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Storyboard18 | Amazon, Asian Paints and Tata Tea emerge as India's most purposeful brands: report 

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 meaningful quotient.

November 25, 2021 / 05:57 PM IST
Tata Tea emerged as the most purposeful leaders in India in the FMCG category, according to the 2021 Kantar BrandZ report that also ranked brands such as Surf Excel, Taj Mahal, Parachute, Maggi and Britannia in this category. (Illustration by Suneesh Kalarickal)

Tata Tea emerged as the most purposeful leaders in India in the FMCG category, according to the 2021 Kantar BrandZ report that also ranked brands such as Surf Excel, Taj Mahal, Parachute, Maggi and Britannia in this category. (Illustration by Suneesh Kalarickal)

Brands that brought comfort and convenience to consumers in their everyday lives during the Covid-19 pandemic emerged as the most purposeful brands, according to a recent study by consulting company Kantar.

According to Kantar BrandZ data, consumers said that these brands led with a clear sense of purpose and took 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 (environmental, social and governance) alongside traditional factors, such as valuations and earnings growth.

E-commerce giant Amazon emerged as the most purposeful brand in the technology category. The technology ranking has Amazon followed by ZomatoYouTubeGoogle and Swiggy jointly in fourth place, followed by Flipkart.

Noting that technology is all encompassing, Deepender Rana, executive managing director- South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar, said that brands that made lives easier for consumers using technology when they were stuck at home fared well.

"....It could include e-commerce brands, food delivery brands (Zomato and Swiggy), entertainment platforms (video streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video), even brands that brought information such as Google. The service providers also featured on the list including telecom brands. They played to convenience while keeping consumers safe, entertained and connected," he notes.

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Although Asian Paints is the winner, the non-FMCG ranking is dominated by telecom brands, with Samsung and Jio jointly second, followed by MRF, Tata Housing and Airtel.

Tata Tea emerged as the most purposeful leaders in India in the FMCG category that also ranks firms such as Surf Excel and Taj Mahal along with Parachute and Maggi both in fourth position and Britannia completing the list.

Kantar says that 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 the 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, boosting prospects for growth.

Rana highlighted that '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," he adds.

Some of the key patterns in what Indian consumers deemed ‘Purposeful’ in 2021 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 and 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.

Soumya Mohanty, managing director- client and quantitative, Insights Division, Kantar stated, “Globally, purpose doesn’t drive relevance to the extent it drives it in India. Purpose also drives salience and hence India is a salience driven market.”
Saumya Tewari is Assistant Editor of Storyboard. Storyboard is Network18's flagship platform focussed on the advertising & marketing community and a leading source of news and analyses on the business of brands.
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