Superbrand Awards has earned a solid reputation as far as celebrating brand excellence is concerned. These awards which were birthed in 2010 celebrate brands that go beyond excellence in service delivery and those that are top in the minds of the consumer.

This year the awards took place on the Friday 29th November at the Rainbow Towers in Harare.

The colourful awards ceremony saw the organisers, the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe, adding more flair by adding red carpet and ballroom to the usual black tie theme. This not only changed the ambience but added colour and elegance to the revered business awards of the year.

The Superbrand Awards this year also saw a paradigm shift from the traditional dominators mainly in the telecommunications  and funeral assurance sectors to more fast moving consumer brands, (fmcg).

Consumer brands were more dominant in the Superbrand Awards this year, a reflection of the state of the economy and that consumers are now more focused on basic needs than other luxuries.

The awards proved that investment in a brand can actually impact consumer perceptions. Results from the research are often reflective of the ever changing consumer tastes and preferences.

Select Researcher Chief executive officer, Mr Tov Manene who was a speaker at the Annual Marketers Convention highlighted that consumers are now more focused on getting the basic goods than luxuries.

His sentiments were also buttressed by Superbrand Adjudication Committee chairperson, Dr Eve Gadzikwa at the Superbrand Awards ceremony.

“For the past year till now, we observed that most mentions were that of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) because of the state of our economy which has become more consumer oriented. This is an indication that it is those very basic goods which are leaving an impression in the mind of the consumer,” said Dr Gadzikwa.

The dominance by the Consumer brands is also a sign that the custodians of the brands are pushing hard as evidenced by jingles, billboards, product innovations, rebranding and new products on the market.

Mazoe by Schweppes Zimbabwe was the overall Superbrand Winner for the year 2019 and also was on pole position in the Top 20 Business to Consumer Brands.

Sometime last year, when Schweppes Zimbabwe tweaked its recipe to lower sugar levels and do away with some ingredients in its Mazoe orange drinks, it faced a backlash from consumers.

The consumers demanded that the original Mazoe Orange crush be brought back on the shelves.

Schweppes Zimbabwe highlighted that its new recipe came amid global concerns that calories provided by sugar-sweetened beverages had very little nutritional value and contributed to obesity.

In a few days, Schweppes Zimbabwe succumbed to customer demands and promptly pulled the product off the shelves and pledged to bring back the original Mazoe taste.

“The people have spoken, they want original Mazoe. And they want it soon. Original Mazoe is coming back”, Schweppes Zimbabwe managing director Charles Msipa said.

However, the company has maintained both the original Mazoe and the less sugar Mazoe on the shelves, a move that could have resulted in the consumers warming up to the former.

Among  the Top 20 Business to Consumer winners were Mazoe , Nyaradzo Funeral Services which was the overall Superbrand Winner last year  , Bakers Inn bread , Proton bread, Chicken Inn ,Zimgold Cooking Oil , Coca-Cola, TM Pick n Pay ,  Pepsi , Lobels bread ,Doves , Dendairy milk ,Red Seal roller meal ,Radio Zimbabwe ,  Probrands Rice, Steward Bank , Vaseline, Pearlenta and DSTV in that order.

For the Top 20 Business to Business Brands, National Foods came in as a surprise winner. In the past year, National Foods has come in with a number of new products among them, Popticorn and instant porridge.

Econet which has for a number of years scooped the Business to Business top award was on second position , followed by Delta , Netone, Dairibord , Ecocash , CBZ Holdings , Old Mutual , Telone , Dendairy , Probrands , Seedco  Zimbabwe , FBC Bank , Cairns , Star FM , First Mutual Health , Steward Bank , POSB , Cimas and Simbisa Brands in that order.

One critical element that makes Superbrand authentic over a lot of awards is the fact that the process is consumer driven where the participating brands are chosen and rated by the consumers through a nationwide consumer research.

MAZ would like to congratulate all the winners and thank all the sponsors that made the event, which attracted over 500 business executives, a success.