Sunday, September 25, 2005


It’s here once again, the Sunday-Times Markinor Top Brands survey, and the collective public yawns, drops it in the bin and turns to the sports pages.

Why? Because unbeknownst to the advertising industry, we the people couldn’t give a crap about brands, we don’t “love” them in any emotional sense, we may like a product, and hope to be able to find it when we need it, but the days of walking a mile for a Camel are over. Nothing proves this more than the inclusion every year of Telkom as one of South Africa’s “favourite” brands.

The whole notion of brand loyalty is becoming more myth than reality. Clive Simpkins said it best, “brands and brand loyalty will change dramatically in years to come. People are already way less tolerant of mediocrity and less resistant to or afraid of brand and service provider change than they were just a few years ago.”

It could be because they keep changing the frigging product, how many times have you gone to the supermarket to see your favourite whatever repackaged and reformulated and completely unrecognisable?

Enough of the rant, back to the brands, Coca-Cola, SAB Ltd, Vodacom, Koo, Castle Lager, Toyota, Nike, Nokia or Pick ‘n Pay, who all deserve their status as respected and reliable. In amongst this lot lurks Telkom, an entity protected by the state with no competition to speak of and a contemptuous attitude to its customers. When it comes to community upliftment, there’s Eskom, Coca-Cola and, uh, Telkom, favourite advertisers, there’s Telkom again. I don’t think any of the others have a site devoted entirely to slagging them off.

Interesting bit here about beer, our favourite beer brand is still Castle Lager, but Carling Black Label now outsells Castle, despite the fact that it was never as heavily advertised. In honour of the success of Carling, SAB is having “Man Days” where they “take over a few of the major radio stations”, and have a masculinity rah-rah-rah without the drums. Sounds like the marketing people should stay away from a brand which owes its success to the fact that it’s 5,5% and it tastes good.

When it comes to destinations, my favourite city is third, but you can’t argue with a beautiful beach. Cape Town scoops the accolade, with Durban second, and Johannesburg and Gauteng, third and fourth. Sun City is apparently more beloved than the Kruger Park, go figure.

Fast foodwise, it’s greasy chicken all the way, KFC, then Chicken Licken, then Nando’s, Wimpy, Steers, McDonalds and Spur. Tastic and Hulettt’s come out top in terms of food, and Sunlight beats Omo for household cleaners. Clothing brands are Jet, Edgars and Pep Stores. Banks, no surprise Standard Bank up first and second ABSA, hmmm, since people mentioned the Perm and Volkskas, which no longer exist, I’m reserving judgement on this one.

In the category on Telecommunications providers, well whaddaya know, there’s Telkom again. Nokia is way ahead in the cellphone wars and what’s this? Petrol? Do you remember what brand of petrol you put in last time? It’s BP then Shell, then Caltex then Engen if you must know.

Big change in the media this year, the tabloids rule, The Daily Sun charged ahead in the newspaper category, with the Sowetan second and Sunday Times third. Astonishingly enough, the SABC came out on top in terms of business media, beating out Business Day and the ST Business Times. M-Net which has no business news comes fourth, which is explained thus by Heidi Brauer from Markinor “brand perceptions live in the mind of the consumer and perception is reality”.


principalities and powers said...

Give some thought to the poor person who had to make up the pages for the paper. I did it one year, and they gave me my thirty pieces of silver. Still, I give good head(lines).

PossumQueen SA said...

Only 30? You wuz robbed. Good to see you pnp.