MTN – Brands & Branding 2018

Posted: November 1, 2018

South Africa’s Most Valuable Brand
Leading the delivery of a bold, new digital world

Becoming the Most Valuable Brand

Having being voted as the Most Valuable Brand in South Africa by Brand Finance for three consecutive years is a  remarkable achievement, but doubling this achievement by winning the prestigious world branding awards for two consecutive years, and topping it off by securing a backstage pass to join an elite league of Forbes 500 companies is indeed impressive.

So what did it take for a full-blooded South African homegrown young brand such as MTN to land a seat with corporate giants on a global stage? How did MTN become a household brand across the African continent and the Middle East?

The recipe is simple, but the results are far-reaching. Throughout its journey of building a notable brand, MTN has had to learn life-changing lessons on the importance of aligning the brand with customer values.
Being a young brand in a fast paced and dynamic industry, MTN exudes fun, warmth, and congeniality. These are the brand values that inform every decision they make, drives their passion and remind them of their mission to brighten the lives of their customers to lead the delivery of a bold, new digital world.

Making a positive and lasting difference in the lives of communities

For MTN, making connections is about availing the necessary investment to build a world-class network that facilitates access to healthcare and educational opportunities for even the most remote rural and low-laying areas. The MTN network infrastructure has not only given millions of people the ability to satisfy the most innate of human needs, the ability to connect and communicate, but has also opened a new window to the world for a child growing up in rural Cofimvaba, Msinga, and Thohoyandou by ensuring that they too, could access the same educational facilities as their counterpart in Camps Bay and northern Johannesburg.
Throughout their 22-year journey, MTN has not only focused on rolling out their network infrastructure, but has also aligned with the needs of their customers by ensuring they have fingers on the pulse of the nation. By establishing closer connections with customers, MTN has been able to provide solutions that offer value and transform lives.

When MTN introduced prepaid technology in the 1990s, they changed the game forever in giving millions of people the opportunity to own the means of communication and access financial services. For the first time, elderly adults residing in rural areas could conveniently cash remittances from working adults in the cities from the palm of their hands. The ability to send and receive money via cellphone may be common practice now, but it was unheard of a few years ago.

What drives MTN’s passion is availing solutions that make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of the communities they operate in. This is what MTN lives for – to harness the power of connectivity to brighten the lives of those they touch. This is the true measure of MTN’s success.


Who could forget the euphoria of the 2010 FIFA World Cup when the entire country was unified by the football spectacle that MTN sponsored? As a pan-African company, MTN was the most fitting brand that coined and offered the world a new phrase, Ayoba, which captured the spirit of this memorable event. The proverbial ‘Philip’ may be gone with the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but the lovely memories of Ayoba still linger on.

MTN operates in a dynamic and highly competitive space. To survive and thrive, MTN have to stay ahead of the curve and work tirelessly by going above and beyond consumer expectations. The end result is a brand that is continually on the cutting edge of its industry. When the nation wanted to engage in dialogue, MTN gave access to free Twitter, by zero-rating the d6 School Communicator, which facilitated a more seamless communication between parents and schools. MTN continue to inspire confidenceby showing consumers that they are invested intheir needs.

Keeping South Africa connected

MTN does so by taking into cognisance the needs of customers, for example, by bolstering up coverage at tourist hot spots and rural areas during the holiday season to avoid network congestion. MTN gives customers the opportunity to personalise their bundles and have introduced attractive packages that suit their usage and pockets.

The business continues to challenge itself every day, and use the tools to understand evolving customer needs. As a proudly South African brand, MTN is, proud to Walk the Talk and associate ourselves with initiatives that are close to the hearts of many South Africans.

When the rugby national team called, MTN answered the call and threw weight behind the Springboks with sponsorship that reflects commitment to bring what is passionate to South Africa closer. The brand continues to give expression to the first love of many South Africans – music and football – through sponsorship of MTN Joyous Celebration and the popular MTN8 ‘Wafa Wafa’tournament.

Connectivity continues to transform the world welive in. Consumer needs change constantly, and competitors keep telcos on their toes. Despite things moving at a frenetic pace, the cornerstone of the MTN brands will still remain intact – MTN’s commitment is to brighten the lives of those that they touch. This is what they live for, this is who they are.

Creating South Africa’s fastest network

Making a call, posting a tweet, sending and/or watching videos on social media are mundane tasks that have become second nature to most of us.

However, few of us ever give a second thought to the mind-boggling technology that makes all of this possible. It’s understandable, being constantly online is what we have come to expect in today’s digital age.
Building the network infrastructure that enables these applications we do every day is part of MTN’s core business. The brand understands that there is a close relationship between network performance and improved customer experience. Performance, speed, and reliability of the network are the first things consumers interact with.

MTN is mindful of this, that’s why it has invested considerably to improve the coverage and quality of its network. The results are quite impressive – MTN managed to improve coverage of its 3G network to 98 percent, while its LTE or 4G network covers over 87 percent of the population.

These network upgrades have not gone unnoticed. MTN’s network ranked as the best network in South Africa by international engineering company, P3 Communications GmbH, while successive tests carried out by MyBroadband also confirmed that MTN’s network has the fastest download speeds in the country.

MTN’s expansion into Africa and the Middle East

Being the leading mobile network operator in Africa and the Middle East, MTN is always looking at opportunities of working with partners that share its vision of improving network capacity across the continent and harnessing the power of mobile technology to stimulate economic growth.

It is for this reason that MTN has invested in several undersea fibre optic cables, including the West Africa Cable System (WACS), the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), the African Coast to Europe (ACE), and the Europe India Gateway (EIG). WACS is a 14 000-kilometre underwater fibre optic cable that links the western coast of Africa, including South Africa, with Europe. EASSy is a 10 000-kilometre-long undersea cable that links the eastern coast of Africa with Europe, while ACE is a 17 000-kilometre-long cable that connects Western Europe with the Mediterranean, Middle East, Africa and India.

These cables will provide consumers, corporates, and governments with additional capacity, which has been lacking until now. MTN has also activated some of its allocated portion from these cables, and this has helped to improve download speeds and maintain acceptable levels of service when there are network disruptions.
A great network infrastructure carries a lot of benefits for businesses as well. Being mindful of the network support required by a growing number of businesses across the continent, MTN has built a secure and dedicated network that enables businesses to communicate and a footprint of 42 centres where data can be securely stored and retrieved.

Africa has been at the forefront of pioneering innovations in ICT, and a case in point is mobile money. MTN has built a network infrastructure that is second to none. Considering its market and network footprint across the continent, there is no network better placed to take Africa to the next growth level than MTN.