Fastest-growing brand value comes from diverse categories
Banks and automobiles brands predominate
The combined brand value of the Top 10 Risers increased by 19 percent, in contrast to the 2 percent dip in value for the BrandZ™ India Top 50. The Different scores of the Top 10 Risers increased an average of 6 percent. Different (being distinctive or trendsetting) is one of three BrandZ™ metrics – along with Meaningful and Salient – that contribute to brand equity. It is particularly important in India. (Please see “Five Critical Steps for Building Indian Brands.”)
The Top 10 Riser brands reflect the increase in discretionary consumer spending, the diversification of the nation’s economy, and the emergence of valuable brands across many categories. Last year, half of the Top 10 Risers were financial brands – four banks, two of which were state-owned, with one private bank and one insurance company. This year, only three banks, all private Indian brands, rank in the Top 10 Risers.
This year, the Top 10 Risers also includes three automobile brands, two food and dairy brands, and one brand apiece from the motor fuels and paints categories. This broader mix of categories and brands also reflects the variety of brand ownership that characterizes Indian brands. Brand owners include: the state (Bharat Petroleum, for example), Indian conglomerates (Tata Motors), and local Indian companies (Berger Paints).
Three brands in the 2016 Top Riser ranking also appeared last year. The automobile Maruti Suzuki grew 23 percent in brand value, following an increase of 54 percent a year ago. Induslnd Bank rose another 18 percent on top of last year’s 46 percent boost in brand value. And Berger paints, which rose 14 percent this year, increased 44 percent in the 2015 ranking.
Brand initiatives drive value
The three private bank brands in the Top 10 Risers – Kotak Mahindra Bank, Induslnd Bank, and HDFC Bank – increased in value despite loan problems that hurt the banks category overall. As a group, the private banks in the BrandZ™ India Top 50 rose 7 percent in brand value, while the state-owned banks declined 33 percent. Each of the private banks strengthened its digital capabilities and presence outside of India’s urban centers.
Kotak Mahindra Bank, the fastest-rising brand, with a 39 percent value increase, benefited from consumer response to its higher interest rates on savings accounts and from the acquisition of ING Vysya. The brand increased its Different score by 10 points. IndusInd Bank added to its loan portfolio, helped especially by the strengthening automobile category. HDFC, India’s most valuable brand, accelerated its loan process and also benefited from automobile demand.
The resurgence of the auto category helped Royal Enfield, Maruti Suzuki, and Tata Motors. Tata Motors benefited from fleet replacement and strong sales of some of its passenger models. Royal Enfield, an aspirational motorcycle brand, upgraded its models over the last few years and expanded its dealer network to 500 locations, including 100 added in 2015. The brand also exports to over 50 countries and recently established a North American headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the corporate home of Harley Davidson.
Maruti Suzuki introduced premium car models to drive revenue and margin, as the entry-level segment of the car category continued to become more crowded. The brand scored high on the BrandZ™ metrics of being seen as Meaningful and Different, and 120 in Brand Experience and Advertising Appeal. An average score is 100.
Despite slower FMCG growth, two food and dairy brands grew substantially in brand value, in part because they successfully connected with the consumer premiumization trend. Britannia, a marketer of bakery and dairy food, expanded distribution in rural India and focused on premium biscuits offered in smaller packs. Saffola strengthened its leadership in premium cooking oil and increased its oats cereal business.
Lower raw material costs enabled Berger Paints to reduce prices and drive volume. Continuing its initiatives to differentiate and improve customer experience, the brand introduced Berger Express Painting, a painting service designed around new technology to limit dust. At a time of lower fuel prices and increased driving, Bharat Petroleum benefited from is extensive network of 13,500 retail outlets.