In an extensive & #BANNER1 & # consumer study executed by The Nielsen Company, 10,000 respondents were surveyed across 34 Indian cities, spanning more than 42 product and service categories. The objective of the survey was to provide marketers with a better understanding of the overall change in the behavioural and spending patterns of Indian consumers. The winning brands were awarded at the CNBC Awaaz Consumer Awards 2007 felicitation ceremony.
The research covered all strata of society and voiced their opinion about their most preferred brands. The 34 widespread locations adequately represent the heterogeneous nature of India in terms of geography - including various zones and population sizes - including metros, mini-metros and Class I towns. Apart from the metros, the survey laid emphasis on smaller cities such as Bhopal, Vadodara, Patna, Bhubaneswar and Nagpur. Research shows that smaller towns prefer value for money as compared to metros, which prefer quality of service.
These changes in the Indian consumer market are likely to create major opportunities and challenges for Indian and multinational businesses alike. With consumerism emerging as the new age mantra, many of these marketers are trying to grab the attention of smaller cities with special offerings.
The awards were split up under seven categories, including Consumer Durables, Telecom, FMCG, Financial Services, Travel and Hospitality, Retail, and Automobiles. These seven categories were further divided into various sub-categories.
In the Consumer Durables category, LG was the top scoring brand for television sets, washing machines, air-conditioners and personal computers. Godrej is the number one refrigerator brand, Sony is the best brand for music systems with CD players, and Titan is the best among watches.
In the Telecom category, BSNL is the best broadband and land-line service provider, Nokia emerged as the top handset provider, and Airtel is the top mobile phone service provider.
The FMCG category has Colgate as the best toothpaste, Lux as the best toilet soap, Rin as the best detergent, Tata Tea as the best tea, Nescafe as the best coffee, Pepsi as the best soft drink, Clinic as the best shampoo, Annapurna as the best branded atta and Ponds as the best cosmetic.
The best brands in the Financial Services category include SBI for best bank and housing loans, SBI Mutual Fund for mutual funds, LIC for life insurance policies, National Insurance for non-life insurance policies, ICICI Bank for credit cards and auto loans, and ICICI Direct for best financial advisory services.
The Travel and Hospitality category has Goa as the best domestic holiday destination, Singapore as the best international holiday destination, Indian Airlines as the best domestic airlines, Air India as the best international airlines and the Taj Mahal Hotel as the best among four- and five-star hotels.
The Retail category has Big Bazaar as the best large food and grocery supermarket, Raymond's as the best branded readymade garment store, McDonalds as the best fast food outlet, and Café Coffee Day as the best café.
The Automobiles category has the Maruti 800 as the best car, Hero Honda as the best two-wheeler and Hindustan Petroleum Power as the best premium automotive fuel.
Commenting on the CNBC Awaaz Consumer Awards, B Saikumar, COO, TV18 Group, says, "Around 54 per cent of India's total population is below 25 years. These young people have high aspirations, increasing buying power and an insatiable demand for branded products. There is, however, very little known about their preferences. CNBC Awaaz Consumer Vote and Awards, in its third year, has worked towards understanding these preferences of young India."
Sarang Panchal, executive director, customised research services, ACNielsen, says, "The consumer today is very active in seeking information. All he wants is value for whatever he buys. Due to this factor and in contrast to what used to happen earlier, companies these days are more consumer oriented and are looking to cater to their needs, be it financial services, consumer durables or fast moving goods. Brands that have catered best to consumers' needs will emerge victorious."