Iconic brand Coca-Cola was the big winner at the 2014 Sunday Times Top Brands Awards ceremony held in Johannesburg on Friday. Now in its 16th year, the awards and conference recognise South Africa’s top brands in the business and consumer sectors.
“Winning a Sunday Times Top Brand award is a substantial accomplishment,” says Trevor Ormerod, GM group sales at Times Media Group. “Marketers have their work cut out for them in today’s testing environment. In fact, each year poses different challenges to brands in the form of market fluctuations, economic downturns, or the impact of technological innovations. The ability to maintain position – or in some cases forge ahead despite these challenges, is what distinguishes Top Brands from the rest.”
The winning brands are voted for by consumers and business decision makers who rank them as being the best in their category in a nationwide survey.
Coca-Cola brand which scooped no less than three awards, including two Grand Prix Awards for Overall Favourite Brand and Community Upliftment as well as the Favourite Soft-Drink Award in the consumer category. Over the past 16 years Coca-Cola has claimed the Overall Favourite Brand Award 14 times, coming second only to KOO in 2011 and 2012.
National power utility Eskom walked away with the ‘Green’ Grand Prix Award for their efforts to preserve the environment and harness the country’s natural resources. The Robin Putter Agency of the Year Award went to FCB South Africa. In the business category Avis stood out winning their 11th consecutive award in the Car Hire Category. A number of other winners maintained their lead of previous years including British Airways, Vodacom and Discovery Health.
Brands in the consumer sector such as Nokia, Tastic, Nike, KFC, KOO, SAA and Ricoffy have each reigned in their respective categories for five years in a row. Capitec Bank nabbed the top spot in the newly introduced micro-lenders category.
Reclaiming first position in the Grocery Store Category was Shoprite, placing last year’s winner, Pick n Pay, in second place. In a surprise win, Liberty took a giant leap to first place from fifth place in 2013 in the Long-Term Insurance Category.
The awards gala was preceded by the inaugural Top Brands Conference that aimed to start the conversation on how to create, build and share insight on brands and branding in South Africa.
“We’re very excited about the launch of this conference,” says Ormerod. “It represents an extension of the much loved and respected Sunday Times Top Brands portfolio. One of Times Media Group’s strategic goals is to increase the level of support and presence in the media and marketing arena. The recent acquisition of Future Group will leverage opportunities in this exciting space.”
Topics discussed included a fascinating mix of hard hitting content. Top tier representatives from Discovery Health, Standard Bank, Clover, Johnnie Walker and Coca-Cola gave presentations on exactly why their strategies have proven to be so successful.
IMAGE: Winning team, Coca-Cola
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