Apart from Media24, which ranks a lowly 31 on the list of South Africa’s most valuable brands, there are no other news media companies among the country’s top 50 corporate front runners.
A new brand valuation survey (see the top 10 below) by Brand Finance was conducted according to the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668. It defines ‘brand’ as a “marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits”.
What stands out with terrifying clarity is that almost without exception, South Africa’s most valuable brands are those consumers consider a “grudge” purchase. Something they have no choice but to buy, irrespective of the price or service.
Which is why, with only one exception, no newspaper companies or any other kind of news media feature among the top most valuable brands.
Simply put, the consumer today has no choice when it comes to whether or not to buy mobile phone data or voice services. Yes, they have a choice of companies but there is actually very little competition – they are all very expensive by world standards.
The same applies to banks and other brands selling products or services that the consumer has to buy or face the prospect of financial ruin or missing out on what is considered a life essential.
When it comes to news, my reading of all this is that today’s consumers find personal value in immediate and fast absorption of news. Hence the reason for Media24 being in the top 50. News can be accessed there for free and what Media24’s owners, Naspers, have done really well is promote its paid online offerings to those visitors to its free news sites.
The majority of South Africa’s news media haven’t yet cottoned on to this blatantly obvious business model. They still cling to the farcical notion that they can prosper from the outdated model of selling news and relying on advertising for revenue.
For further details on South Africa’s most valuable and strongest brands, download the report here: BrandFinanceTop50
Chris Moerdyk (@chrismoerdyk ) is a marketing analyst and advisor and owner of Moerdyk Marketing with many years of experience in marketing and the media as well as serving as non-executive director and chairman of companies.