Brand poll shows that well-established companies dominate in Papua New Guinea


A new online survey by Business Advantage PNG to identify Papua New Guinea’s most recognisable local brands suggests that there are four stand out companies. So, what makes brands ‘stick’ with consumers?

The poll was conducted in August with Papua New Guinea Facebook users. The focus of the survey was on brands that are unique to PNG; where the stewardship for the brand is managed primarily within PNG; or where the brand is owned by a company with substantial PNG ownership.

The intent was to look at PNG brands rather than the brands of global companies that operate subsidiaries in PNG.

Forty-eight brands received votes, but just four brands accounted for the majority of votes: Air Niugini, Trukai, S P Brewery and Bank South Pacific (BSP).

All four companies have dominant positions in PNG. Air Niugini is the national airline carrier, S P Brewery a long-standing brewer, Trukai is an important rice grower and packager which is part-owned by the Pacific Balanced Fund, while BSP is the main bank in PNG, with a growing Pacific footprint.

What makes brands ‘stick’?

Brand expert Sergio Brodsky

The list features companies in six industry sectors: transport, finance, manufacturing, information and communications technology (ICT), agribusiness and media.

Sergio Brodsky, a brand, media and innovation strategist with global media service company Initiative, says brand awareness is often the result of three factors. The first is the way a company approaches its marketing:

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‘A balanced media spend (the way marketing dollars are spent in different channels) to ensure dominant share of voice that is able to create mental availability.’

A second element is the way that the company aligns itself with the culture. ‘Companies need the ability to draw on cultural insights that resonate with target audiences, making brands stick—as opposed to being loud and forgettable.’

‘It is no surprise that the top four brands accounted for the majority of votes.’

The third element tends to be more personal than cultural. ‘Poll respondents select the brands that most relate to their sense of identity,’ says Brodsky.

‘It is no surprise that the top four brands accounted for the majority of votes. Air Niugini, Trukai, SP Brewery and BSP are sizeable advertisers who effectively borrowed Papua New Guinean cues that align with local audiences.’

Social media

The results of the poll also imply that social media has some way to go to make a significant impact on brand perception in PNG.

According to Facebook statistics, companies with the largest audiences on Facebook, such as, do not feature in the list of top 14 brands. Four of the fastest growing PNG brands on Facebook— South Pacific Exports, Nambawan Super, Verge and MarketMeri—also don’t feature. Yet.

PNG’s most recognised brands: the list

  1. Air Niugini
  2. Trukai
  3. S P Brewery
  4. BSP
  5. Brian Bell
  6. EMTV
  7. Telikom
  8. Paradise Foods
  9. Bmobile Vodafone
  10. Nasfund
  11. Moni Plus
  12. PNG Air
  13. The National
  14. Skel Rice

Source: PNG Facebook users, polled during August 2017. The gender mix among those responding to the poll was 65 per cent male and 35 per cent female. Participants were invited to select from a list of PNG brands, but were also able to nominate brands which were not on the original list.

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