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Amazon, Asian Paints & Tata Tea emerge as ‘Most Purposeful Brands’: Kantar report

The Indian consumer is on par with many of their Asian counterparts in actively engaging with

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Mumbai: Data insights and consulting company Kantar has released the 2021 edition of its annual BrandZ India report that unveils the year’s ‘Most Purposeful Brands’ in India. Amazon, Asian Paints, and Tata Tea emerged as the most purposeful leaders in India across technology, non-FMCG, and FMCG categories respectively, according to the report.

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, as per the report.

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.

While the fundamentals of brand-building remain the same as before namely - Meaningfulness, Difference and Salience, what has changed this time is the expectation that the brand will stand for something more. Kantar conducted an analysis of 418 brands across 30 categories from a total of over 12,000 respondents 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, boosting prospects for growth.

The Indian consumer, as per the report, is on par with many of their Asian counterparts in actively engaging with sustainability. 77 per cent are prepared to invest time and money in companies that try to do good, the report stated.

The 2021 Kantar BrandZ data for India, in conjunction with other Kantar consumer sentiment tracking, has also revealed several patterns in what Indian consumers deemed ‘Purposeful’ in 2021.

Some of the key highlights are that it is critical to amplify or communicate the brand purpose, even as tech brands showed 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.

For FMCG brands, taking a social stance by focusing on reducing their carbon footprint scored high, showing that purpose and profit can go hand-in-hand. The key is to do more than just meet consumers’ immediate needs, like non-FMCG brands that adopt marketing strategies that promote the brand in ways that look beyond the function of product or service.

“Brand Purpose provides an anchor 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,” said Kantar executive managing director for South Asia Insights Division Deepender Rana.

“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,” he added.

Speaking about Kantar BrandZ’s report in India, Kantar managing director- client and quantitative Insights Division Soumya Mohanty stated, “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 cores, proven building blocks of brand value growth.”

Methodology

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 centre Purpose in this year’s report.

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