Top 50 Grows 21 Percent in Rapidly Changing India
Brands Need Knowledge and Insight to Keep Pace
India is changing rapidly, with GDP defying expectations and growing faster than all other major economies, despite several recent disruptions — demonetization and the goods and services tax (GST) — aimed at driving the economy even faster. This speed presents brands with a dilemma: move too cautiously and miss opportunities; or move too quickly and make avoidable mistakes.
We see this momentum in the BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands 2017, which appreciated 21 percent this year, and 57 percent over the past three years, outpacing the value growth of both the China Top 50 and the Global Top 50. Similarly, the BrandZ™ India Top 50 Portfolio rose 38.8 percent over the past three years, more than twice the rate of SENSEX, the Indian stock market index, which increased just 15.0 percent—demonstrating how valuable brands deliver superior stockholder returns.
This dynamism is also apparent in the churn of the India Top 50 and the emergence of new Indian brands. Only 38 brands that were in our 2014 BrandZ™ India Top 50 remain in the 2017 India Top 50. A brand needed to grow 48 percent just to retain its rank. Rising in the ranking required a brand to increase its value 106 percent, around twice the growth rate of the India Top 50 overall.
Brands that remain in the India Top 50 are significantly healthier than Indian brands overall, based on their Vitality Quotient (VQ), our new BrandZ™ measurement of brand health. In fact, the health of the India Top 50 brands is comparable to the health of the Global Top 50, the most valuable and powerful brands in the world.
Which brings up the question of how the world views India, a vital topic at this point in India’s rise to global player. Business decision makers rank India low on some business dimensions, like transparency, but they rank India No. 2 in the Movers category of up-andcoming economies. This is one of many findings from Y&R’s BAV Best Countries study, which we present here for the first time in a special section called Brand India.
The consumers driving all this change and growth no longer live only in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, or some other major metro. They live throughout India, in cities of all sizes and in rural areas, too. Marketers need to think about Multiple India’s—an India where people want to be the best they can be — wherever they live and whatever their background.
In these fast-changing, complicated circumstances, what should marketers do to identify opportunities and avoid mistakes? To start, I suggest reading this report — closely. It is an example of what we at WPP call “horizontality” — informing clients with our extensive experience creating and building valuable brands, based on knowledge and insights from our presence in 112 countries. We’ve been in India for over 85 years.
Knowledge, Intelligence, and Insights
We take a 360-degree view that includes market research, media management, futures, advertising, digital, promotion, public relations, public affairs, shopper marketing, content creation, and activation. We begin with WPP’s proprietary BrandZ™ database, which includes information from over 3 million consumers about their attitudes about (and relationships with) 120,000 brands in 414 categories across 51 country markets. All that produces more than 4.6 billion data points.
Throughout this report you’ll find the knowledge, intelligence, and insights necessary to keep up with brand developments in fast-changing India, and scattered throughout these pages you’ll also find prescriptive action points for building valuable brands, provided by some of the most cutting-edge thinkers and practitioners from WPP companies in India. Here are just a few highlights to think about as you get into the details:
The Indian notion of value is changing. The change is evident in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), where consumers increasingly prefer brands that specifically meet Indian preferences. That’s often a local Indian brand, but brands owned by multinationals are responding. Ultimately, it’s not about provenance, but the right combination of a locally relevant product and a fair price.
In a vast country of 1.3 billion people, 22 official languages, and multiple cultural roots, the market is remarkably segmented. Our research has identified a sub-segment of FMCG shoppers that we call “Elites,” people who spend more on FMCG than other wealthy consumers. It’s an important opportunity—one of many.
Indian consumers today are less likely to accept a brand message before verifying it with online research. Still, one of this year’s important stories was the rebound of Maggi, the instant noodle brand that lost consumer trust during a food safety crisis a few years ago, and regained trust by fixing its problems and leveraging its substantial brand equity.