compared with average – a heads-up for some, as well as an indication of the relative commitment people have to a brand. Similarly, by looking at the non-user ratings, some idea of a brand’s relative “pull” amongst its non-users is gained – this is a good indication of its relative ability to attract new users. Comparing usership and these two ratings’ data tells marketers much about their relative power in the mind vs their power in the market.
The algorithm is not proprietary to either the Sunday Times or to TNS, but is in the public domain.
The consumer sample represents all South African adults
The total sample for 2016 is 3500, with 2500 interviews in metro SA and 1000 interviews in non-metro areas of SA. We talked to adults aged 18 years and the final results have been weighted to represent the population according to StatsSA 2015 mid-year population estimates. The study is representative of all adults across the country and is a relatively large sample in consumer research terms. Interviews were conducted in home, face to face.
The business sample represents businesses of all sizes
This sample consisted of 502 C-level business decision makers (CEOs, CFOs, COO etc) from organisations of all sizes. The business component moved from being conducted via TNS’s CATI system to online self-complete interviews.