The results of the 15th Sunday Times annual top brands survey, conducted by TNS South Africa, show that Vodacom is considered the best mobile operator and that Apple’s iPhone is the most desirable handset among South African business users, while Nokia is the top consumer handset brand.
The survey looks at annual changes in consumer sentiment towards brands. For the 2013 survey, 3 500 people over the age of 18 were interviewed in person, with a thousand of them coming from outside metropolitan areas.
Rather than simply looking at the brands that people use, the survey also assesses people’s feelings about brands they don’t use but might like to. Ratings by non-users receive half the weight of ratings from those who do use particular brands.
Esme Deken, Times Media Group’s head of marketing intelligence, says market surveys tend to focus on use, delivering a skewed impression of a brand’s future market relevance.
“In addition to measuring usage, the methodology we employ … measures the concept of relative advantage,” Deken says. “We look at how non-users perceive a brand, indicating its inspirational pull relative to other brands in the category.”
This explains how the iPhone, which accounts for fewer than 1% of handset sales, fared so well in the business section of the survey. “The Apple iPhone received very high non-user ratings in the business sample [and] over the years we have seen this translate into usage among general consumers,” says Deken. “As soon as [consumers] can afford it, this aspiration evolves into behaviour.”
Apple also came out on top in the tablet section with the iPad, while rival Samsung Electronics topped the electronic goods category ahead of LG Electronics and Sony. The top consumer mobile phone manufacturer was Nokia, followed by BlackBerry and Samsung.
Facebook received top honours in social media, a new category, followed by Google+ and then Twitter.
The award for overall favourite brand went to Coca-Cola, with Eskom taking home the award for the most desirable company to work for. Second and third place for most desired employer went to Coca-Cola and Telkom.
Former MTN South Africa chief marketing officer Serame Taukobong, meanwhile, won the award for top brand marketing personality of the year.
A table with the highlights follows below. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media
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