Johannesburg - The South African business community's favourite brands basked in the limelight on Thursday evening, when the winners of the 14th Sunday Times Top Brands Awards were announced.
In the cellphone category the business set voted Apple iPhone No 1, while the ubiquitous BlackBerry took second place and tarnished favourite Nokia came third.
Vodacom was voted top telecoms Service Provider, with MTN in second place and Nashua Mobile occupying third position. There were only two winners in the brand new computer tablet/e-reader category, with iPad pipping Samsung Galaxy Tab at the post.
High-flying business travellers picked British Airways as their favourite domestic airline, with Kulula.com beating South African Airways into third place. Avis was voted best in the car hire category, with Europcar in second and Budget in third place.
There was a significant usage increase in the local hotel group category. Both Southern Sun, now known as Tsogo Sun, and City Lodge advanced two places to slot in at No 1 and 2 respectively. Protea Hotels and Protea Hotel Fire and Ice slipped into third place.
Investec was voted top business bank, with FNB second and Standard Bank in third place. In the long-term insurance category, Momentum Life (including Metropolitan) ousted Discovery Life as favourite, thanks to improved user ratings.
Sanlam climbed up four places to occupy second place and Old Mutual fell from second to third position. OUTsurance led the short-term insurance pack, with Santam second and Mutual and Federal third.
In the electronic business media category 702 took top honours, while 56.7 Cape Talk came in second and SAFM took third slot. The business community voted Business Day their favourite newspaper. The Sunday Times - Business Times was in second position, with the Mail & Guardian - Business occupying third spot.
The most-read magazine was Financial Mail, followed by Time and the Economist Business. There was a significant drop courier company users, with DHL first followed by Fedex and PostNet.
In the grand prix section, Coca-Cola was voted to have done most to uplift the communit, with Pick n Pay second and Shoprite third. The greenest company, deemed to have done most to promote environmental friendliness, is Coca-Cola, followed by Pick n Pay and Woolworths.
And finally, which company is considered the country's best employer? Business leaders placed Coca-Cola in the lead as the most desired company to work for (a new category). Power supplier Eskom was voted No 2, followed by Telkom.