Staff Writer

MTC has been voted the Most Admired Brand in Namibia in a survey to determine which companies are held in high regard by the public.

The announcement, which included Namibia for the first time, was made by Brand Africa.

MTC leads the local listing that included Mshasho at #2 and Top Score at #3. Namibia Breweries Limited was recognised as the most admired brand listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange. Mshasho was recognized as the #1 African brand in Namibia ahead of South Africa’s MTN and DSTV, with local stalwart brands Windhoek Lager and MTC rounding off the Top 5.

Brand Africa is an independent non-profit organisation, an intergenerational movement to inspire a great Africa through promoting a positive image of Africa, celebrating its diversity and driving its competitiveness. It is a branded movement which recognizes that in the 21st century, brands are an asset and a vector of image, reputation and competitiveness of nations.

The Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands survey research is the most comprehensive and most representative consumer-focused survey of brands across Africa based on the most rigorous methodology consistent with global best practices and accepted protocols.

The survey is conducted independently by Geopoll (www.geopoll.com), the world’s leading mobile surveying platform with a database of over 250 million respondents in emerging markets around the globe. Strategic analysis and insights are conducted by Kantar (www.kantar.com), the globally respected consumer knowledge and information company. Strategy and branding is led by Brand Leadership (www.brandleadership.africa), Africa’s leading brand development, integrated marketing communication and activation advisory.

It is a random mobile survey using Geopoll’s sophisticated SMS-based research platform conducted among individuals aged 18 and older, in at least 25 countries covering all five economic regions in Africa which represent just fewer than 50 percent of the continent’s countries but account for an estimated 80 percent of its population and 80m percent of its GDP.

A mobile research platform is used due to mobile’s high penetration, effectiveness and expediency in reaching consumers across Africa. Respondents are probed to spontaneously identify and rank their brand preferences irrespective of country of origin or domicile and then prompted to specifically identify African brands.

The survey results in over 15,000 brand mentions and over 2,000 unique brand mentions which are coded and analysed to ensure there are no duplications or anomalies. Kantar then calculates a score for each brand and a weighted average index that takes into account the sample and population sizes of each country covered. To make the list for the Top 100, the brands have to be recalled in at least one other country other than the domicile market.

Finally, Kantar and Brand Leadership produce rankings for the Top 100 brands in Africa, Top Financial Services Brands, Top Media Brands, Top Sectors, Top Categories and Geographical spread of the Most Admired Brands in Africa and the Most Admired Listed Brands (on African bourses), in recognition of the alignment of brand reputation and the market value of businesses.

Accepting the award, MTC’s Chief Human Capital & Corporate Affairs Officer said, “We are extremely excited and humbled by this exceptional honour bestowed on our brand by the Namibian people.

“Firstly, allow me to thank our shareholder, our Board of Directors, Executive Management and all MTC Ambassadors under the able leadership of Dr Licky Erastus for working tirelessly to build this brand, a brand that we are all proud of.

“We started this brand 25 years ago, with humble beginnings and we knew we not only wanted to build a mobile telecommunications company, but a brand that all Namibians will be proud of. A brand that has character, that delivers memorable experience and not just service, passion, consistency and leadership.

“We have always understood that a brand is defined by our customers’ experience and that experience is delivered by our Ambassadors (MTC employees) and this accolade is therefore in recognition of their service.”

According to Brand Africa, it is important to measure a brand because firstly, a brand is an asset and a key value driver and defines a brand as a trademark and associated intellectual property including the word mark and iconography that signifies the source and ownership of a product or service. “Therefore, measuring its admiration is an assessment of the effectiveness of the brand’s custodianship by management and resultant return on investment for its shareholders and investors. Second, developing and building successful brands and the businesses behind them helps Africa to solve its socio-economic challenges by creating jobs and the tax bases to fund public goods.

“Finally, successful brands are a vector of a positive image, competitiveness and reputation for Africa. Therefore, Brand Africa 100 is a critical measure on and inspiration for creating Brands That Build Africa.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Brand Africa 100 survey and ranking of the best brands in Africa. Established 10 years ago to coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the world’s biggest single sporting event, the Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands rankings have established themselves as the most authoritative survey and analysis of brands in Africa.

“It is concerning that in the 10 years since the triumphant FIFA World Cup in South Africa which globally highlighted the promise and capability of Africa, and despite the vibrant entrepreneurial environment, Africa is not creating more competitive brands to meet the needs of its growing consumer market,”. He continues that “But what is exciting to see in Namibia, is how challenger local brands like Mshasho and GMP taking on the bigger heritage Namibian brands – it underlies African’s entrepreneurial spirt and opportunity,” Thebe Ikalafeng, Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership said.

In relation to the announcement of the Namibian results, Lazarus Jacobs, Executive Director, Paragon Investments and Brand Africa board member said, “We are really pleased that we have finally launched the Namibian edition of Africa’s Best Brands to get an insight into the Namibian branding landscape and progress in building strong local brands. It is a good metric of the job ahead for Namibia and Africa overall.”

“This project has been as result of 10 years of working with local brands and the best minds in Africa, we are really pleased that we have finally launched the Namibian edition of The Best African Brands, as it goes a long way in stamping our unique and diverse imprint on the African brand landscape, we believe this is a start of great collaborations and truly living in the global village and true to the spirit of Ubuntu, we are glad we get to bring local skills and minds together with the rest of Africa to the table to celebrate our true Africanism, through brands.”

Karin Du Chenne, Kantar’s Chief Growth Officer Africa Middle East said, “The complex task of analyzing a vast amount of diverse data, countries and trends over 10 years has given us a deep insight into how brands have changed, adapted and kept in step with the changing African environment and consumer who demands more from their brands.”

Kantar has been the insight lead for Brand Africa since its inception in 2010.

The Namibia event was organized by Africa’s Best Brands/Namibia, hosted by TBWA in association with the Namibia Stock Exchange.