The whole research process is conducted by an independent research company. It is made up of 6 stages which include:
1. Shortlisting of brands
2. Unveiling of the Shortlisted brands
3. Field Research
4. Analysis of data and provision of results
5. Awards ceremony (recognition and rewarding of top brands)
6. Publication of the Superbrand Report
Step One: Shortlisting of Brands
The first phase in the Superbrand process is the selection of brands that participate into the research. In 2017, 200 brands were shortlisted during this phase. During the shortlisting phase, consumers were first educated on what constitutes a Superbrand and were then asked to randomly mention companies or brands that they considered to be Superbrands in Zimbabwe. This process was done without prompting the consumer.
It is from this process that the brands are ranked according to the number of brand mentions. This thereby makes the consumers the critical stakeholders of the Superbrand process, who have the power to select and rate brands that participate in the process.
The Adjudication panel was also tasked in ranking and rating the brands in each sector and a combined score will be used to rank the products during the initial phases. This phenomenon is also in line with the Superbrand process in other nations and key markets such as East Africa where a combined score which takes equally into account both the views of consumers and the adjudication panel is used.
Step Two: Unveiling of the top 200 Superbrand
After the brand selection phase, the selected brands were then unveiled at a Superbrand Launch ceremony held on the 31 May 2017. As usual, before the unveiling of the shortlisted brands, the Adjudication Committee was given a chance to verify and endorse these 2017 shortlisted brands for the year in Zimbabwe.
Step Three: Market Research and Analysis.
After the unveiling of the participating brands, the next step is to take these brands back to the consumers for rating and ranking through a representative and nationwide consumer research. The survey is conducted among Zimbabwean adults aged between 15 years and 65 years.
This is a quantitative research in which personal face to face interviews are conducted with the selected respondents. A stratified random sampling technique is employed to ensure that everyone in the selected strata has an equal opportunity of being selected. A nationally representative sample of 3000 consumers covering all geographical areas of Zimbabwe (urban and rural) is selected irrespective of gender, employment status and income.
Step Four: Adjudication of the results and internal variable analysis
After the consumer research the results are then presented to the adjudication committee for their final verification and endorsement. The adjudication panel will also make further analysis on internal variables that take into account brand achievements during the particular year. The Adjudication Panel make critical analysis beyond the market research results to ensure that brands are not just awarded because they are popular or well known, but are awarded due to their impact or achievements during each particular year.
Step Five: The Superbrand Awards Ceremony
The final results are then presented at the Annual Superbrand Awards ceremony, which is the most prestigious event of the year, where top business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) brands are given awards. The brands are also further categorized and ranked in their respective sectors based on the weighted scores. Based on this, sectorial leaders and their runner-ups are also given awards.
Step Six: The Superbrand Report Publication
After the Awards, a report is published profiling these top brands. Participants can also take up the advertising space in the Superbrand Report. Individual brand reports giving market insights from the market research are also compiled and distributed to participating brands. The individual brand reports contains a wealth of market information that assists in terms of strategy.