Move over the Cokes and Pepsisand the LGs of the brand world. Enter new-age brands like Airtel, Big Bazaar, Vodafone, ICICI, and McDonald’s. The orbit of Indian marketing and consumer world has moved from ‘product brands’ to ‘services brands’ of late. To recognise this shift, ‘Pitch’, the leading marketing magazine from the exchange4media Group, has dedicated its fifth anniversary issue on the theme of services branding and marketing with its survey highlighting ‘India’s Top 50 Service Brands’. The survey puts LIC, Airtel and Big Bazaar amongst the top services brands in India.
The Pitch-IMRB International Survey, aimed at identifying the most popular service brands in the country, has ranked Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) as the most popular brand, followed by the Railways, thanks to the turnaround that Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav and his team have achieved in the past few years. Occupying the third slot is Airtel.
State Bank of India is ranked fourth, followed by SBI Cards at No. 5. Vodafone is ranked sixth, followed by Big Bazaar, the largest retailer in terms of turnover.
When Pitch contacted TS Vijayan, Chairman, LIC, for his reaction on this ranking, he said, “Being selected as the No. 1 service brand means a much deeper responsibility towards our customers. This ranking brings to us a feeling of joy and pride along with a sense of gratitude and duty towards tens of millions of policyholders who have reposed their trust in us time and again.”
When it comes to the Railways, it seems the Laluaisation of the world’s second largest rail system is complete. First, it were the world’s best B-schools that took note of the massive turnaround that Indian Railway had achieved under Laloo’s stewardship. Today, the Railways is much better than most of the Fortune 500 companies when it comes to cash surplus – as on March 31, 2008, it had a cash surplus of Rs 25,000 crore. It is also close to being certified as a Six Sigma entity for its safety.
“Sincerity, hard work, strong leadership with clear vision, strong will and determination, reforms with a human face, and encouraging our 1.54 million employees, were the drivers of this massive success,” is how Anil Kumar, Additional Director General for PR, Indian Railway, reacted to the massive faith that the public have reposed in the Railways.
Brand Airtel, ranked at No 3 in the survey, took shape only in 1994, but best represents the way consumers are moving. It needs no mention that Airtel, which is the market leader in the mobile services space with close to 25 per cent of the market share or 75 million subscribers, has become a power-brand in a short span. When ‘Pitch’ shared the news with Airtel, its President, Sanjay Kapoor, said, “First and foremost, this ranking humbles us. It is very heartening to know that consumers have voted us the third-most popular brand in the country. It puts more responsibility on our shoulders to sustain this goodwill and set fresh benchmarks in delivery of our services with added commitment and focus.”
The Pitch-IMRB International Survey, titled ‘The Top 50 Service Brands’, was carried out in nine cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Lucknow, Nagpur, Madurai and Bhubaneswar. IMRB contacted 2,220 SEC-A&B consumers, both males and females, in the 20-44 age group in September. The top 50 service brands were selected by consumers from within 120 shortlisted brands.
There are more surprises in the survey as it has found as many as 17 media brands amongst the top 50 brands.
‘Pitch’, the flagship marketing intelligence monthly from the exchange4media Group stable, is celebrating its 5th Anniversary in October.