Consumers rate Amazon, Asian Paints and Tata Tea as the most purposeful brands in India, across Technology, Non-FMCG and FMCG categories respectively.
According to Kantar 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 longer-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.
Kantar BrandZ’s Most Purposeful Brands in India 2021
India’s Most Purposeful Technology Brands
- Google, 4= Swiggy
India’s Most Purposeful Non-FMCG Brands
- Asian Paints
- Samsung, 2= Jio
- Tata Housing
India’s Most Purposeful FMCG Brands
- Tata Tea
- Surf Excel
- Taj Mahal
- Parachute, 4= Maggi
The power of purpose
For years, Kantar’s proprietary BrandZ data and modelling has shown how brand value derives from three core pillars of growth: Meaningfulness, Difference and Salience. While the fundamentals of brand building remain the same, what has changed is the expectation that brand will stand for something more.
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, boost prospects for growth.
Brand purpose provides an anchor in 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.
Of course, 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.
2021 Kantar BrandZ data for India, in conjunction with other Kantar consumer sentiment tracking, has revealed several patterns in what Indian consumers deemed as purposeful in 2021. Some of the key highlights include:
- 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 & 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 meeting consumers’ immediate needs, adding new and potentially differentiating associations.
- The Indian consumer, on a 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
Purpose can work as a strategy for brands, when it’s based on the right consumer insights, and executed effectively. In India, Kantar BrandZ data suggest that a brand’s purpose ranking has a direct impact on its Meaningfulness score – which in turn is one of the core, proven building blocks of brand value growth.
The Kantar BrandZ database was analysed from 2020-21 covering 418 brand cases for this project, with brand perception and brand equity metrics for brands across 30 categories from a total of over 12,000 respondents. The database includes 28 consistent attributes. A two-stage analysis process was used to arrive at the decision to focus on brand purpose in this year’s report:
- Factor analysis, which grouped 28 perceptual attributes into 18 factors or ‘brand image pillars’– one of which is purpose
- Brand Structures Analysis (BSA), which quantified how the interaction of brand perceptions created success for brands in the past, and identified the perceptions that will create success in the future to guide brand positioning decisions and actions
The BSA model analysed relationships between various brand image pillars, all connecting to proven drivers of brand value: Meaningful, Different, Salient. From this analysis, Brand Purpose emerged as the key differentiator for brand value in India.