Amazon, Asian Paints, Tata Tea top India’s Most Purposeful Brands: Kantar

Kantar has released the 2021 edition of its annual BrandZ India report. This paradigm shifting edition unveils 2021’s Most Purposeful Brands in India. According to Kantar BrandZ data, consumers believe that these brands lead with a clear sense of purpose to make their everyday lives better. It also exhibits those that have taken a bolder social stance, as COVID-19 magnified the need for brands to do more than focus on profits alone. The findings tie in with longer-term trends in India and abroad to value brands on ESG criteria (environmental, social and governance) alongside traditional factors, such as valuations and earnings growth.

Amazon, Asian Paints and Tata Tea emerge as the most purposeful leaders in India across Technology, Non-FMCG and FMCG categories respectively. 

The Technology ranking has Amazon followed by Zomato, YouTube, Google and Swiggy jointly in fourth place, followed by Flipkart. The Non-FMCG ranking is dominated by telecom brands, with Samsung and Jio jointly second, followed by MRF, Tata Housing and Airtel. The FMCG category ranks some of India’s biggest names: Tata Tea followed by Surf Excel, Taj Mahal, Parachute and Maggi both in fourth position and Britannia completing the list.    

For years, Kantar’s proprietary BrandZ data and modelling has shown how brand value derives from three core pillars of growth: Meaningfulness, Difference and Salience. While the fundamentals of brand-building remain the same, what has changed is the expectation that brand will stand for something more. Kantar conducted an analysis of 418 brands across 30 categories and found that in India especially, perceptions of a brand’s purpose, its ability to ‘make people’s lives better,’ is crucial to establishing a brand’s Meaningful quotient and thus, boosting prospects for growth.

Deepender Rana, Executive Managing Director- South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar, said: “Brand Purpose provides an anchor amidst constant uncertainty, both as a North Star for brands, but also as reassurance to consumers. Purpose as a contributor to brand equity is 10 times more important in India, in comparison to globally. This shows that a larger societal purpose is even more critical to success for brands in India. Of course, vague slogans and one-off ‘corporate charity’ events do not work, and it is not about jumping on the bandwagon of the latest fashionable cause either. Instead, real Purpose flows from, and builds on, a brand’s existing core values and DNA. This reinforces the need to understand and measure if a brand’s Purpose is perceived as adding real meaning to consumers lives.”

Key Findings:

2021 Kantar BrandZ data for India, in conjunction with other Kantar consumer sentiment tracking, has revealed several patterns in what Indian consumers deemed ‘Purposeful’ in 2021. Some of the key highlights:

  • Amplifying or communicating purpose is critical.

  • Tech brands show how everyday convenience contributes to brand purpose. These brands have been able to scale-up and showcase a wide range of products plus enter new categories at a time when consumers were desperate for at-home & delivery solutions. Everyday convenience in turn made lives easier and fueled saliency for brands

  • FMCG brands are focusing on reducing their carbon footprint and taking a social stance. FMCG brands that score high on brand purpose have shown that purpose and profit can go hand-in-hand. They are working to reduce their environmental impact and promote social causes - which in turn attract customers, partners, and talent.

  • Non-FMCG brands are now adopting marketing strategies that promote the brand in ways that look beyond the function of product or service; the key is to do more than just meeting consumers’ immediate needs, adding new and potentially differentiating associations.

  • The Indian consumer, on a par with many of their Asian counterparts are actively engaging with sustainability; 77% are prepared to invest time and money in companies that try to do good 

Soumya Mohanty, Managing Director- Client and Quantitative, Insights Division, Kantar stated: “Purpose can work as a strategy for brands, when it’s based on the right consumer insights, and executed effectively. In India, Kantar BrandZ data suggest that a brand’s Purpose ranking has a direct impact on its Meaningfulness score – which in turn is one of the cores, proven building blocks of brand value growth.”


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