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2018 Sunday Times Top Brands winners.
2018 Sunday Times Top Brands winners.

KOO and Discovery Health take top accolades at 20th Sunday Times Top Brands Survey


Issued by Samantha Pugh, Pugh Public Relations & Corporate Communications - Oct 25th 2018, 07:49

Celebrating twenty years of the Sunday Times Top Brands Survey – the leading barometer of consumer sentiment towards brands – two local companies excelled to become the overall winners in their sectors: KOO adds to its Top Brands awards tally by winning the Grand Prix in the Consumer category, while Discovery Health Medical Scheme claimed the Grand Prix in the Business category.  

The results of the annual Sunday Times Top Brands survey were announced at an awards ceremony hosted at The Empire venue in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Reardon Sanderson, GM: Group Sales & Marketing at Tiso Blackstar says: “Twenty years ago, we could never have anticipated the longevity of this survey and how it would become the industry’s leading – and most quoted and respected beacon - for enlightening brands about the changing and fickle nature of consumer preference.”

The 2018 Sunday Times Top Brands Survey also celebrates ten years in partnership with Kantar TNS South Africa, who conduct the annual survey. They conducted face-to-face interviews with 3500 adults in the metro and non-metro areas of South Africa in the Consumer sample. The Business sample represents businesses of all sizes, with 469 C-level decision-makers participating in online self-complete interviews. The final results have been weighted to represent the population according to StatsSA 2015 mid-year population estimates. The Kantar TNS methodology used to establish brand ranking and category winners is based on the concept of relative advantage. This takes brand familiarity and awareness, the perceptions of users and non-users, as well as the size of brand presence in the market into account.

Nuala Harris-Morele of Kantar TNS says, “While 2018 saw a downgrade of the South African economy and increasing pressure on food prices through rand fluctuations and the increase in the price of fuel, South Africans are still creating space for some additional luxuries here and there. We see usership in beauty and cosmetics, alcohol, personal care and fast food increase. In some cases, to offset these expenses, we see an increase in the usage of microloans. This may be irresponsible spending, as we also see a decrease in the ownership of long-term insurance policy ownership.”

Consumer Categories

KOO reclaimed the top spot to receive the Consumer Overall Favourite Brand Grand Prix - an award it has won on multiple occasions previously. Coca-Cola and Samsung came in second and third place respectively.

Coca-Cola received the Consumer Green Award for the preservation of SA’s natural resources, as well the Consumer Social Investment Award. Coca-Cola was the recipient of both Awards in 2017 as well. Shoprite and Eskom also continued to feature in the top three positions of these two category rankings.

Winners in the other 32 Consumer categories included: BonAqua, Powerade, Heineken, Hunter’s Dry, Bernini, Hennessey, Vaseline, Oros, All Gold Tomato Sauce, Tastic, KOO, Coca-Cola, Rainbow, KFC, Spur, Nivea, Mercedes-Benz, Engen, South African Airways, Capitec, Discovery Insure, Old Mutual Group, Capfin, Vodacom, SABC1, Pick n Pay Smart Shopper, Daily Sun, Shoprite, and the Sunday Times. Samsung won in three categories: Electronic Goods, Large Kitchen Appliances, and Cellphones.

Business Categories

Discovery Health Medical Scheme fought back from third place in 2017, to claim the Grand Prix award as the 2018 Business Overall Favourite Brand. Vodacom was nudged into second place, with the Apple iPhone in third.

Nedbank received the Business Social Investment Award, followed by Woolworths and FNB in second and third place respectively.

Banks dominated in the Green category with FNB claiming the Business Green Award, while Capitec took second spot and Nedbank placed third.

Brands that won in the other 12 Business categories included:, Avis, Mercedes-Benz, Liberty, Santam, FNB, Apple iPhone, Vodacom, Allan Gray, Discovery Health Medical Scheme, Glenfiddich and Business Day.

Mercedes-Benz and Vodacom were the only brands to win across both Consumer and Business categories.

The 2018 Robyn Putter Award for creative agencies

The Robyn Putter Award recognises the contributions made by creative agencies in support of winning brands, with the winner decided on a points system, based on the performance of its clients in the Sunday Times Top Brands survey. The 2018 recipient is Ogilvy South Africa.

“Consumer behaviour and consumer perception about brands is definitely changing. This is what makes the Sunday Times Top Brands survey, conducted by our partner, Kantar TNS South Africa, such a valued and respected benchmark for the Industry. Tiso Blackstar’s ongoing support for the Sunday Times Top Brands Survey is to give marketers the research they need to not only become more competitive but to deliver real value to their consumers. It continues to deliver insights about the endearing longevity of some brands, or highlight the catch-up game that needs to be played by others,” concludes Sanderson.


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