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Township consumers speak for themselves

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Ask Afrika, South Africa’s largest independent market research company, has recently announced the winners of the Kasi Star Brand Survey, a survey of brands voted as used most loyally by South Africa’s township consumers.

The survey is the largest of its kind in South African with 19 sectors, hundreds of product categories and thousands of brands included in the measurement. Approximately 15 000 consumers were surveyed, representing over 23,3 million adult South African consumers – of which 6 763 consumers were surveyed from townships, representing approximately 9,7 million adult South African consumers.

“From a local perspective we have to ask ourselves which brands unite our township nation and which brands are used most loyally by township consumers across all age, income and language spectrums. The Kasi Star Brand Survey answers these questions for us,” says Maria Petousis, TGI director of Ask Afrika.

In addition to identifying Kasi Star Brands, the survey also ranks brands, using the same methodology, in 164 product categories. Thousands of brands across hundreds of product categories were included in the initial analysis, with only 19 brands emerging as Kasi Star Brands. A further 45 brands were awarded Platinum status, which means that their total scores were not high enough to be awarded Kasi Brand status.

“Given the vast differences in socio-economic levels and therefore the means to access certain products, not all categories had a Kasi Brands winner. Nonetheless, the category leaders often dominate their categories and are often star brands among those consumers that have access to these products,” says Petousis.

Managers and marketers can use Ask Afrika’s KASI Star Brand metrics, as it goes to the heart of measuring the return on marketing investment. It rewards brands that have generated critical township mass and have built a high level of loyalty among township consumers.”

Petousis says marketers should properly understand shoppers and the retail environment in townships to successfully build their brands.

“When building a strategy to succeed in the ‘emerging’ township market, reliance on understanding the retail consumer will not ensure success. That said, not all brands have the goal of becoming Kasi Star Brands, so it is important to benchmark the Kasi Star score relative to the marketing strategy and ultimately within the relevant target market and competitive set,” she says.

“Because the survey is designed to identify and understand target markets, it is possible to calculate Kasi Star scores for the township consumer market. If your township marketing strategy is working, then you should have a good Kasi Star score.”

It is also important to be able to devise communication strategies to influence metrics like this. The survey provides this capability since extensive media consumption data is collected with the branded data.

Petousis says KASI Star scores were calculated based on different metrics for different product categories, as loyalty metrics differ for different markets.

“For example, repertoire and subscription markets are fundamentally different when we talk about consumer loyalty. A key feature of the methodology is that Kasi Star Brand scores were not aggregated across product or sub-product categories.”

Sub-brands were also not aggregated and regarded as standalone brands in the category. This gives the survey a unique product category and sub-brand focus. An aggregated Kasi Star score can be calculated at a category or brand level should it be required. The KASI Star index is essentially a weighed usage and loyalty index calculated overall for South Africa’s township population.

Some of the category winners

Non-alcoholic cold drinks

COLAS: Coca-Cola

Tinned food

BAKED BEANS: Brands: Koo

Condiments and sauces


Sugar and sweeteners

SUGAR: Huletts




Lovers Plus

Food retail



PEANUT BUTTER: Brands: Black Cat





Herbs & spices


Toothpaste (normal)


Alcoholic drinks: Wine


Sugar and sweeteners

SUGAR: Selati


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