Every year, Brand Africa releases an insightful survey, highlighting the Top 100 Brands in Africa. This year they have released their 10th survey — African brands still fall short.

Every year, Brand Africa releases an insightful survey, highlighting the Top 100 Brands in Africa. This year they have released their 10th survey — African brands still fall short.

What is Brand Africa 100?

The Brand Africa 100 is a consumer-led survey which seeks to establish brand preferences across Africa, conducted in 27 countries which represents 50% of the continent, covering all economic regions and an estimated 80% of the population and the GDP of Africa.

See Top 100 Brands in Africa

Click above to see the 2020 survey.

5 Key Highlights

  • 87% of the Top 100 Brands in Africa are non-African
  • African brands drop to only 13%
  • African brands drop by over 60% in 10 years
  • Nike retains #1 in Africa for third year in a row
  • Europe retains continental lead with 42/100 (+5%)

What does this mean for African brands? In a word — Opportunity.

At face value these findings are unsettling and telling of how Africa is not led by Africans — at least from a brand perspective. Yes, non-African brands doing business in Africa is good and welcome. It boosts the economy and creates employment to some degree. The achievements of these brands in Africa shows how open Africa is for investment. All these positives are with the hopeful assumption that the non-African brands are operating from a fair-trade and equal opportunity vantage point. Which — let’s be candid, when we look at it objectively — is a mammoth ask, even amongst African brands themselves.

So where is the opportunity?

Traditionally many African brands have focused primarily on just selling products and to make a profit. In addition, there hasn’t been enough investment in R&D, quality of service and efficiency in delivery. To top it all, there is the “Impostor syndrome” that both consumers and African brands battle with everyday. Not believing African brands are good enough or worthy of esteem.

What To Do

Focus on brand. Many African brands don’t know who they are — intrinsically. As a result, instead of focusing on developing their unique brand, values and ultimately build loyalty and deeper connections with their audience. They imitate and overlook their strengths and unique competitive advantage — their brand identity.

The common denominator with all of the top non-African brands thriving in Africa is — a unique brand identity. Yes it takes time. Yes it takes investment. And yes it is possible for African brands to lead in Africa.