Nike* is the most admired brand in Africa, both overall and in the Sport & Fitness category, and the 29th most valuable brand in the world. This is based on research and surveys done by Brand Africa (Africa’s Best Brands for 2017/18) and WPP (BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, compiled with the help of Kantar Millward Brown). The brand is also among the ten companies with the highest scoring individual assets in the world.

Among the 100 most admired brands in Africa, adidas is #3 (the same position as last year) and is the next highest Apparel category brand, after Nike (last year’s #2).

Nike is the brand name most respondents spontaneously recalled, MTN the top African brand that is spontaneously remembered (no matter the brand’s country of origin), and Dangote (a Nigerian industrial brand) is the #1 African brand recalled when consumers were asked about the continent of origin. Brands from outside of Africa make up 83% of the recalled brands.

Top 10 Most Admired Brands in Africa
2017/18 Rank 2016/17 Rank Brand Category Country of origin Change
1 2 Nike Sport & Fitness US 1
2 1 Samsung Electronics / Computers S. Korea -1
3 3 adidas Sport & Fitness Germany 0
4 4 Coca-Cola Non-alcoholic Beverages US 0
5 5 Apple Electronics / Computers US 0
6 9 MTN Telecommunications South Africa 3
7 14 Tesno Electronics / Computers China 7
8 8 Toyota Auto Manufacturers Japan 0
9 22 Gucci Apparl Italy 13
10 6 LG Electronics / Computers S. Korea -4
Source: Africa’s Best Brands for 2017/18 by Brand Africa

Brand Africa surveyed consumers 18 years and older in 23 countries across Africa. The countries account for 75% of Africa’s population and 74% of the GDP. There were more than 15 500 brand mentions for 2 200 brands.

Consumers were asked to recall brand names, both spontaneously and through prompts, and the report also looks at where these recalled brands originate from.

Brands that made the most significant gains since last year include Ralph Lauren (up 48 spots), Versace (up 41) and Reebok (up 43).

Brand Africa’s most admired list is dominated by Technology and Electronic brands (29% of brands), and the Apparel and Sports and fitness categories account for 20% of the brands.

Most valuable brands globally

The total value of the top 100 most valuable brands in the world is $4.4 trillion, reveals the ‘BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands’ report – an increase of 21% from last year, which is the largest one year value increase in the 12 years of publishing the global report, says the publisher.

At #29, Nike is the highest ranked brand in the Apparel category, but it is down three places from last year despite a 13% increase in brand value. It is valued at $38,479-m – the highest scoring brand, Google, is valued at $302,063-m.

The next Apparel brand is Zara, at #42, and valued $26,860-m (up by 7% since last year’s report).

Adidas, one of eight new companies on this year’s global most valuable list, makes an entry at #100 with a brand value of $12,456-m. It is also among the Top 20 Risers, the report shows, having increased in value by 50% between 2017 and 2018.

Apparel Top 10
Position Brand Brand value 2018 $-m Brand value % change 2018 vs 2017
1 Nike 38,479 13%
2 Zara 26,860 7%
3 adidas 12,456 50%
4 H&M 8,884 -15%
5 Uniqlo 8,166 8%
6 Lululemon 3,912 10%
7 Victoria’s Secret 3,442 -32%
8 Under Armour 3,160 -46%
9 Asos 3,092 NEW
10 Massimo Dutti 2,818 0%
Source: BrandZ™ / Kantar Millward Brown (including data from Bloomberg)


The value of brands in the Apparel category increased by 5% since last year’s report – between 2016 and 2017 the category had seen a 7% decline – and is now valued at $111,3-bn. Adidas is the brand with the third highest value within the Apparel category.


* Due to the brand’s stratified supply policy in South Africa, Nike is not the #1 brand stocked by most local retailers (read more in Can independents survive without big brands?).