Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) has scooped the Sunday Times Top Brand award as the best regarded car brand in the Consumer category in 2016. It is the second time that TSAM has won an award in this category. The 2016 survey results were announced at a glittering gathering in Sandton on Tuesday, identifying top brands in the business and consumer spheres based on thousands of interviews.
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. According to Times Media, parent company of the Sunday Times, current trends among SA’s top brands indicate that the tough economic climate has pushed consumers away from trying new things, back into the products they trust.
“Winning a Sunday Times Top Brand award in the Car category is a significant accomplishment for the Toyota brand. The ability to maintain a strong position and forge ahead in a rather challenging economic climate is what distinguishes Toyota from other brands. We are eternally grateful to the South African market for their unwavering support, and it remains our philosophy and mission to create smiles whenever we interact with our customers,” says Kerry Roodt, General Manager of Marketing Communications at TSAM.
There is no doubt that measuring brand penetration in such a diverse and evolving market as ours remains a mammoth task. For that reason, some brands would either have their work cut out for them or afforded a platform to ask themselves if their current initiatives are really hitting the mark with consumers or not.
Roodt adds that while TSAM’s sales and marketing teams find the recognition most rewarding, none of the organisation’s achievements would have been possible without everyone rallying behind the Toyota brand. “I would also like to acknowledge all the traditional custodians of our brand – including Toyota Motor Company in Japan, all the departments at the head office, colleagues at the Prospecton plant and dealer network across the country. It’s always amazing to see what can be achieved when we work together as a team,” she says.
In other words, measurement of consumer sentiment allows brands – such as Toyota – to further understand their equity. According to TNS South Africa, the research company partnering with Sunday Times in the awards, “The approach adopted by TNS allows more useful marketing insights to be gained: a brand can assess by how much more, or less, its users rate it compared with average – a heads-up for some, as well as an indication of the relative commitment people have to a brand.”
It’s also worth noting that the consumer sample for the 2016 Sunday Times Brands Awards comprised 3500 interviews, of which 2500 were in the SA metros while the remaining 1000 were in the non-metro areas. The sample also consisted of 502 C-level business decision makers – including CEOs, CFOs and COOs – from organisations of all sizes across the country.