Brand investment wins in all economic climate
In uncertain times, betting on strong brands pays off.
Now in its sixth year, the BrandZ™ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands report you see before you has become a cornerstone of the BrandZ™ universe. It is your guide to one of the world’s most fascinating and dynamic brand ecosystems.
Time and again, this report has served as a testament to the power of strong brands to win the future. In good years and bad – and, to be sure, India has had more good years than bad of late – our groundbreaking BrandZ™ analytics have shown how brands can cultivate Meaningful Difference to outperform the market and their peers. In the process, brands stand to win the love and loyalty of more than 1.3 billion Indian consumers.
India is a major world player, and only expects to get bigger. Fresh off a successful bid for a second term, the national government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi now forecasts that India’s GDP will pass $3 trillion by 2020. The hope and expectation is that this figure will then reach $5 trillion by 2024, which would make India the world’s third-largest economy.
In the world of marketing communications, India has established itself as the world’s tenth largest, and fastest growing, advertising market. The country’s unique brand landscape is populated by established brands like HDFC Bank, our top-ranked Indian brand for 2019, as well as disruptive and already popular unicorns like Jio and Swiggy.
However, India’s rise into the top tier of the global economy has also meant exposure to the same macroeconomic headwinds and trade tensions that have affected countries the world over. After record 34 percent growth in 2018, this year the total value of the BrandZ™ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands increased by 6 percent. In line with global trends, the greatest challenges to growth were seen in the automotive, alcohol, and tobacco categories.
These results may be a hiccup, or they may be a harbinger of less explosive overall growth over the next few years. Either way, the below-the-line data for 2019 clearly shows the importance of investing in strong brands regardless of the economic climate. In this year of slower overall growth in brand value, those Indian brands with higher perceptions of Meaningful Difference secured significantly higher performances in our rankings.
As a new decade approaches and India decompresses after a hard-fought election, this has been a natural time to ponder the country’s path forward. Indians appreciate the growth and opportunities that innovation has brought to their country, but also know that the country faces many challenges ahead. While the country’s appetite for disruption remains strong, savvy marketers also recognize the continued importance of concepts like stability, safety, and reassurance, both in brands’ DNA and in consumer’s everyday lives.
Finding the right balance between disruption and stability has become an important goal for companies operating in today’s India. To explore this challenge further, we have assembled a terrific collection of Best Practice and Thought Leadership essays around the theme of stability. How can companies change and grow while also guarding assets like consumer trust, reputation, and love? The answer, in short, is by ensuring that their path forward is guided by a robust, resilient sense of brand identity.
To that end, you will also find analysis of how brands can leverage new definitions of trust and purpose – two cornerstones of brand identity – to win in India’s ever-evolving social context. And as always, you’ll find an overview of this year’s top performers on the BrandZ™ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands ranking, as well as an introduction to the eight brands making their debuts on the 2019 list. This year, our collection of interviews with C-Suite executives includes perspectives from some of India’s most exciting companies: Swiggy, Tata Sons, and Viacom18.
As Indian brands continue to rise on the world stage, so too does the image of “Brand India” that they carry forward with them. This report contains an exclusive, in-depth look at data and analysis from the “Best Countries” research done by VMLY&R’s BAV Group in partnership with US News and Wharton Business School. This work illustrates the “virtuous cycle” by which “Brand India” and Indian brands can enhance each other’s standing worldwide.
Betting on strong brands pays off. Over the past five years, a stock portfolio of the BrandZ™ India Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands increased 33.8 percent in value, while India’s SENSEX, an index of 30 stocks on the Bombay Stock Exchange, increased only 12.4 percent. As we are fond of saying at BrandZ™, working to strengthen brands is an investment, not a cost.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Our BrandZ™ enterprise has grown dramatically over the past six years since we added what was then the India Top 50 to our library of BrandZ™ country reports. I invite you to access our current extensive library of BrandZ™ reports with our compliments at BrandZ.com.
We have the data, knowledge, experience, insight, determination, and single-minded purpose to help you create and build valuable brands. We operate over 3,000 offices in 112 countries. WPP and Kantar’s proprietary BrandZ™ database and brand building platform includes information from 3.7 million consumers regarding their attitudes about (and relationships with) over 165,000 brands in over 50 country markets.
To learn more about how to harness our passion to work for your brand, please contact any of the WPP and Kantar companies that contributed expertise to this report. Turn to the Resources section at the end of this report for summaries of each company and the contact details of key executives. Or feel free to contact me directly.
CEO, The Store WPP, EMEA & Asia
Chairman, BrandZ and BAV Group