Determining the Most loved brands in the daily lives of Kenyans Nigerians and South Africans can be tricky. A Google search on the internet reveals that most rankings are heavily biased towards foreign companies. With the likes of Google, Nike, Adidas, Samsung leading. However, indigenous African brands are increasingly being squeezed out of mind, pocket and reach.
Brands Africa has done a comprehensive survey of the top 100 brands within Africa. We have decided to add a little bit of bias by focusing on local African made brands in Kenya Nigeria and South Africa. based on the listings from Brands Africa It’s clear that most African companies are either being squeezed out or outmuscled by bigger Brands backed with bigger Financial wherewithal.
The proudly African listing is narrowed down to just what we believe to be brands that either has significant African Investments or aspire to be seen as predominantly more African
MTN the leading African Telkom continues to occupy pride of place within the mindset of Africans in South Africa and Nigeria predominantly. MTN doesn’t have much presence within East Africa where Safaricom leads.
We’ve also decided to keep Airtel as an African brand as it originally started out as an African company before being sold to its current Indian owners. The proudly African ranking shows variations across companies that predominantly operate in non-cyclical Goods or non-alcoholic Goods or alcoholic Goods.
This variation is understandable due to the daily pressures on the share of daily purchasing wallet. So, for example, at the top end of the listing, we see a constant representation by the telcos and towards the lower end of the ranking, we can see that non-cyclical goods and alcoholic brands have significant variation within the listing. This may be due to the upfront cost of acquiring technology or related services.
The proudly African listing will continue to show variations most especially in the lower half of the ranking and this is due to the priorities.
Brands By Industry
To support the earlier observation Technology Media and Telecoms occupies the majority of the ranking. Taking up to 38% of the stack. Coming in at a close second is the consumer, not cyclical Goods which represent about 24% of the stack. What is worthy to note here is the prioritization of Technology, Media & Telecoms activities or investments in Africa, especially Safaricom in Kenya which is known for pioneering fintech Mpesa.
Also important to highlight is the presence of alcoholic beverages Guinness, Tusker and Star. Guinness has outgrown local markets such that it is now exported globally and actually preferred to the original brew in its native Ireland. T
Out Of Africa
In the past participation in the rankings have been led by United States of America, but that lead has been over the years reduced by the presence of Asian brands China and India.
Europe maintains a relatively stable representation led by the United Kingdom colonialist. They still have significant investment and Involvement in the African continent surprisingly France also a major colonialist is poorly represented. Based on the trend China is on track to displace the United States in three to five years as the major foreign investor in Africa.
From Asia with Love
Asian companies have grown their investment and representation in Africa, and this is predominantly led by the Technology, Media & Telecoms stack where we have the likes of Samsung, Techno and Infinix mobile providing cheap affordable handsets.
Indomie the Indonesian food brand has consistently maintained its presence with a huge investment out of Nigeria. We expect this trajectory to improve and potentially double in 10 years time.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service via Europe
Brands from Europe are predominantly based on foodstuff and Non-cyclical Goods. This is not altogether a complete surprise given the cheap labour available to Asian companies and also the huge strides that Asian companies have made in Technology.
This trend should not be expected to continue as Africa must begin to feed itself. Within the list from Europe, some worthy mention should be made of the Vlisco which is a garment company based out of the Netherlands that has made a strong inroad into African culture.
The trend over the four years in review clearly shows that the food and Non-cyclical brands will continue to enjoy significant patronage from Africans. The representation from Europe shows that investment in the food industry is where Europe is competition as they do not have any corresponding competition from America or Asia
Make America Great Again(again)
Non-alcoholic beverages occupy the highest ranking within the list. Very familiar names like Coca-Cola Pepsi and Fanta are staple drinks in many households in African countries. Unsurprisingly Apple is favourably viewed because of the iPhone and the iPad Revolution and also because of the aspiration to be classed as high net worth. Microsoft is constant because of the huge user base when it comes to its Windows Operating Software and Office Suite.
Within the list worthy of note is always which is a personal care product for sanitary pads also occupies the top of mind for Africans to conclude. There is no surprise in saying that the indigenous local Brands within Africa must continue to punch above their weight or otherwise, they risk being exempt. What is also key to mention is that the United States continuously loses ground to China.
It is important and worthy to note that the leading brands in the top five have traditionally been very widespread in Africa except Safaricom, which is predominantly East African. The other brands have significant investment in Africa. Also important to note is that this Brands continuously identify more as African within the African continent. This list also includes Indomie a brand which has which comes out of Asia and has provided a very cheap means of feeding for millions of Africans.
Indigenous local African must continue to gain market share outside their primary region to remain strategic and viable. They most continue to deploy all manner of marketing most especially social media
to balance out the competition. As evidenced from the study a brand need not be present be manufactured within the continent to occupy Top of mind awareness and high emotional sentiment and attachment. Some government protection and incentives will be required to by respective African governments if indigenous brands must begin to outgrow the continent.