The latest ranking of Globacom as the 4th most admired African brand has reaffirmed the determination of the promoters of the brand to break the global record as well as sustain its vast brand equity, Raheem Akingbolu reports

Since 2003, the story of the Globacom brand has continued to attract analysts in Africa. From the first day it berthed in the Nigerian market, it has always thrown up surprises. The first surprise was the determination by the founder of the telecommunications brand to enter the boxing ring with multinationals.

The latest news about the brand, which is currently trending is the outcome of a survey carried out by Brand Africa, which ranked Glo 4th among the Most Admired African brands.

In the 2017/2018, Most Admired Brands survey conducted by Brand Africa, Globacom was ranked fourth in the Top 10 Most Admired African Brands (unprompted). In the same vein, the company was also rated fifth in the Top 25 Most Admired African Brands (prompted).
With this development, the Glo brand, which is also one of the leading telecoms brands in Nigeria, has thus come atop in the fresh ranking of 100 best brands in Africa.

The Brand Africa 100 was established in 2010, in recognition of the growth of African brands, which were beginning to challenge global brands in Africa or lead global brands in new categories such as telecommunications.
According to the organisers, the aim of Brand Africa is to identify, acknowledge and promote African and global brands that are catalysts for Africa’s growth, reputation and value.

The Brand Africa 100 ranking was based on a survey among consumers who are between 18 years and older, conducted in 23 countries across Africa. The countries, representing all African economic regions, collectively account for 75 per cent of the population and the 74 per cent of the GDP of Africa.

Decisive Factors
The report noted “an incredible consistency among the companies that featured in the survey with 60 per cent of the top brands being present in both the unprompted and prompted surveys.”

The brands included Globacom, Dangote, Shoprite, Safaricom and Tusker of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Anbessa.
Brand Africa founder and Chairman, Thebe Ikalafeng, said the study was conducted by Brand Africa partners, GeoPoll, leading research firm in emerging markets, with analysis and insights by Kantar TNS, the world’s largest insight information research firm, and Brand Leadership, Africa’s premier branding advisory firm.

Ikalafeng explained that Brand Africa 100 is a valuation and ranking of the Best Brands in Africa.
“The valuation is a multi-tier royalty relief methodology that blends a brand’s financial performance and consumer admiration to create a unique index and ranking.

“One of the primary drivers of Africa’s growth lies in stimulating and growing thriving African and global businesses and brands in Africa. Consumers are the ultimate arbiters of that success. Thus, the Brand Africa 100 signals, which brands are getting it right on the continent,” he explained.

Other African brands that made the Top 25 included Jumia and UBA of Nigeria, MTN, DSTV, Tiger Brands and Amarula of South Africa, Econet and Kwese of Zimbabwe, Ankara Clothing of Ghana, Tusker of Kenya, Africell of Gambia and Ecobank of Togo.

The Brand Africa survey also showed that Nike of the USA emerged as the Most Admired foreign brand in Africa. The Sports and Fitness company was followed by Samsung and Adidas of Germany, Coca-Cola of USA and Apple also of USA.

Import of the Award
Through this year’s edition of the exercise, it has been established that African brands rose slightly to account for 17 per cent of the Top 100 brands in Africa, which indicates that non-African brands retained their firm position in the continent with 83 per cent share of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa.

Brands from Europe lead the table with 40 per cent, North America at 24 per cent and Asia at 19 per cent. It was also announced that West Africa was 6 per cent, with only Nigerian brands and Southern Africa per cent.

The Top 100 is dominated by technology and electronic brands (29 per cent), consumer (non-cyclical) (19 per cent), apparel (15 per cent), automobile (8 per cent), food (7 per cent) and sports & fitness (5 per cent) categories are the top categories.
“Overall, the 2017/18 Brand Africa 100 list, which started out with over 15,500 brand mentions covering over 2,200 admired brands, illustrates a very diversified portfolio of categories and brands in Africa.

Ikalafeng captured it well when he stated that African brands had an important role in helping to build the Africa brand.
According to him, these rankings are an important metric of the progress Africa is making in creating home-grown world-class brands that are changing the narrative on African competitiveness, image and reputation and contributing to its socio-economic transformation.

Another instructive discovery in the exercise was that the Brand Africa 100 list is still dominated by non-African brands in categories that are largely driven by and require long-term investment, research and access to skills and resources – electronics and telecommunication (30 per cent), consumer, non-cyclical (19 per cent), apparel (15 per cent), automobile (8 per cent), food (7 per cent), sports and fitness (5 per cent).
In all this, the lesson to learn by brand managers in Africa is that consistency and good value propositions are necessary to build a strong brand.

The Glo Brand
Globacom has in its 15 years of business built a reputation as an authentic African brand with its extensive network across West African countries where it operates including Nigeria and Ghana.

The operator is renowned for its innovative and affordable offerings as well as investments in telecoms infrastructure in Africa such as the Glo 1; its wholly owned submarine cable, which links over 14 countries in Africa with Europe and North America.
Perhaps, the greatest surprise over the years lies in its survival, despite the odds and early-comer advantage the competition had over it.

Today, the story is no more about how it weathered the storm, but how the brand has continued to put competing brands on their toes.
When the first players rolled out the first batch of lines in 2001, the initial battle they fought, albeit acrimoniously, was that for the soul of the subscriber. From any angle one chooses to look at the result of this, they succeeded, though relatively depending on who was spending what.

As at then, in terms of market share, there was no operator that could say it was having an advantage over the other player. Both came in at the same time and had virtually a virgin land to till in terms of the marketing drive.

What then mattered was what each was offering in terms of services to sway a rather gullible subscriber and by extension, how deep the pocket of campaign funds was. And this played a very major role in the advantage a particular operator had over the other.

In terms of positioning and battle for brand equity, there is nothing that presented challenges for the brand manager than pushing through a market, a service such market was never aware of.