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BrandZ report 2018: All Indian brands in top 10 most valued

Jio, Flipkart, Paytm, Ola and MakeMyTrip enter the list for the first time

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MUMBAI: HDFC Bank continues to remain India’s most valued brand for the fifth consecutive year according to the recent BrandZ report by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown’s BrandZ. Interestingly, for the first time, the top 10 brands in BrandZ list were all Indian homegrown brands.

HDFC Bank topped the list as the bank has built a reputation for its sustainable livelihood initiative by introducing smaller loans worth as little as $175 that can be accessed via its bank branches.

The report analysis reveals that brand value was boosted by rising consumer confidence, the country’s return to rapid economic growth and consumers becoming increasingly brand aware.

Trust is an important key driver of brand value, which is exemplified by HDFC Bank, that continued to build trust by clearly communicating the benefits of its products to consumers and delivering differentiated financial services offerings consistently and repeatedly.

Insurance brand LIC came in at second spot because of the key role played by its pension plan business whilst Tata Consultancy Services ranked third having leveraged digital technologies to drive growth and business transformation. 

Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel came in at fourth position followed by State Bank of India. 

The report also saw an emergence of new brands on the list including e-commerce retailer Flipkart, e-commerce and payment wallet Paytm and Zee TV.

The Store WPP CEO EMEA and Asia David Roth said, “A booming economy and an increasingly digital world are re-shaping India’s brand landscape and creating new opportunities. Brands that get it right, regardless of whether they are established players or newcomers are reaping the rewards.”

“However, there is no room for complacency in this fast-paced environment where so many ambitious companies are ready to rise to the occasion,” added Roth.

A strong brand heritage is no longer essential for developing brand trust. New brands that proactively build and reinforce trust as an integral objective rather than relying on it being a by-product of their main offering can do well. For example, the recent investment from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway into payment brand Paytm added credibility to the relatively youthful brand, making it one of India’s most valuable startup brands.

The premiumisation phenomenon has gained importance for Indian brands, given increased competition and the need to differentiate themselves. Higher quality premium brands have increased in appeal. As consumers in both urban and rural areas become increasingly well-informed, they are also now willing and have more money to spend on brands that demonstrate and deliver relevance. 

On the concept of premiumisation phenomenon, Kantar Millward Brown, South Asia Managing Director Vishikh Talwar mentioned, "Trust is not the sole prerogative of heritage brands; young brands can be equally trustworthy if they have a clear purpose and deliver consumer experiences that reinforce this.”

There are 30 newcomers in the expanded ranking including Jio, Flipkart and Paytm, which have all seen growth in brand value, as well as Ola and travel agency MakeMyTrip. 

With young professionals moving to cities for work, there are openings for brands to offer new services. Video calls have become hugely popular, and have been made feasible for many people through Jio reducing the cost of data. Paytm and the advent of digital banking enable instant money transfers from family members working in the city to their relatives in rural areas. E-commerce brands are riding the boom in gifting, particularly during national festivals.

BFSI sector seems to be the most valuable category as there are eight bank brands in the ranking followed by insurance, where the five brands which together make up 35 per cent of the total ranking value.

This time, the ranking also incorporated brands from key and growing sectors such as technology (IT services), technology (online); durables and home appliances, tobacco, and entertainment (TV stations). Privately owned brands, where financial information is publicly available, and unicorn brands based on their most recent valuations are also now included.

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