The #TopZedBrands 2013 winner

Sara Drawwater
18 December 2013
We’ve counted the votes and we have a winner! Brands of Zambia, take note, people notice when you provide a good service or product. And given the opportunity will recommend you based on their…

We’ve counted the votes and we have a winner! Brands of Zambia, take note, people notice when you provide a good service or product. And given the opportunity will recommend you based on their positive experience.

We’d like to thank everyone who supported #TopZedBrands along the way. Especially Hot FM and Flava FM for having us on their respective radio stations, all the people who participated on twitter and facebook, and everyone who nominated and voted. Together we can reward brands who are making an impact in Zambia and encourage others to do better. Keep reading for the winner, talk on how we could improve for next year and an interview with the final top 3 brands.

Without further ado, as voted by YOU, the #TopZedBrands 2013 winner is…

People of Zambia, please join us in congratulating your #TopZedBrands 2013 winner Media 365. The producers of the hit Zambian TV show ‘Love games’ have clearly made a positive impact in the minds and hearts of the people of Zambia.

Special congratulations to the runners up: eeZee Noodles and FNB Zambia. Without taking away any credit from Media 365 the competition was incredibly close with only 3% of the votes separating 1st, 2nd and 3rd and so all three brands deserve recognition for the effort they are making.

What we learned and will improve for 2014

#TopZedBrands is as much about you, the voters, as it is about the brands. We wanted a platform for people to voice their positive experiences. As you know we collected feedback during the voting process which we’ve read and condensed down to four main points. Here’s what we learned and will improve for 2014.Purely Zambian BrandsZambians are extremely passionate and patriotic about Zambia. When asked “What would you like to see done differently next year?” many people suggested they’d rather #TopZedBrands focused on and celebrated the efforts of purely Zambian brands.

“More Zambian brands and not franchises with Zambian subsidiaries” — Bwanga Kapumpa

“Exclude foreign backed companies…” — Hardingtone

“Bit more wholly owned zambian brands, less of the imported brands” — Rui

Next year we’ll focus on brands that are either owned by Zambians, operate solely in Zambia or have their main headquarters in Zambia. If we include international franchises that operate in Zambia then they’ll be in a separate category.Improve awarenessThere was a loud call for us to improve advertising and awareness for the #TopZedBrands campaign.

“I’m not sure if it was because I wasn’t engaging with social media enough, but I felt that there needed to be more “hype”, greater visibility, would also be good to have profiles of the nominated brands. Definitely a great initiative and look forward to it for next year.” — Natasha Phiri

“More visibility by the promoters to have a wider pool of people participate and give the choice more legitimacy when it is unveiled” — Sydney

“More awareness and publicity even for people with no access to internet” — Mabel Mwaba

#TopZedBrands 2013 was a campaign run by volunteers. It was a great start that used free media. It allowed us to crystalise the concept and make a start without a budget. We have a developed concept that we know people want and responded well to. And next year look at ways to market #TopZedBrands more effectively.General feedbackOther feedback themes included the request for a category based competition and a smoother nomination and voting process.

“Include small or medium sized businesses to encourage them as well as help them realize the importance of delivering an excellent product or service to their esteemed clientele” — Leonard Luwaile

“Next year pre-nominate some entries from bestofzambia’s own in depth knowledge and also include a brief write-up why each qualify. There are some brands above I don’t know but would be interested in knowing more.” — Tim

“More avenues to vote from like sms or phone calls.” — Mwenya Musonda

“Tell us what brands we can vote for at the beginning of the competition.”– Hope Chewe

Categories were discussed this year and we had some strong advocates for them. But we opted out because we wanted to get the campaign out before the end the year. They are definitely on the agenda for 2014. We are aware that the nomination and voting process could have been better. We are much clearer on what worked well and what didn’t now and will take on board what we’ve learnt and put it into action for next year.Overall feedbackOverall the feedback was very positive and we are very happy people liked the #TopZedBrands concept. Thank you all again for taking part.

“A fresh idea at promoting Zambian products that others may not have heard of or tried yet.” — Scott

“That it gave back to deserving brands by raising their profiles” — Bwanga Kapumpa

“It was well organised. We have a variety of industries represented.” — Kundananji

“I liked the way social media was used to promote #Topzedbrands seeing Social media has grown world over.” — Patience

“It will encourage Service Providers to offer better service.” — Gladys Monde

“Novel idea, technology based voting.” — Mwenya Musonda

“The Zambian vibe, thumbs up Zambia.” — Samantha Miyanda

“Innovative idea, how it started from Insaka chat to actualisation.” — Pethias Mpange

“Interesting idea, driving local brands to compete against each to improve quality.” — chibi matongo

“The ability to vote online with ease” — Colette

“Good platform to promote Zambian brands” — Christopher Kamutumwa

“It’s existence at all, drawing attention towards branding and Zambian Brands.” — Toni

“The fact that I had more than one brand I could have voted for, meaning that Zed is moving forward at a fast pace” — Sandile


With the winner announced, we had the opportunity to discuss the state of the Zambian customer experience with the final top 3 brands — Media 365, eeZee Noodles and FNB Zambia. Here are the highlights:What do you think about the #TopZedBrands initiative? Any feedback you can give will be appreciated.

“We think it’s a great initiative. It’s important to remind brands that customers do matter.” — Cathy Phiri, Media 365

“#TopZedBrands is a wonderful initiative that creates a platform for brand awareness and recognition.” — Clotilda Mulenga, FNB Zambia

What do you do differently to ensure the customer experience you provide is positive?

“Sometimes people think its only price that matters, or the end product, but it’s always about the experience. In fact in my opinion the experience always outlasts anything else. Just because a person might be forced to use your company doesn’t mean they want to, lack of choice is not a choice.” — Cathy Phiri, Media 365

“We have developed and implemented a dynamic customer support system and service standards to ensure the effective delivery of an exceptional service experience” — Clotilda Mulenga, FNB Zambia

What do you think about the state of customer service in Zambia?

“It’s pretty bad. But as consumers we also need to do something about it. Taking a stance like voting for a top brand is one such stance.” — Cathy Phiri, Media 365

“I think it could definitely be better — on both sides. Customers need to appreciate value and good products… and we (as a suppliers/brand owners) need to ensure we provide the best quality…” — Monica Musonda, eeZee Noodles

How can companies improve on the customer experience they provide?

“They have to listen to feedback, seek it out if they have to, and actively act on it.” — Cathy Phiri, Media 365

“They need to listen to their customers and understand what they want.” — Monica Musonda, eeZee Noodles

You can read the full interviews here:

Your top 10 #TopZedBrands as nominated and voted by the people of Zambia are:

  1. Media 365
  2. eeZee Noodles
  3. FNB Zambia
  4. Bulletin and Record
  5. Zambeef
  6. Food Lover’s Market
  7. Pic n Pay
  8. Royal Livingstone Hotel
  9. Freshview Cinemas
  10. Chaminuka Lodge

#TopZedBrands is an initiative by @InsakaChat and @thebestofzambia

#TopZedBrands was a completely voluntary campaign. Whilst the idea by @InutuWaSibongo was born on on @InsakaChat we used @thebestofzambia as a platform to host it. All the hard work was done by people voluntarily putting in their time and resources to organise and promote it. Special thanks for all the hard work by @missbwalya @InutuWaSibongo @ChiqqaShanna @NambeyeK @sara_drawwater

Follow the 2013 #TopZedBrands story

Update posted on 18/12/13