The findings of the fifth Brand Equity survey of India's most trusted brands are out, and dental cream brand Colgate has emerged as the country's most trusted brand for the third consecutive year, forcing long-standing challengers Lux and Dettol to the No 2 and No 3 spots, respectively.
While Colgate can take pride in retaining its hold on the No 1 position, insurance major Life Insurance Corporation can raise a toast for breaking into the Top 10 ranks. At No 6, it is the sole service brand in the Top 10 - a commendable performance for a company that debuted in the survey in '03 at No 39.
Pond's occupies the No 4 position this time, while Tata Salt is placed at No 5. Vicks (No 7), Britannia (No 8), Rin (No 9) and Bata (No 10) round off the Top 10 list. While Hindustan Lever (HLL) continues to have the highest number of brands in the Top 20 list, quite a few of its brands have slipped in the overall rankings. Procter & Gamble (P&G), on the other hand, has seen substantial gains.
Mobile service providers are among the big gainers this time around - while every operator has improved its ranking, Tata Indicom and Airtel have moved up 52 and 41 places, respectively. Importantly, this time, Tata Indicom, Reliance IndiaMobile and Airtel have joined BSNL in the Top 100 list.
Most carbonated soft drinks (CSD) brands have also fared well in the latest survey, with Sprite and 7 Up doing particularly well - although Thums Up has suffered a sizeable slide. And snack foods, as a category, has also registered an upswing; Lehar Kurkure has, in fact, leaped ahead by an astonishing 103 places in one year. The category that has suffered the sharpest fall in trust is consumer electronics and consumer durables - with the exception of Philips, every brand in the category has lost ranking, some, like Videocon, by 30 places.
The annual ranking of the Top 150 brands has grown to become an eagerly-anticipated affair among consumer-oriented companies and brand marketing professionals. The results of the '05 survey, covered extensively in today's special eight-page issue of Brand Equity, will not disappoint.