Brand rankings signify consumer acceptability

Every year, in the run-up to the ‘Most Trusted Brands’ survey, brands that have been languishing at the bottom of the power list — those that show no signs of rising up the ranks, even within their respective categories — are retired, and place is made for new brands that have the potential of making an impact on the rankings.
This year, 41 new brands were introduced into the list that was administered to respondents, and surprisingly enough, seven of these have managed breaking into the overall Top 100 list: Maaza at No 50, Dabur Amla at No 59, Vatika at No 72, Hajmola at No 74, Boroplus at No 87, TVS Scooty at No 88 and Sonata watches at No 96. An eighth brand, Cadbury Gems, narrowly missed the Top 100 list, debuting at No 101.
The packaged drinks market in India which includes fruit- and milk-based drinks is estimated to be around 50-million cases, and of this, mango-based drinks account for 80%-85%. Coca-Cola maintains that Maaza is the market leader in packaged mango drinks, a claim that is contested by Frooti. Incidentally, Frooti has featured in the Top 50 list every year over the last five years, although this year the brand has slipped 14 ranks from No 23 to No 37. Slice, the other packaged mango drink brand to debut in this year’s survey, features way behind at No 176.
With three brands from its portfolio debuting in the Top 100, Dabur is one company that has made a significant impression in this year’s survey. Two of the three debutants from Dabur — Hajmola and Dabur Amla are almost as old the company’s flagship brand, Dabur Chyawanprash. Dabur considers ‘Hajmola’ as one of the pillar brands of Dabur and very few might have failed to notice the celebrity Amitabh Bachan as this product’s Brand Ambassador in the TV ads.
It is the category leader with two-thirds share of the market, and about two crore Hajmola digestive tablets get consumed in India daily. This is mirrored in the survey results where Hajmola is the fourth most trusted brand in the chocolate/confectionery category, behind Cadbury Dairy Milk, 5-Star and Kit Kat.
Dabur Amla is a Rs 300-crore brand with a strong presence in rural areas and small towns, and is targeted at users of unbranded hair oil, like mustard oil. The Rs 200-crore Vatika brand, on the other hand, is pitched at young women in urban India, and is positioned as an enriched coconut oil. Vatika saw a value growth of 10%-15 % last year, Dabur Amla recorded a growth of 10%-12 % during the same period.

While Emami and Himani Navratna have been in the rankings over the last two years, Boroplus’ debut this year sees the brand way ahead of Emami (No 137) and Himani Navratna (No 128). They have invested heavily in the brand, be it in communication or in variants and are confident about the brand and it has the potential to be among the Top 10 brands in the country. The Rs 200-crore brand has roughly 75% share of the antiseptic-cream market.

Despite being its first year in the survey, TVS Scooty has surged ahead of 22 other automotive brands to gain the No 3 slot in the category-wise rankings. And apart from Hero Honda’s Splendor (No 51) and Passion (No 77), Scooty is the only other automotive brand in the Top 100. Scooty is even ahead of Bajaj Pulsar (No 113) and stable-mate TVS Victor (No 118). Scooty is the only automobile brand targeted at women. Women are very different from men in terms of self-expression, and for them convenience is more important than performance.

Sonata watches was introduced in the survey for the first time as a standalone brand, distinct from Titan. A measure of the trust the brand which sold approximately five million watches across country last year enjoys can be seen in the manner in which it has debuted; perhaps a function of the fact that the brand continues being sold as a ‘Tata product’.

The Tata parentage has helped to establish trust and reliability in a mass market otherwise populated by a host of local and unorganised players. The brand’s association with cricketer MS Dhoni has worked favorably as well. The spirit of confidence and achievement that Dhoni symbolises fits well with the positioning of Sonata a robust, confident brand for today’s progressive Indian youth.