afaqs!

Buzziest Brands of the Year 2007: Airtel rules and Nokia follows in Telecom riot

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | January 12, 2007
The surprise of 2007 is the brand at No. 4, Motorola: This handset brand had not even managed to make it to the Top 50 last year


The Buzziest & #BANNER1 & # Brands of the Year Poll 2007 has confirmed that the hottest brands reside in the hottest consumer market in India: telecom. Like last year, Airtel tops the list of Top 50 brands (see the table below), followed by Nokia, which moves up from No. 4 in 2006. Hutch slips one rank to No 3.

The surprise of 2007 is the brand at No. 4, Motorola: This handset brand did not even manage to make it to the Top 50 last year. Motorola's sales have shot up manifold and so has its presence, whether in communication or on the street. This has resulted in respondents voting it almost at the top.

The poll, presented by Imagesbazaar, was conducted jointly by agencyfaqs! and 'The Brand Reporter' magazine. The complete results will be available in the forthcoming issue of 'The Brand Reporter', dated January 16-31, 2007.

Respondents were asked to vote for the brands that they believed had the greatest buzz or excitement around them in the year gone by. Each participant could cast a maximum of five votes for any of the Top 50 brands.

These 50 were those brands which surfers on agencyfaqs! had most often sought out in nearly two million searches carried out on the site last year. To prevent digital ballot-stuffing, voters had to revalidate their choice via an email that was sent automatically to them. In all, 969 people took part in the The Buzziest Brands of the Year Poll 2007. This is the only poll of its kind in which brands are ranked on their buzz quotient by people whose business is brands.

At No. 5 is Reliance, listed as a corporate brand, though much of the action has undoubtedly been because of the mobile phone business. The peace between the Ambani brothers has helped the brand rise 13 ranks.

SBI seems to have slipped somewhat from a hot No. 3, following a stunning ad campaign, last year to No. 6 now. However, the percentage of voters opting for it has plummeted from 34.2 per cent to 16.6 per cent - less than half. In vote percentage terms, this is the biggest slide among all the brands that feature in the poll. Unless it does something significant, SBI is set for a big slide in 2008.

'The Times of India' comes in at No. 7, a hair's breadth behind SBI. It stands one rank lower than last time, but is still by far the leader among the three media brands (STAR and Sony Entertainment Television are the other brands, far behind at No. 28 and No. 40, respectively) that feature in the Top 50. Next comes Kingfisher, which has been re-categorised as an airline this year as opposed to a 'corporate' brand the last time round.

Maruti Suzuki stands at No. 9, a huge leap from No. 18 last year. It is without doubt the Swift effect because the smart hatchback has done wonders for a company identified more with utilitarian rather than stylish cars. ICICI completes the Top 10, though it's a comedown from No. 5 last time. Its score is sharply down, too - 14.7 per cent of the voters opting for it as opposed to 23.2 per cent in 2006.

The brands from last year that failed to make it to the Top 50 are BPL, Close Up, Fevicol, Ford, 'Hindustan Times', Philips, Wills and Wipro. Replacing them are Aditya Birla Group, Johnson & Johnson, SET (Sony Entertainment Television), Chevrolet, Citibank, Parachute, Motorola and Yamaha.

After Motorola, the most impressive entrant in the Top 50 is Aditya Birla Group at No. 15, thanks in no small measure to its dramatic special effects based corporate TVC, which touts its international credentials. It has clearly impressed the respondents.

The largest number of brands appears under Automotive and Corporate. Maruti Suzuki leads the first pack at No. 9, the second place being taken up by Hero Honda at No. 23 (up from No. 27 last year). Most of the rest are clustered in the 20s and 30s, the bottom place being taken by TVS (No. 45).

Among the corporate names, Reliance is chased by Tata, up two ranks to No. 12 with Aditya Birla Group trailing three places behind. The surprise is that Godrej (article continued below the table)

ranked at No. 50 last year, made the list. Its rank is fractionally better at No. 49, though there is some consolation in that the voter percentage has improved from 0.4 per cent to 1.4 per cent.

Which are the brands from last year that have done the best in 2007 when it comes to ranking? At the top is McDonald's, which has leapfrogged from No. 29 to No. 13 this year (voter percentage up from 4.9 to 11.2 per cent). HDFC has moved up from No. 34 to No. 22; Levi's (Fashion & Lifestyle) and Mahindra (Corporate) are each up 11 positions to No. 16 and No. 34; and Honda has climbed the ladder, too, from No. 42 to No. 32.

The brand to have fallen the most is Lux, from No. 23 to No. 46, but perhaps the high last year was unnatural and thanks to the drama around it induced just before the vote by Shah Rukh Khan immersing himself in rose petal strewn water and discussing his beauty secrets on TV. LG's fall from grace, from No. 8 to No. 30 is surprising: It may be gaining market share, but clearly does not have a fun image, think respondents. Surf is down from No. 15 to No. 26, while rivals Amul and Nestle decline by eight ranks each to No. 17 and 26, respectively.

2007 agencyfaqs!