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12 August 2021: Johannesburg, South Africa: Plus 94 Research has partnered with Media Torque & Events to produce the 2021 Top Companies South Africa (TCSA), an annual reputation index study that delves into the key drivers of brand recognition and reputation. With data going back to 2001, the TCSA provides a holistic reputation index of South Africa’s Top 200 Companies. The 2021 study shows that South African customers have become more critical of the brands that they support.

As companies grapple with what the future will look like, several issues come to mind. Some of these include: how to sustain the brand when markets and industries are re-organised, whether or not to develop new products that align with the “new reality”; how to deal with the competitive landscape when consumers’ spending habits are fundamentally altered, finally, how brands can address consumer concerns about health, wellness, community – as well as personal fulfilment.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the playing field and the way in which businesses operate, how messages are packaged and products and services promoted to attract consumers. The study focuses on these changes, and the trends that have emerged resulting from the pandemic. It will explore some of the significant changes in reputation, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Plus 94 Research used quantitative research methodologies to conduct the survey. Further open-ended questions were included to explore insights that are not easily quantified. The research was conducted face-to-face with the respondents using Tablet-Assisted Personal Interviewing (TAPI).

As a general public survey, it was vital that the businesses chosen for consideration were easily recognisable by the respondents. The 2021 instalment of the survey analysed 229 top companies. The survey utilised eight crucial reputation pillars for its assessment. The pillars were weighted according to their potential impact on reputation to provide each company with a score out of 100.

In addition, the TCSA uses an extensive list of reputational pillars to assess each company and its reputation drivers. In addition, TCSA provides a ranking of the top companies and actionable insights into the drivers of reputation.

Sifiso Falala, Chief Executive Officer of Plus 94 Research says, “The factors that influence reputational risk have evolved, with the impact of Covid-19 shaking up perspectives on what really matters. Consumer behaviour and consumption models due to the pandemic are likely to be far longer-term than we might have initially thought. The big question has become, how can brands respond to these changes to become more agile and impactful, and drive real differentiation?”

For brands, this means dealing with altered market conditions because of the economic impact on all industry sectors; facing increased competition given consumers’ and social “new normal”, addressing sustainability, evaluating operational options and challenges presented by strategic planning in an environment of uncertainty; analysing brand reputation issues, identifying potential new products and services needed to meet consumers’ needs and expectations;  focusing on creative and strategic marketing campaigns and targeted advertising, and using social media effectively.

The insights provided by TCSA can enable businesses to successfully benchmark their reputation against their competitors.

Nthabiseng Mokake, MD Media Torque & Events says: “The focus for brands needs to be less about how they can stand out and more fundamentally about how they can be of use to consumers, especially during these testing times and beyond.”

Plus 94 Research will host a special webinar to provide insights on the methodology implemented in the survey on 31 August 2021 on Zoom from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. The winners of the 2021  Top Companies South Africa (TCSA) will be announced at an online awards event on October the 14th.

reliminary-Results-Invitation

To join the webinar please click on the following link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83605958370

For more information about TCSA contact Oscar Tshifure, Research Director at Plus 94 Research: email: oscar@plus94.co.za or +27 11 327 2020 and Malcom Ncube for advertising in the winners supplement and  customised research report: email: malcomn@mediatorque.co.za

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