Discovery’s response to the pandemic sees a sharp increase in brand value

Business Insider SA

Discovery headquarters in Sandton (Boogertman and
Discovery headquarters in Sandton (Boogertman and Partners)
  • Discovery's value has outpaced all other brands in South Africa, growing by more than 26% over the past year.
  • This is according to global market consultancy firm, Kantar, which released its Most Valuable South African Brands 2021 ranking on Wednesday.
  • Discovery's surge has been attributed to its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Which included launching a prepaid platform with access to private primary healthcare products, opening five mass vaccination centres, and creating its own booking system.
  • For more stories go to

Discovery's response to the Covid-19 pandemic has seen its brand value soar by more than 26% over the past year, according to the latest rankings published by global market insights consultancy firm, Kantar.

The results of the Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable South African Brands 2021 ranking were released on Wednesday, showing resilience among well-known banks and telecommunications providers. The rankings, which were first introduced in 2018, are determined by consumer insights and financial analysis.

Two elements – financial value and brand contribution – are used to calculate a company's overall score. The study also relies on insights from more than 30,000 South African consumers on 660 brands in 47 categories.

The cumulative value of the 30 brands ranked in the 2021 study stands at $28.8 billion (R418 billion), 3% down from the total worth in 2020.

The top-ten brands with the highest value in South Africa remains largely unchanged, with no newcomers.

First National Bank (FNB) retains its position as South Africa's most valuable brand, worth $2.7 billion (R39.2 billion). Standard Bank dropped two positions to fourth in 2021, overtaken by Vodacom and Castle. Capitec Bank, which just missed out on a top-ten finish, received special mention as the "most meaningfully different" brand.

Brands South Africa
ZAR figures converted from USD at conversion rate at the time of publication (1 September 2021)

Capitec was closely followed by Takealot in the value and difference-driven category. Takealot, benefiting from the e-commerce surge during the pandemic, is the only new entrant to the overall rankings, featuring at 23 with a brand value of $446 million (R6.5 billion).

The standout performance noted by Kantar's BrandZ rankings belongs to Discovery, which showed the highest growth rate – of 26.6% – over the past year. Its increase in value moves Discovery to seventh position, overtaking both DStv and Absa.

Kantar points to Discovery's quick-thinking response to the Covid-19 pandemic as a key reason for its growth.

Discovery, which specialises in medical aid administration, car and life insurance, launched a prepaid health platform with access to private primary healthcare products back in December. It also expanded its popular Vitality Active Rewards programme to include kids and partnered with Apple Pay.

Discovery has also played an important role in South Africa's Covid-19 vaccine rollout, being a notable example of the critical private-public partnership. It's opened five mass vaccination centres in South Africa, with its own booking system integrated into the Covid-19 Vaccination Navigator.

The news of Discovery's good gains on brand value coincides with expectations of an increase of between 900% and 920% in its headline profit when it reports its full year 2021 results on Thursday 2 September.

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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