India’s Brand Contribution leaders consistent over time
Maintain strong impressions in the consumer’s mind
Brand Contribution is a BrandZ™ metric that measures the value of a brand, an intangible asset, to consumers. It is the essence left after distilling the mix of price and other purchasing influencers. Brand Contribution is expressed as an index that is scored 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Brands with high Brand Contribution scores are more likely to enjoy healthy sales volume and command a price premium.
High-scoring brands typically have cultivated the three BrandZ™ components of brand equity: They are Meaningful (consumers have an emotional affinity with them and feel they meet their needs), Different (consumers feel they are distinctive or trend setting), and Salient (consumers think of them quickly when considering a purchase in the relevant category).
The brands in the 2016 India Brand Contribution Top 10 have consistently scored high in recent years. Except for one brand, the list is identical to the Top 10 lists from 2015 and 2014. (The exception is McDowell’s, an alcoholic drinks brand, which appeared for the first time in 2015.) The consistency across the Top 10 lists demonstrates the stability that strong Brand Contribution confers, enabling brands to steadily grow value and financial results, despite the inevitable market ups and downs.
Many of the Brand Contribution Top 10 date from before or soon after India’s independence in 1947, thus they have been able to sustain brand strength over time. They vary in ownership—some are state-owned, some are not, and they represent seven product categories: personal care, home care, paints, banks, food and dairy, lubricants, and alcohol.
Brands thrive over time
Lakmé has consistently ranked first in Brand Contribution since the launch of the BrandZ™ India Top 50 in 2014. Owned by Hindustan Unilever since 1996, Lakmé was launched in 1952 by the Tata Group, a large Indian conglomerate, as the first major cosmetic brand of the newly independent India. The brand has connected with multiple generations of Indians through a network of salons, extensive advertising, sponsorship of Lakmé Fashion Week, and innovations like its recent Lakmé Makeup Pro app.
Hindustan Unilever also owns the two home care products in the Brand Contribution Top 10: the detergents Surf Excel and Rin. These brands have evolved with Indian culture. Launched in India in 1959 as a powder detergent with whitening power, today Surf Excel advertising uses the tag line “Dirt is Good,” to emphasizes how its cleaning power frees children to play joyfully without fear of dirtying their clothes. Rin started in India in 1969, as a bar soap for getting the family wash whiter. Today, as a detergent, Rin appeals to the aspirations of upwardly mobile young people by associating clean clothes with success.
The two food and dairy brands in the Brand Contribution Top 10 stress their health benefits. Horlicks, a popular drink present India since the 1930s, before it was acquired by GSK, often uses the strapline, “Everyday Horlicks, Everyday Growth.” Saffola underscores the cooking oil’s cardiovascular benefits. Marico, the Indian consumer products company, owns the brand.
Both Asian Paints and Berger Paints have successfully refreshed their brands over time, refurbishing stores and remaining in touch with the country’s changing decorating tastes. Asian Paints was formed in 1942. The company, branded as Berger Paints since 1983, had operated in India under various names for over 90 years.
Similarly, after several reincarnations, the Bank of Calcutta, established in 1806, became the State Bank of India in 1955. The lubricant brand Castrol was established in 1919 as the Indian subsidiary of a UK brand. McDowell’s, an alcoholic drinks brand, was established over 50 years ago and is owned by United Spirits Ltd., an Indian conglomerate.
All of these brands not only survived for long periods of time – they thrived. Their longevity, to a great extent, depended on building and sustaining strong brands – the kinds of brands that score high in Brand Contribution. (For a complete definition of Brand Contribution, please see ”Methodology” in the Resources section of this report.)