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Surewaves Buzziest Brands 2014: Samsung wins for the second time in a row

By Devesh Gupta and Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Marketing | February 27, 2014
The Korean electronics brand continues its winning run for the second year as it retains the Buzzies gold.

It has been nine years since afaqs! started the Buzziest Brands of the Year and never before has it been so big. In a major event held at the Capital on February 26, afaqs! honoured the Top 10 Buzziest brands of the Year. The event, Surewaves Buzziest Brands, was powered by Micromax and organised by afaqs!.

Samsung receiving the Buzzies Gold

Micromax with the Buzzies Silver

Google receiving the Buzzies Bronze

Ever since the launch of the Buzzies, the top spot was hogged by just two brands. Airtel sat there from 2006-2009 and then again in 2012, making it the topper a total of five times. The other two years, 2010 and 2011, were taken by Facebook. What makes this year different, then, is the appearance of a new brand that managed to retain its position at the peak - Samsung. The buzz around the brand has been primarily around its mobile devices.

Giving his keynote address at the event, Sreekant Khandekar, director, afaqs!, said that there have always been a few changes in the Top 10 list and all these changes were backed by sound reasons. Listing the reasons, he said that product innovation, change in category, and interest in the category were some of the major factors that influenced it.

Citing some examples, he said that since nine years and the nine editions of Buzziest Brands, 131 brands have appeared in the Top 10 list, but only 15 brands have featured repeatedly across these nine editions. "The list was dominated by financial brands in 2006 but since the financial crash of 2008, they have stopped appearing on the Top 10 list. Last year, categories like mobile handsets, telecom and e-commerce dominated the Top 10 list," he said.

In 2013, the top three spots were occupied by Samsung, Facebook and Airtel, respectively.

A look at the Surewaves Buzziest Brands Top Three list this year:

1. Samsung

The Korean brand continued its winning run for the second year as it retained the gold.

The brand entered India in 1995, launching what it called 'World's Best TV', and taunted its rivals in its launch TV commercial. It soon introduced its entire range of products, including refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and so on.

Samsung is one of those rare brands which have been in the Buzzies List for each of the nine years. For the first four years, however, it performed indifferently, appearing in the bottom half of the list. It began to enter the top dozen Buzzy names only after its mobile handset foray began to gain ground. By 2012, it had reached the No. 5 spot and last year, for the first time, it got the Buzzy gold, by beating a challenge from Facebook.

Though it has an enormous suite of consumer products, the buzz comes most from its hot-selling range of mobile phones which outsell the others by a mile.

2. Micromax

The mobile handset maker has made a mark for itself in the Indian arena. It ranked at No. 2 in the list of the Buzziest Brands 2014 and bagged the Buzzy silver for its effort to create buzz like none other.

An upstart to beat all upstarts, the Indian brand is yet to celebrate its sixth birthday. When it was born in 2008, the mobile handset market was in the stranglehold of international brands. So, it created products which met specific Indian needs.

For example, in a country with chronic power cuts, it launched a handset with a battery that would last for weeks. Then again, it introduced phones with dual SIMs, an innovation that would soon become a standard.

It's come a long way since then, barging into the big league as a major player among premium phones, leading Forbes India to recently ask, "Can Micromax become India's leading smartphone maker?"

Micromax has performed exceptionally in the Buzzies ever since it was first included in 2011.

3. Google

The brand that does not need an introduction and is on everyone's mind - or let's say on their fingertips. The Buzzy bronze winner for the Buzziest Brand 2014 is Google.

Google is the brand that has given birth to a verb, and a utility that we just can't do without. It has become so ubiquitous that it is hard to imagine what life was like before Google came along. Maybe it's time to divide history into BG and AG - Before Google and After Google!

We would like to thank our title sponsor Surewaves

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