HDFC Bank has retained the top spot for the fifth consecutive year with a rise of 21 per cent in its brand value to $21.7 billion. At second and third place are two newcomers into the top 10: the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) valued at $19.8 billion and Tata Consultancy Services valued at $15.0 billion according to the BrandZ Most Valuable Indian Brands report by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.
A total of seven new brands have made it to the top 15 list, bringing in new categories into the fold. Apart from LIC and TCS that have leveraged new technologies and innovative practices to drive growth and business transformation according to the report, other new brands include e-commerce retailer Flipkart (Rank 11, $4.1 billion), e-commerce payment wallet Paytm (Rank 12, $4.1 billion) and Zee TV (Rank 15, $3.8 billion).
The report says that HDFC bank has been able to retain the top spot thanks to its efforts towards building a reputation for its sustainable livelihood initiative by introducing smaller loans worth as little as $175 that can be accessed via its bank branches.
“A booming economy and an increasingly digital world are re-shaping India’s brand landscape and creating new opportunities. Brands that get it right, regardless of whether they are established players or newcomers are reaping the rewards,” says David Roth, CEO EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP.
This year, instead of the usual 50, the report has a list of top 75 brands. The decision to index 25 more brands was taken given the rapid proliferation of local brands, according to the team behind the report. Privately owned brands, where financial information is publicly available, and unicorn brands based on their most recent valuations are also now included.
Trust plays an important part in the brand’s valuation process. The report says the most successful brand on the trust building path has been HDFC Bank. It has managed to convey the intent of its programme most effectively to its stakeholders. Interestingly, the report notes, the emergence of social media and consumers’ access to online information has meant that brands now have the opportunities to rise on the trust parameter of the brand value eco-system. New brands stand an equal chance. Flipkart, for one, gets 117 for trust in the BrandZ ranking.
The 2018 list notes that brands have sharpened their focus on premiumisation. Vishikh Talwar, managing director at Kantar Millward Brown, South Asia, says, “The premiumisation trend is equally a reflection of the continuous progression of the Indian society over the last few decades. In this journey, consumers with an unprecedented array of options will choose the brand they instinctively trust. Trust is not the sole prerogative of heritage brands; young brands can be equally trustworthy if they have a clear purpose and deliver consumer experiences that reinforce this.”