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India's most trusted brands

Last updated on: January 20, 2011 07:11 IST

Image: Many foreign brands find a strong consumer trust in India.
Photographs: Reuters Meghana Biwalkar in Mumbai

Brand Trust is the soul of point of engagement between the customer and the brand. This concept has evolved with the rise in competition, awareness and globalisation.

Touching upon the various components of what truly defines a brand and whether these match up to consumers' expectations, Trust Research Advisory -- a research and communications organisation -- conducted a comprehensive brand study featuring 16,000 brands with over 100,000 touch points across nine cities.

The research report titled, 'The Brand Trust Report, India Study, 2011', ranks India's leading brands on the areas of capacity to trust; perception of positive intention; and relevant competence.

The Brand Trust Report, apart from naming the top 50 most trusted brands in India also personalities as brands.

The survey puts master batsman Sachin Tendulkar at 59th position overall, while the Father of The Nation, Mahatma Gandhi occupies the 232nd position.

Actor Aamir Khan is put at 242nd rank. Surprisingly, Bollywood's legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan's name does not figure in the top 300 list.

Click NEXT to find out which are the Top 50 brands in India. . .

India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Nokia
Photographs: Reuters

1. Nokia 

Despite the growing challenges and competition in the mobile handset space, Nokia successfully manages to grab the number one spot as India's most trusted brand.

Nokia certainly plays the key cog in India's wireless market. The company has constantly delivered its promise to offer unique products to suits the needs of the Indian consumers. For instance, the incorporation of flashlight in the handset is a very Indian feature.

Such innovation has helped Nokia gain that trust and make a connection with its customers in India.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Tata chairman Ratan Tata.
Photographs: Reuters

2. Tata 

Brand Tata, as India's second most trusted brand, has been synonymous with trust for nearly a century and half. Among various composites, Tata scored highest for display of sincerity. But it scores lowest in the area of outward appearance, usually the most visible of the 10 composites.

This composite is very important in Brand Trust, since visible, external attributes are most often used to judge internal content and prowess.

The other composite on which Tata scores low is enthusiasm, demonstrated by lower values for the three attributes, vibrancy, proactive behaviour and competitive spirit.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Sony
Photographs: Reuters

3. Sony

Sony, the Japanese brand, is ranked 3rd in The Brand Trust Ranking. Sony's highest brand trust composite is brand's perceived competence.

However, Sony scores low on the corporate altruism composite, which typically will be seen if the brand demonstrates a generous corporate attitude and high care for society.

Even then, Sony manages to hold the position as a leading premium brand in India. It has maintained this position by offering various consumer product segments.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: LG washing machines.

4. LG 

LG, the durables major, leads the South Korean pack and ranks 4th on the Brand Trust Report. LG, a value player, is admired for its product offering and pricing.

However, LG scores low on the corporate altruism composite, which in this case implies that brand's social involvement, corporate generosity, and social mentoring do not have high visibility or action.

Overall, LG's brand recall is universal in India.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Samsung.
Photographs: Reuters

5. Samsung

Ranking 5 the on Brand Trust meter, Samsung is the second South Korean brand to feature in India's 10 Most Trusted Brands.

While the two Korean brand leaders may draw parallels in many ways and in the way the audiences perceive them, Samsung, the 'premium-cum-mass' positioned player, is higher than the 4th ranked LG when it comes to the composite of enthusiasm.

Like its sibling, Samsung too misses out on scoring very high on corporate altruism.

For now, Samsung is counting on its latest product offering, which are customised to Indian conditions. This combined with quick after-sale service makes it one the most trusted brands in India.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani.
Photographs: Reuters

6. Reliance

Reliance has been ranked the 6th Most Trusted Brand in India by this study. Due to the dual-ownership and multiple manifestations of this brand, whatever impact is seen, is the sum total of all actions and communications through this brand. The most prominent composite for Reliance is accepting responsibility.

One important Ambani legacy the brand carries most significantly in displaying acceptance of responsibility.

The second highest composite for Reliance is that of non-threatening ambience. Among the other Brand Trust composites, Reliance scores lowest on Outward Appearance.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Maruti Kizashi concept.
Photographs: Reuters

7. Maruti

Maruti ranking 7th on the list is considered as the most consistent brand in India.

Further, the brand which has had a long journey in India, still feels it has miles to go. To retain its position the company is now offering new variants to suit the requirements of the Indian consumer.

The success of Maruti Suzuki in India is largely attributed to the enthusiasm of salespeople at the dealership, as well as their ability to understand customer requirements and provide knowledgeable answers to queries.

. . . 

India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Home Minister P Chidambaram speaking at the golden jubilee celebrations at LIC HQ in Mumbai.
Photographs: Reuters

8. LIC

The daily news section may be abuzz with the negative news surrounding the brand, but its long standing position and service, still makes LIC as the most trusted brand in India.

Featuring among the top 10 list of most trusted brands in India, LIC shows how deeply it has etched itself in the minds of stakeholders.

LIC has been in India for over 50 years, and it only proves that it's the trust with consumers that helps the company grow.

However, according to the report the brand scores on other aspects like enthusiasm and external appearance.

. . . 

India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal.
Photographs: Reuters

9. Airtel

Airtel stands at the 9the position, and is the only mobile operator to be ranked in India's Ten Most Trusted Brands. Airtel has a high composite score for empathy, demonstrative of its caring, understanding and sharing of an intimate connection towards its audiences.

This 'blink' ability for Airtel results from a high Empathy score towards its target audience.

The lagging composites are behind by quite a bit, showing low scores in corporate altruism and display of sincerity.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: A Titan watch.

10. Titan

Titan, which caters to various price points and consumer segments, ranks 10th on the Brand Trust Report Index.

Titan leads in the composite of outward appearance standing up to the brand's high standards, consistency, appropriate expression and attractive external appearance.

However, as with several others in the top 10 list, Titan has scored lowest on the corporate altruism composite.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: State Bank of India.

11. State Bank of India

Taking the 11th position on the Brand Trust Report Index, the State Bank of India is the biggest bank in India.

It is the largest state-owned banking and financial services company in India, in terms of revenues, profits, assets, market capitalisation.

In the past, the bank has won the prestigious Asian Banker Achievement Award for being the strongest bank in the Asia Pacific region.

In this report, SBI though has been favoured bank across India, it has scored very high in the East and South regions of India.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Bajaj Auto chairman Rahul Bajaj.
Photographs: Reuters

12. Bajaj

The brand has made a connection with the customers with its nationalist sentiments and successful campaigns like "Hamara Bajaj" campaigns.

Standing on the 12th position, it is one of the few Indian brands with an 'international' distinction, and that of being the largest producer of scooters in the world.

Throughout the years, Bajaj has used this sentiment in order to promote itself in India. This has clearly reflected in its position as one of the top 20 most trusted brands in India.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Hero Honda's B M Munjal and Pawan Munjal (right).
Photographs: Reuters

13. Hero Honda

After Bajaj, Hero Honda Motors takes the position of the most trusted two-wheeler manufacturer in India.

Known for its upbeat technology and product offering, Hero Honda has worked in the last three to four years to create enough differentiation between all its brands. It has also worked on its marketing skills. Hero Honda also has a strong position in the rural market.

Now, with the exit of Japanese Honda Motor Corp from a joint venture with the Hero group, it is too see how the Hero group maintains its successful position.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Former India hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay endorsing Reebok brand.
Photographs: Reuters

14. Reebok

Reebok entered the Indian market in 1995. Ever since then, Reebok has dominated the Indian sports wear market, and has been way ahead of its major competitors Nike and Adidas.

Just as most successful brands in the country, Reebok's main advantage is that it made the right connection with the India consumers, by understanding their needs. For instance, when the company came to India, all that the consumers wanted was an international brand of footwear and Reebok gave them that at an affordable price.

It's strategies like these along with prompt delivery that helps Reebok gain 14th spot on the Brand Trust Index.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: ICICI Bank building in Mumbai.
Photographs: Reuters

15. ICICI Group

ICICI Bank is India's second-largest bank. According to this report, it is amongst the most trusted banks in west and north India.

The Bank offers flexibility in transactions, a wide network of branches and ATMs in India and is presence in 18 countries.

Thus, riding on the accessibility and convenience factors, along with a wide range of product offering, ICICI Bank makes a favourable position for itself in the Indian market.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Vodafone Zoo-Zoos.

16. Vodafone

Be it the Vodafone pug or the Zoo-Zoo dolls or simply the adorable kids, the brand has always managed to win our hearts with simple, yet effective communication.

Ranking 16th on the list, Vodafone is the second mobile operator to feature in the Top 20 most trusted brands in India.

Now, with the Mobile Number Portability, the only factor (apart from service) that will probably play a vital role in customers continuing with the service provider is bound to be Brand Trust.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Colgate.
Photographs: Reuters

17. Colgate

Consumer products which feature in the top 100 category trust zonal lists are led by Colgate in the east, west and south regions of India.

Present in India since the 1930s, Colgate is almost synonymous with toothpaste in the Indian market. It is accepted well both in the rural and urban areas.

Ranking 17th on the list, just like most successful brands Colgate delivers values, maintains its promise and also beautifully builds a long-term relationship with consumers.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: A Bata showroom.

18. Bata

Bata has been in India for almost 77 years. For a long time, it was synonymous with footwear in India. Though the company ranks low on appearance, it scores high on qualities like reliability and value for money.

Bata, is now gearing to change its position and offer products across various price points. With new acquisitions and marketing strategies, it is now to see how Bata further builds on its position in India.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Haier.
Photographs: Reuters

19. Haier

Haier started its commercial operations in India in January 2004. The India launch was started with innovative products designed specially keeping the daily needs of the customers in mind.

'Inspired Living' Haier's brand philosophy takes the inspiration from the lifestyle of its customers. Every product is designed and developed innovatively to offer convenience.

In addition to the product offering, the company relies heavily on after-sales-services, thus developing a strong connection with the customers. It also offers eco-friendly products, which further adds to is value in India.

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India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Raymond's boss Gautam Singhania with his wife.
Photographs: Reuters

20. Raymond's

The apparel category is a high visibility category, and with recent international entrants, the prominence of this category has varied from 14 to 20 per cent among zones, with the highest representation of women respondents from the East.

Fighting such competition, Raymond's has managed to maintain its position as the most preferred brand in India.

Incorporated in 1925, Raymond's is the leading, integrated producer of worsted suiting fabric in the world, with a capacity of producing 42 million meters of wool & wool-blended fabrics.

It is present in various categories from denim to suitings. It offers products and brands in various price points.

Raymond's has always focused on innovation and technological upgradation, and this is what makes it one top most trusted apparel brands in India.

. . . 

India's 50 most trusted brands

Image: Customers at an Adidas store.
Photographs: Reuters

The following 30 make up the rest of Top 50 brands in India:

21. Adidas
22. Godrej
23. HP
24. Lux
25. Philips
26. Levi's
27. Dell
28. HDFC
29. HCL
30. Microsoft
31. Nike
32. IBM
33. BMW
34. Onida
35. Infosys
36. Pepsi
37. Wipro
38. Idea
39. Hindustan Unilever
40. Pond's
41. Dove
42. Videocon
43. Hyundai
44. Lee
45. Dabur
46. Dettol
47. Lakme
48. Birla
49. Apple
50. McDonald's

"The results are based on the level of trust every individual has in all these brands," TRA chief executive officer N Chandramouli said.

He said people had ranked the brands irrespective of their ownership and it took four months and 10,000 hours of field work to arrive at the findings.

According to the report, the 61 primary components of 'Brand Trust' have been grouped into 10 composites like empathy, perceived competence, commanding respect, displayed sincerity, enthusiasm, accepting responsibility among others.

In the report -- priced at Rs 4,350 per copy -- TRA has published a list of only the top 300 brands across industry sectors.

Though Chandramouli did not divulge the project cost of the research, he said the report was priced over Rs 4,000, as it was the only way to generate revenues. "We will have to sell at least 7,000 copies of the report to become profitable," he said.