MTN breaks into top 100 global brands

Posted by David Furlonger on 22 May, 2012 / News

MTN has become the first African company to crack the list of the world’s 100 most valuable brands. The Johannesburg-based mobile telecommunications giant is ranked 88th in the 2012 version of the annual BrandZ global brands study, commissioned by the multinational WPP communications group and conducted by research company Millward Brown Optimor.

MTN’s brand value of US$9,27bn is a long way behind top-ranked Apple’s $182,95bn but group marketing executive Jen Roberti says it is an important breakthrough for an African brand to be seen among the world’s leaders. MTN is two places behind Japanese electronics giant Sony and ahead of established names like KFC, Chevron and Volkswagen.

Millward Brown bases its BrandZ rankings on hundreds of thousands of consumer interviews around the world, as well as market data, financial analysis, contribution to business value and future growth prospects. Unlike some rankings, it focuses on individual brands rather than the companies that produce them.

Roberti describes MTN as “an African brand with global aspirations”. Though founded in SA,  its biggest African market is Nigeria. MTN  chief marketing officer Serame Taukobong says MTN’s original SA culture “has been absorbed by a bigger, more expansive sense of a broader African expression”.

MTN has over 170m subscribers in 21 countries across three continents. One of these countries is Iran — an association that recently led to questions about MTN’s relationship with the country’s security forces and their attempts to spy on ordinary Iranians. It remains to be seen whether that will have an effect on future brand perceptions.

Roberti says the 2010 Fifa World Cup in SA, of which MTN was an official sponsor, played an important role in raising the brand’s profile, particularly among Africans. “It was the way we leveraged the event. Research showed people felt MTN brought them this event. It created real affinity.”

She says that success was then used to build upon existing brand strengths, such as  customer relations, retail experience, innovation, community involvement, being a good employer, sponsorships and corporate citizenship in host countries.

Roberti adds: “We feel we have unlimited potential for brand growth. Mobile phones are no longer just voicemail and SMS. They are also the gateway to business and entertainment.”

US  brands occupy the first nine positions on the BrandZ ranking, with only China Mobile preventing a clean sweep of the Top 10. Facebook, recently launched as a public company with a market value of over $100bn, enjoyed the biggest rise in brand value from 2011, rising 74% to $33,2bn, and 16 positions from 35 to 19.

Sectors enjoying most value growth this year are luxury goods and fast foods (15% each), apparel (13%) and oil & gas (8%). The biggest losers are insurance (-16%), traditional telecom providers (-7%), cars (-7%) and retail (-5%).

Cigarette brand Marlboro continues to defy attempts to marginalise its sector. It retains its place in the Top 10 with a 9% growth in brand value.

 

Rank/category                   Company               Country         brand value (US$bn)

1 Tech                                  Apple                      US                  182,951
2 Tech                                 IBM                        US                     115,985
3 Tech                                 Google                    US                  107,857
4 Fast Food                       McDonald’s            US                    95,188
5 Tech                                Microsoft                US                    76,651
6 Soft drinks                     Coca-Cola               US                    74,286
7 Tobacco                         Marlboro                 US                    73,612
8 Communications         AT&T                       US                     68,870
9 Communications         Verizon                    US                    49,151
10 Communications       China Mobile         China             47,041
11 Ad Hoc                           GE                               US                   45,810
12 Communications       Vodafone                 UK                      43,033
13 Financial                     ICBC                         China                 41,518
14 Financial                    Wells Fargo              US                       39,754
15 Financial                     Visa                           US                       38,284
16 Ad Hoc                        UPS                           US                       37,129
17 Retail                           Walmart                   US                        34,436
18 Retail                           Amazon                    US                        34,077
19 Tech                            Facebook                   US                       33,233
20 Comms                     Deutsche Telekom  Germany          26,837
21 Luxury                      Louis Vuitton           France                 25,920
22 Tech                           SAP                            Germany             25,715
23 Cars                            BMW                         Germany              24,623
24 Financial                  China Construction Bank                      24,517
25 Tech                          Baidu                          China                     24,326
26 Tech                         HP                               US                          22,898
27 Tech                         Oracle                         US                          22,529
28 Cars                         Toyota                        Japan                     21,779
29 Financial                MasterCard               US                           20,759
30 Financial               American Express     US                        20,198
31 Financial               HSBC                          UK                             19,313
32 Luxury                  Hermès                        France                  19,161
33 Personal Care      Gillette                         US                         19,055
34 Oil                        ExxonMobil                 US                           18,315
35 Ad Hoc                 Pampers                        US                         18,299
36 Retail                   Tesco                              UK                          18,007
37 Tech                     Tencent/QQ                  China                   17,992
38 Financial            Agricultural Bank of China                    17,867
39 Oil                       Shell                               UK                             17,781
40 Financial            RBC                                Canada                  17,225
41 Comms               Movistar                          Spain                    17,113
42 Fast Food           Starbucks                       US                          17,072
43 Ad Hoc              Disney                             US                           17,056
44 Apparel             Nike                                 US                           16,255
45 Tech                   Accenture                      US                          16,118
46 Cars                   Mercedes-Benz             Germany               16,111
47 Comms             NTT DoCoMo                  Japan                     15,981
48 Beer                  Budweiser                          US                           15,882
49 Tech                 Intel                                    US                           15,633
50 Comms            Orange                                France                    15,351
51 Personal Care  Colgate                               US                           14,948
52 Fast Food        Subway                               US                           14,843
53 Insurance        China Life                          China                      14,587
54 Financial         TD                                      Canada                    14,561
55 Tech                 Samsung                            South Korea           14,164
56 Oil                    Sinopec                              China                       13,940
57 Personal Care L’Oréal                               France                  13,773
58 Apparel           H&M                                  Sweden                     13,485
59 Tech                Cisco                                   US                               13,317
60 Financial       Commonwealth Bank     Australia               13,083
61 Financial        Bank of China                   China                         12,982
62 Retail             The Home Depot              US                               12,968
63 Financial       ICICI Bank                         India                          12,665
64 Retail             ebay                                     US                               12,662
65 Cars                Honda                                 Japan                         12,647
66 Apparel          Zara                                    Spain                           12,616
67 Soft drinks    Pepsi                                   US                                12,598
68 Oil                 Petrochina                         China                           12,105
69 Ad Hoc         Moutai                               China                            11,838
70 Ad Hoc         FedEx                                 US                                 11,723
71 Comms         Airtel                                   India                             11,531
72 Financial     US Bank                              US                                 11,488
73 Tech             Siemens                               Germany                      10,676
74 Financial     Sberbank                            Russia                           10,649
75 Oil                Petrobras                             Brazil                            10,560
76 Retail           Target                                   US                                 10,506
77 Oil                BP                                           UK                                10,424
78 Insurance    Ping An                             China                            10,174
79 Financial     Standard Chartered      UK                                 10,064
80 Soft drinks  Red Bull                             Austria                            9,984
81 Cars              Nissan                                  Japan                              9,853
82 Financial     Citi                                       US                                    9,760
83 Financial     Scotiabank                       Canada                            9,627
84 Comms       Telecom Italia                  Italy                                 9,572
85 Comms       MTS                                      Russia                              9,553
86 Tech            Sony                                      Japan                               9,444
87 Retail          ALDI                                     Germany                          9,310
88 Comms      MTN                                      South Africa                     9,273
89 Retail          Ikea                                       Sweden                              9,206
90 Comms      China Telecom                    China                                 9,191
91 Fast Food   KFC                                        US                                      8,852
92 Financial   Chase                                      US                                      8,644
93 Oil              Chevron                                  US                                       8,599
94 Comms     O2                                             UK                                      8,562
95 Financial   Santander                            Spain                                  8,546
96 Cars           Volkswagen                         Germany                            8,519
97 Comms     Telcel                                    Mexico                                8,449
98 Retail        Carrefour                              France                                7,836
99 Insurance  State Farm                          US                                       7,813
100 Ad Hoc   DHL                                       Germany                             7,601

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