India’s Top Brands for 2017 see their Value rise 21% says BrandZ


India’s most valuable brands saw their brand value grow by 21% to US$109.3 billion in the last year, according to the research in BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands 2017 report.

The growth marks an impressive turnaround considering that they saw a 2% decline in 2016. The growth also puts the well ahead of the 8% value increase of the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2017.

There are now ‘multiple Indias’. Consumers continue to love the brands they’ve loved for generations, while equally embracing the brands of the future.


 

HDFC Bank, which grew in value by 24%, ranked as India’s most valuable brand for the fourth year in a row, almost doubling its brand value since the ranking started in 2014 from $9.4bn to $18.0bn. BrandZ data shows that consumers perceive the bank as increasingly innovative.

“Indian consumers seek authenticity and value for money, and the meaning of those things is being constantly redefined,” said David Roth, CEO EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP. “As consumers become wealthier, they look beyond price to factors like extra features, innovation and a personalised experience. As reflected in this year’s ranking the most agile Indian brands have recognised the complexity in the market, and achieved just the right balance between aspirational and affordable.”

The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Indian Brands 2017

Rank 2017BrandCategoryBrand value 2017 (US$M)Change
1 (-)HDFC BankBanks17,965+24%
  2 (-)AirtelTelecom providers10,233+3%
3 (-)State Bank of IndiaBanks8,334+31%
4 (-)Asian PaintsPaints4,717+15%
5 (-)ICICI BankBanks4,697+19%
6 (+1)Kotak Mahindra BankBanks4,522+36%
7 (+1)Maruti SuzukiAutomobiles4,449+56%
8 (-2)Bajaj AutoAutomobiles3,564+5%
9 (-)HeroAutomobiles3,295+17%
10 (-)Axis BankBanks2,428+2%

The automobile category, which also includes tyres, lubricants and motor fuels, grew 23% in value. Brands responded to the changing market with new models that combined smart pricing and functionality with style and power. Royal Enfield, Maruti Suzuki and TVS were among the Top 10 overall fastest risers. Royal Enfield (no.40, 59%) engaged with biker groups on social media, and marketed a range of accessories. Maruti Suzuki (no.7, 56%) extended the brand beyond its traditional appeal to the value segment of the market, while introducing new showrooms called NEXA to reach premium customers.

The India Top 50 have faced successive disruptions in the last year, some global, some created by fast-growing competitors and others strategically imposed by the government – including demonetization.


 

Brands must be completely in rhythm with the pulse of the market. Those that can accurately interpret Indian sensibilities, while ensuring smart pricing, are likely to be most successful.

The FMCG category, which includes alcohol, food and dairy, personal care and soft drinks, was significantly affected by these challenges but still managed to grow 6% in total value. Some brands achieved impressive value increases by accurately understanding and responding to Indian sensibilities.

Noodle brand Maggi (no.32; 66%), the overall second-fastest riser, aligned itself with the trend for nostalgia. This helped it bounce back after a difficult couple of years; its rapid regrowth demonstrating how a strong brand can help a company weather a crisis and recover faster, although it is still some way below its peak brand value of $1.1bn in 2014. Health food brand Saffola (no.36; 24%), meanwhile, introduced oats in new localised flavours and expanded its range of oils into a new super premium sub-segment.

The financial services category increased its value by 26%. The fastest rising banks were Punjab National Bank (no.39; 43%), which is highly customer-focused and more agile than some of its competitors, and Kotak Mahindra Bank (no.6; 36%), which has innovated in areas including digital banking. Both of these brands still have significant catching up to do, however, if they are to reach the top of the leader board.

Other trends highlighted in this year’s BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands include:

  • There are seven newcomers to the ranking. Telecom provider Jio ranks at no.11 only months after its launch, having disrupted its category with free-data promotions. The others are newly listed retailer D-Mart (no.24), appliance brand Whirlpool (no.45), insurance brand Bajaj Allianz (no.49), Canara Bank (no.50) and entertainment brands Sun Direct (no.27) and Dish TV (no.47).
  • The long-term growth curve of the Top 50 is positive, with the total brand value of the ranking up 57% since the study was first carried out in 2014, when it amounted to $69.6bn.
  • India experienced a resurgence in national pride, while also embracing globalization. This manifested in a desire for products and brands that best reflect Indian heritage, sensibilities and tastes, which benefited local brands and put pressure on multinationals to follow suit. Colgate (no 28; 2%) launched a toothpaste with Ayurvedic properties to meet this demand.
  • The top riser is insurance brand ICICI Prudential (no.35; 89%). It benefited from the ‘halo effect’ of other brands’ successful responses to rising consumer affluence, which led to an increase in sales of assets such as cars that need insurance protection.

“There are now ‘multiple Indias’. Consumers continue to love the brands they’ve loved for generations, while equally embracing the brands of the future,” said Vishikh Talwar, Managing Director, Kantar Millward Brown, South Asia. “Brands must be completely in rhythm with the pulse of the market. Those that can accurately interpret Indian sensibilities, while ensuring smart pricing, are likely to be most successful.”

“This is easier for local brands, but people will relate just as positively to a global brand if it uses insight to understand and meet their needs, and communicate in a way that builds trust.”

 

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