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Purpose as a contributor to brand equity is 10 times more important in India versus global market: Deepender Rana of Kantar

Unveiling 2021’s most purposeful brands in India, Rana, Executive Managing Director- South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar told BestMediaInfo how brands' potential has shifted from being individual to societal in India amid the pandemic and how they need to give more thought to establishing a purpose

Kantar has released the 2021 edition of its annual BrandZ India report unveiling 2021’s Most purposeful brands in India. Amazon, Asian Paints and Tata Tea, emerge as the most purposeful leaders in India across Technology, Non-FMCG and FMCG categories respectively.

Sharing the full list of the brands, Soumya Mohanty, Managing Director- Client and Quantitative, Insights Division, Kantar, said that the company has found an interesting shift in consumers’ behaviour between 2019 and post Covid-19. Consumers today are seeking convenience. They are not seeking innovation but they wish to stick to tried and tested brands. And even when it comes to functionality consumers want much more reliability rather than superiority.

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She said the list comprises of the brands that consumers think are making people’s lives better, including their own.

 

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India’s Most Purposeful Technology Brands

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India’s Most Purposeful Non-FMCG Brands

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India’s Most Purposeful FMCG Brands

Rank

Amazon

1

Asian Paints

1

Tata Tea

1

Zomato

2

Samsung

2

Surf Excel

2

YouTube

3

Jio

Taj Mahal

3

Google

4

MRF

3

Parachute

4

Swiggy

Tata Housing

4

Maggi

Flipkart

5

Airtel

5

Britannia

5

 

 

Kantar conducted an analysis of 418 brands across 30 categories and found that in India especially, perceptions of a brand’s purpose, its ability to ‘make people’s lives better,’ is crucial to establishing a brand’s meaningful quotient and thus, boosting prospects for growth.

According to BrandZ data, consumers believe that these brands lead with a clear sense of purpose to make their everyday lives better. It also exhibits those that have taken a bolder social stance, as Covid-19 magnified the need for brands to do more than focus on profits alone. The findings tie in with long-term trends in India and abroad to value brands on ESG criteria (environmental, social and governance) alongside traditional factors, such as valuations and earnings growth.

The Technology ranking has Amazon followed by Zomato, YouTube, Google and Swiggy jointly in fourth place, followed by Flipkart. The Non-FMCG ranking is dominated by telecom brands, with Samsung and Jio jointly second, followed by MRF, Tata Housing and Airtel. The FMCG category ranks some of India’s biggest names: Tata Tea followed by Surf Excel, Taj Mahal, Parachute and Maggi both in fourth position and Britannia completing the list.

Deepender Rana, Executive Managing Director- South Asia, Insights Division, said that brand purpose provides an anchor amidst constant uncertainty, both as a North Star for brands, but also as reassurance to consumers. Purpose as a contributor to brand equity is 10 times more important in India, in comparison to globally. This shows that a larger societal purpose is even more critical to success for brands in India.

“Vague slogans and one-off ‘corporate charity’ events do not work, and it is not about jumping on the bandwagon of the latest fashionable cause either. Instead, real purpose flows from and builds on a brand’s existing core values and DNA. This reinforces the need to understand and measure if a brand’s purpose is perceived as adding real meaning to consumers' lives,” he added.

Answering BestMediaInfo on how marketers are allocating separate budgets for purpose-driven marketing strategies, Rana said, “Brands are definitely investing in purpose and separate budgets are assigned for the same. But it should not be seen as an expenditure but as an investment. In the longer term, there is brand equity and brand return. Marketers are looking at infusing purpose across the organisation. They are engaging with the supply chain, internal people, paying fair wages, energising people around its purpose. Companies also need to engage with multiple stakeholders including the government, NGOs, etc to drive purpose better.” 

The list mostly includes brands that have been existent in the market for quite some time. Does that mean driving purpose is challenging for start-ups who just have entered the market?

While it certainly is a bit more challenging for the new brands, Rana said but these brands also have the advantage of having a fresh canvas.

Advising start-ups, he added, “Such brands need to be mindful of the way they are true to their global company and how it is localising in key markets like India. They need to adapt to the local environment. Every country and market have its own sustainability and environment-related issues, they need to be mindful of which market they are targeting. There needs to be a lot of thought given to building a purpose for the brand.”

The BrandZ data for India, in conjunction with other Kantar consumer sentiment tracking, has revealed several patterns in what Indian consumers deemed ‘purposeful’ in 2021. Some of the key highlights:

-Amplifying or communicating purpose is critical.

-Tech brands show how everyday convenience contributes to brand purpose. These brands have been able to scale up and showcase a wide range of products plus enter new categories at a time when consumers were desperate for at-home and delivery solutions. Everyday convenience in turn made lives easier and fuelled saliency for brands.

-FMCG brands are focusing on reducing their carbon footprint and taking a social stance. FMCG brands that score high on brand purpose have shown that purpose and profit can go hand-in-hand. They are working to reduce their environmental impact and promote social causes which in turn attract customers, partners, and talent.

-Non-FMCG brands are now adopting marketing strategies that promote the brand in ways that look beyond the function of product or service; the key is to do more than just meet consumers’ immediate needs, adding new and potentially differentiating associations.

-The Indian consumer, at par with many of their Asian counterparts, are actively engaging with sustainability; 77% are prepared to invest time and money in companies that try to do good.

Defining purposeful leaders and how brands have shifted from being individual to societal, Mohanty said that this shift had begun with the onset of the pandemic. Brands today have taken to talking a lot more about what they are doing to the entire ecosystem and stakeholders and for the society at large.

Read the full report here

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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