The Annual Report on South Africa’s 50 Most Valuable Brands


BrandFinance® South Africa Top 50

Top 50 brands are a catalyst for South Africa’s growth and a winning nation

Thebe Ikalafeng, Chairman – Brand Finance Africa; Founder, Brand Africa & Brand Leadership Group

Despite another year of difficult global trading conditions, the total brand value of the BrandFinanace South Africa Top 50 brands increased 18% from R343bn from 2013’s value of R291bn. Surprisingly though, the Top 10 brands have only grown at 14% against the 22% of the bottom 40 brands, indicating the momentum is with the smaller players. These top 10 brands account for 52% of total brand value amongst the Top 50 with MTN accounting for a massive 16.5% of total brand value.

By sector, there are 13 financial services brands (banks and insurance) in the Top 50 generating R89bn (26%) of value, followed by 5 telecom brands generating 25% of value and 16 food and beverage brands generating 22.6%.

Among the BrandAfrica 100 Most Valuable Brands in Africa, South Africa leads Africa with a 72% share, compared to Nigeria at 26% and Kenya at 2%. MTN tops the table in Africa too.

In the category of South Africa’s Strongest Brand, MTN and FNB are both rated as this year’s strongest brands – this is the third year running that FNB have achieved this ranking. In the year that South Africa lost it’s founding democratic President and Most Valuable Icon, Nelson Mandela, it’s interesting to note that the underlying core values of these brands closely follow those of Madiba’s. It’s no surprise then that these brands resonate with South African consumers where others battle.

It also comes as no surprise that more than half of the brands have a significant presence beyond South African borders. While Nigeria has the highest GDP in the continent, South Africa dominates the branding landscape across Africa – with 80% of the Top 50 all essential staples in a continent that is turning the corner from being a consumer to becoming a creator. It is estimated that if intra-Africa trade is increased by 1%, it will generate $50bn in revenues. With its experience in building and creating portfolios of world-class brands, South Africa is in a good position to play a leading role in that African renaissance.

The brands of a nation are not only a vector of its image, but a catalyst of its wealth too. There is empirical evidence that the value of the brands with the top nations has an almost direct correlation with their GDP.

That South Africa is not among the six African nations in the Top 10 fastest growing economies globally (Economist) and not one of the three African frontier markets that are recognized to offer high returns and improving economic institution (Botswana (#2), Rwanda (#5) and Ghana (#10)) (Foreign Policy Magazine’s Baseline Profitability Index) is a challenge that South Africa needs to address if it is to remain the most admired African nation, and competitive with fellow African and BRICS nations.

A thriving ‘Made in South Africa’ and entrepreneurship spirit are what built South Africa’s wealth, reputation and competitiveness – and the BrandFinance South Africa Top 50 brands. For Africa and certainly for South Africa to grow independent, create jobs and reduce inequality, it will need to invest in the attributes that built these brands – on top of increasing intra-Africa trade – to challenge global brands in Africa.

The pan-African dominance, global reputation and success of the Top 50 shows that South Africa has the creativity, skill and experience to continue building great brands and a great, growing nation. Top 50 brands are a catalyst of South Africa’s growth and a winning nation – and Africa.

Top 50 Most Valuable brands

Rank 2014

Rank 2013


Parent Company

Industry Group

1 1 MTN MTN Group Ltd Telecommunications
2 3 SASOL Sasol Ltd Chemicals
3 2 Vodacom Vodacom Group Ltd Telecommunications
4 4 Standard Bank Standard Bank Group Ltd Banks
5 5 ABSA Barclays Africa Group Ltd Banks
6 6 Nedbank Nedbank Group Ltd Banks
7 8 First National Bank FirstRand Ltd Banks
8 10 Mediclinic Mediclinic International Ltd Healthcare-Services
9 18 Investec Investec Ltd Diversified Finan Serv
10 7 Woolworths Woolworths Holdings Ltd Retail
11 9 Shoprite Shoprite Holdings Ltd Retail – Food Specialists
12 17 MultiChoice Naspers Ltd Media
13 14 Netcare Netcare Ltd Healthcare-Services
14 11 Spar Spar Group Limited/The Food
15 13 Mondi Mondi Ltd Forest Products&Paper
16 15* Castle SABMiller Plc Beverages
17 12 Pick’n Pay Pick n Pay Stores Ltd Retail
18 19* Carling Black Label SABMiller Plc Beverages
19 20 Telkom Telkom Sa Ltd Telecommunications
20 22 Sappi Sappi Limited Forest Products&Paper
21 16 Sanlam Sanlam Ltd Insurance
22 26* Hansa Pilsener SABMiller Plc Beverages
23 21 Mr Price Mr Price Group Ltd Retail
24 28 Discovery Discovery Ltd Insurance
25 24* Grindrod Grindrod Ltd Transportation
26 31 Wesbank FirstRand Ltd Banks
27 23 Truworths Truworths International Ltd Retail
28 25 Media24 Naspers Ltd Media
29 29 African Bank African Bank Investments Ltd Diversified Finan Serv
30 32 Bidvest Bidvest Group Ltd Holding Companies-Divers
31 34 SABMiller Sabmiller Plc Beverages
32 30 Makro Massmart Holdings Ltd Retail
33 35 CLICKS Clicks Group Ltd Retail-Drug Store
34 33 Liberty Liberty Holdings Ltd Insurance
35 36* Huletts Tongaat Hulett Ltd Holding Companies-Divers
36 44 Rainbow Chicken Rainbow Chicken Ltd Food
37 40 Altech Allied Technologies Ltd Telecommunications
38 39 Checkers Shoprite Holdings Ltd Retail – Food Specialists
39 43 Life Life Healthcare Group Healthcare-Services
40 37 Nampak Nampak Ltd Packaging&Containers
41 49 Steinhoff Steinhoff Intl Holdings Ltd Holding Companies-Divers
42 45* Capitec Bank Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd Diversified Finan Serv
43 38 SAA South African Airways Airlines
44 47 Rand Merchant Bank FirstRand Ltd Banks
45 48 Imperial Imperial Holdings Ltd Holding Companies-Divers
46 41 Game Massmart Holdings Ltd Retail
47 Cell C Oger Telecom Telecommunications
48 42 Santam Santam Ltd Insurance
49 52 Foschini The Foschini Group Ltd Retail
50 46 Sasko Pioneer Foods Ltd Food Service

For the full details in the table above, download the Top 50 in PDF format.



Definition of ‘brand’

Financial accounting and reporting standards requires a clear definition of what intellectual property is included in the definition of ‘brand’. Brand Finance defines brand as the “Trademark and associated IP including the word mark and trademark iconography”.


Royalty relief

Brand Finance calculates brand value using the Royalty Relief approach. This approach involves estimating the likely future sales that are attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand. The steps in this process are as follows:

  1. Calculate brand strength on a scale of 0 to 100 based on a number of attributes such as emotional connection, financial performance and sustainability, among others. This score is known as the Brand Strength Index.
  2. Determine the royalty rate range for the respective brand sectors. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database of license agreements and other online databases.
  3. Calculate royalty rate. The brand strength score is applied to the royalty rate range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty rate range in a brand’s sector is 1-5% and a brand has a brand strength score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4.2%.
  4. Determine brand specific revenues estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to specific brand.
  5. Determine forecast brand specific revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts and economic growth rates.
  6. Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.
  7. Brand revenues are discounted post tax to a net present value which equals the brand value.

Why we use the royalty relief approach

The Royalty Relief approach is used for three reasons:

  1. It is favoured by tax authorities and the courts because it calculates brand values by reference to documented third-party transactions
  2. It can be done based on publicly available financial information
  3. It is compliant with the requirement under the International Valuation Standards Authority to determine the fair market value of brands

Brand Ratings

These are derived from the Brand Strength Index which benchmarks the strength, risk and future potential of a brand relative to its competitors on a scale ranging from D to AAA. It is conceptually similar to a credit rating.

AAA+                    – extremely strong

AA                         – very strong

A                            – strong

BBB – B                 – average

CCC – C                – weak

DDD – D                – failing

Valuation Date

All brand values in the report are for the year ending 30 June 2014.

Contact Details

David Haigh

Brand Finance CEO

Thebe Ikalafeng

Chairman, Brand Finance Africa

+27 82 447 9130

Oliver Schmitz

Managing Director Africa

+27 82 087 0507; +267 72 984 351

Rupert Kemp

Valuation director

+27 72 459 1743

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance plc, the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy, advises strongly branded organisations on maximising their brand value through effective management of their brands and intangible assets.  Founded in 1996, Brand Finance has performed thousands of branded business, brand and intangible asset valuations worth trillions of dollars.

Its clients include international brand owners, tax authorities, Intellectual Property lawyers and investment banks. Its work is frequently peer-reviewed by the big four audit practices and its reports have been accepted by various regulatory bodies, including the UK Takeover Panel.

Brand Finance is headquartered in London and has a network of international offices in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Amsterdam, Athens, Bangalore, Barcelona, Colombo, Dubai, Geneva, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lisbon, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Singapore, Toronto and Zagreb.

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