Value grows sharply among Top Risers
Most increase by 50 percent or more
Led by Tanishq, the jewelry brand, which increased 97 percent in value, each of the Top 10 Risers increased by 50 percent or more, except No. 10, the insurance brand Bajaj Allianz, which rose 49 percent. The results indicate that India is, indeed, back on track, with growth reaching many sectors of the economy.
The automobile category was represented by two brands—TVS and Maruti Suzuki—and two insurance brands also ranked in the Top 10 Risers—ICICI Prudential and Bajaj Allianz. These other categories also appeared with one brand apiece: jewelry, retail, telecom providers, food and dairy, home appliances, and home care. Both brand building activities and category factors influenced the strong growth.
Tanishq added 34 stores to its over 200 locations in more than 80 cities, and the brand was part of the first store opened, in Hyderabad, that features all the jewelry and accessory brands of corporate parent Titan Company Ltd. Tanishq was well-positioned to enjoy a strong fall festive season, when sales increased by double digits.
The brand also benefited from demand for gold and diamond jewelry and the success of its wedding business. The brand continues to focus on articles of adornment for women, particularly necklaces, and to retain traditional Indian styles while adopting some Western influence to accommodate changing tastes.
The second fastest-rising brand, the hypermarket retailer D-Mart, which increased 76 percent in brand value, continued to enjoy strong same-store sales growth of 14.2 percent, and it planned to continue its aggressive expansion, opening 25-to-30 stores annually. Results might have been even stronger, but tax reforms deflated prices on certain items. Positive outlook for the brand drove its stock market capitalization to a record high.
Greater affluence drove automobile production, attracting first-time buyers of two wheelers and upgraders moving from two-wheelers to passenger cars. Exports of most models increased. Sales increased 9.2 percent during Fiscal 2018, according to the Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers.
TVS, a maker of motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, and three-wheelers, experienced a significant rise in scooter and three-wheeler sales, both in its domestic and export business. Marketing communications leveraged the brand’s JW Power Awards for two-wheeler quality and performance.
Maruti Suzuki has gained regular double-digit sales increases by focusing on a broad range of customers and recently refreshing the brand with two distribution channels: The Arena showrooms serve the brand’s original buyers; and the Nexa showrooms appeal to customers seeking a premium experience. Maruti Suzuki became the first Indian car brand ranked in the Cars Top 10 of the BrandZ™ Global Top 100 Most Valuable Brands.
Automobile sales are one of the drivers of insurance sector growth. Other factors, such as the government’s pension programs, initiatives to help farmers obtain insurance, and the expansion of national health coverage, have also stimulated the insurance business. And great potential remains, as Indian consumers are relatively underinsured.
These factors, and brand-building initiatives, pushed two insurance brands—ICICI Prudential and Bajaj Allianz—onto the Top 10 Riser ranking. ICICI Prudential succeeded in increasing the amount of new business and in strengthening margins with an improved product mix. The brand also increased the percentage of renewing policy holders.
Bajaj Allianz outpaced the insurance industry in new business growth. Renewals also were strong. It plans to continue its efforts to expand life insurance and investment products in the mass market, while also targeting what the company describes as the mass affluent. The brand departed from the usual life insurance emphasis on consumer anxieties and fears in its marketing, and instead empathized with the desire of consumers to live better lives.
The brand pursued this positioning with a refurbished website, new products, and digital technology innovations like an artificial intelligence-based customer service chatbot. It also articulated the positioning in a new tagline: “Life Goals. Done.”
Telecoms, appliances, and FMCG
The telecom provider brand Jio enjoyed the benefits of the industry consolidation it helped provoke with its aggressive pricing. The brand gained more customers as disruption continued and fewer players competed. Jio gained over 200 million subscribers in less than two years. To drive greater use of data, Jio expanded its offering and introduced content for the emerging online education segment.
Now in its one hundredth year, the food brand Britannia introduced cookies and cracker variations and explored food categories related to snacking. The brand also expanded distribution, especially in rural markets, where the brand had been less present. In addition, the Britannia planned for expansion to countries bordering India as well as to the Middle East and Africa.
The home appliance brand Whirlpool grew sales and profit on the strength of India’s expanding real estate market and the consumer needs for refrigerators and washing machines. The brand planned to expand into related categories, including air conditioners and water purifiers. And it introduced commercial appliances to pursue business-to-business opportunities.
Surf Excel, a laundry detergent brand of Hindustan Unilever Ltd., introduced a campaign that updates its decade-old “Dirt is Good” message, which suggested that for kids, getting dirty is about gaining experience and learning. The new campaign focuses on high parental expectations for academic achievement and suggests easing the pressure and allowing kinds the freedom to fail and learn from their failures.
By creating conversations around these themes, Surf Excel attempts to express its core purpose—helping improve life for consumers. And by focusing on more than product functionality, the brand is able to command a premium.