Around the world, total amount spent on brand communication in the year 2011 stood at approximately $1 trillion. But how much of this expenditure is actually contributing to brand loyalty and brand trust? Which are the brands that are trusted the most by consumers today and why? The second edition of ‘Brand Trust Report’, released by Trust Research Advisory (TRA), a company dedicated to understanding and simplifying concepts related to trust, answers these questions and more.
Nokia has retained the top slot as the most trusted brand in India, though the company has been constantly losing out to competitors like Samsung, Sony, Apple and others in terms of sales. Tata has retained its second position. Others that appear in the top 10 list include LG, Samsung, Sony, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Airtel and Reliance. While most of the top 10 list remains identical as last year, most noteworthy changes in the report this year are Bajaj’s entry at the seventh position and Sony sliding back to No. 5 from No. 3 last year.
Time to Learn
Four out of the top five slots are occupied by international brands. Is there learning for Indian brands here? Yes, said N Chandramouli, CEO, Trust Research Advisory, adding, “All these international brands have come to India barely a decade ago and have dominated the mind space of consumers. Not only are they providing world class products, but have also developed a great amount of trust among their users, which is very important for any brand today.”
Out of the top 1,000 Most Trusted Brands, four categories that stand out are Food & beverage (109 brands), Consumer Products (97 brands), Auto/ auto related (83 brands) and Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI) (70 brands). Together, they comprise more than 15 per cent of the total brands listed in the report.
According to the report, a copy of which is available with exchange4media, the top three most trusted brands in some of the major categories/ sub-categories include:
Food & Beverage – Pepsi, Cadbury, Parle
Telecom – Airtel, Vodafone, Idea
Appliances – LG, Samsung, Videocon
Electronics – Sony, Onida, Toshiba
Automotive – Maruti Suzuki, BMW, Hero Honda
Banking and Financial Services – Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank
Alcoholic Beverages - Kingfisher, Foster’s, McDowell
Education – NIIT, Aptech, IIT
Healthcare – Dabur, Johnson & Johnson, Himalaya
Internet – Google, Facebook, Yahoo
Apparels – Raymond, Lee, Levi’s
Branded Fashion – Armani, Gucci, Diesel
Consumer Products – Lux, Ponds, Dove
Retail – KFC, Big Bazaar, McDonald’s
Diversified Businesses – Tata, Bajaj, Reliance
Technology – HP, Dell, Apple
Among famous personalities, social crusader Anna Hazare tops the chart, followed by Sachin Tendulkar and then Salman Khan. Surprisingly, Shah Rukh Khan appears last in this list.
Media, which is mostly ridiculed for being biased, has its own followers. While Aaj Tak leads the Media – TV category, NDTV and Discovery occupy the second and third positions, respectively. The Times of India, Hindustan Times and Femina are the most trusted brands in Print Media.
India Vs small India
Although the research has been carried out across India, region-wise nuances are also available for brands to understand the mindset of consumers in different regions of India. the study reveals differences among statistics from all India vis-à-vis North India. To elaborate, India’s most trusted brand, Nokia, is also North India’s most trusted brand. However, India’s 2nd ranked Tata, has been ranked 6th among trusted brands of North India. The other brands that have been given the thumbs down by North India include, Titan (All India rank 12th; North India rank 31st), Vodafone (All India rank 17th; North India rank 32nd), Raymond (All India rank 21st; North India rank 33rd), and Hewlett Packard (All India rank 22nd; North India rank 37th).
Responding to how marketers could make use of the Brand Trust Report, Chandramouli said, “It is always paramount for any brand to know how it is being perceived by its consumers vis-à-vis its competitors. Apart from the Brand Trust Report, we also have specific brand reports, which gives brands a detailed analyses of stakeholders’ perceptions. These findings can help them adapt their communication and marketing strategies to gain competitive edge.”
For the record, The Brand Trust Report, India Study, 2012 is the result of a primary research based on the proprietary 61-component Trust Matrix developed by Trust Research Advisory. This year’s research was conducted among 2,718 ‘influencer’ respondents across 15 cities. The study generated nearly 2 million data points discussing 17,000 unique brands. The Indian Statistical Institute helped create a statistically robust Brand Trust Index, which has been used to hierarchically rank India’s brands on the basis of trust. Trust Research Advisory, a part of the Comniscient Group, is a company dedicated to understanding and simplifying concepts related to trust. TRA was conceived in 2008 to decipher, analyse and measure Brand Trust, to make it universally understood and easily applied.