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Surewaves Buzziest Brands 2014: The Top 10 Brands

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Marketing | March 03, 2014
Each year brings big surprises in the brands that make up India's Buzziest bunch. This year, the changes have been especially dramatic.

The ninth edition of Surewaves Buzziest Brands has been the biggest one yet. There have been dramatic shifts in the Power Buzzy line up, and a change in methodology has allowed the participation of all brands.

Surewaves Buzziest Brands 2014

The Honours Board

Team Samsung with the Buzzies Gold

Team Micromax with Buzzies Silver

Team Google with the Buzzies Bronze

Team Apple

Tanishq with the award

Samsung, which creditably beat back a challenge from former No. 1 Facebook in 2013, had the satisfaction of seeing the social networking brand decline to No. 13 this year - it scored relatively poorly with visitors and none of the jurors opted for it either. In its place, Samsung had upstart and rival Micromax snapping at its heels this year.

iPhone, which has been gaining ground in India, curiously drops from No. 6 to way down the list - and surprisingly, in its place its corporate parent, Apple, barges in at No. 4. Tanishq is the other big winner in the Buzzies of 2014, on the back of a conversation-provoking commercial, a widened product range and the favour of the jury. Micromax was the other brand the jurors just loved.

Like last year, mobile handsets and telecom service brands are all the rage this time too: five of the top 10 Buzzies belong to one or the other. As for how the rest did, read on.

Surewaves Buzziest Brands 2014 was sponsored by Surewaves, Micromax, Grihshobha, Fox Traveller and PayTM.

TOP 10 BUZZY BRANDS

BUZZY GOLD | SAMSUNG

Samsung

The brand at the top of the Buzzy heap entered India in 1995, launching what it called 'World's Best TV' and taunted its rivals in its launch TV commercial. Samsung soon introduced its entire range of products, including refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners.

This 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 unimpressively, appearing in the bottom half of the list, and reached its low point in 2008 when it dropped to No. 49.

It began to enter the top dozen Buzzy names only after its mobile handset foray began to gain ground. By 2012, it had hit the No. 5 spot and last year, for the first time, it got the Buzzy Gold, beating a challenge from Facebook.

Though Samsung has an enormous suite of consumer products, the buzz comes most from its hot-selling range of mobile phones. Only one juror voted for the brand but it was so far ahead of the others on popular vote that Samsung sailed through comfortably to No. 1.

BUZZY SILVER | MICROMAX

Micromax

This is an upstart to beat all upstarts, an Indian brand that has yet to celebrate its sixth birthday. When it was born in 2008, the mobile 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. Ever since it entered the Buzzies in 2011, it has been a big performer. This year's performance is the best ever for the brand.

BUZZY BRONZE | GOOGLE

Google

Google has become a permanent and prominent fixture in the Buzzies list ever since it got into the list in 2008 after a change in methodology. It has almost always been in the top six except for 2010 when it dropped to No 12. Google has become so much a part of our lives that it is a wonder that voters still find it Buzzy. It's probably the relentless innovation associated with the brand that keeps the excitement going.

Google is just fractionally behind Micromax on the popular vote but the handset brand widens the gap because three jurors voted for it as opposed to two for the search engine.

4 | APPLE

apple

At No. 4 is an international brand which is a marvel and a mystery. Till a couple of years ago, it had virtually no presence in India. It was a marginal player in computers - and the gadgets never carried the company's name. They were called Macs.

When it finally got around to targeting India with its mobile phone, the gadget was known as the iPhone. Again, the company's name appeared only as a half-bitten fruit. And yet, such is the power of the unstated brand that Apple makes it to No. 4 in this year's list of Buzzies.

Team Airtel

Vodafone receiving the Buzzies

Team Coke

Flipkart's creative agency receiving the award on its behalf

5 | TANISHQ

Tanishq

Adversity is opportunity. Nothing illustrates this better than brand No. 5 on the Buzzies list. This is another home-grown brand that will turn 20 this year. It was born out of India's foreign exchange crisis of 1991.

Titan, the watch business of the Tatas, had a problem with importing components because of currency regulations. The company needed exports. The answer lay in launching Tanishq, a range of jewellery and jewellery watches for the Western markets. After some difficult years, the name has now become - to use an irresistible pun - the gold standard for jewellery in India. It is expanding its reach down to the working woman.

It's been in the news because of a recent socially progressive TV commercial which became all the talk online. The jurors were more impressed than the voters - as many as three voted for the brand.

6 | AIRTEL

airtel

At No. 6 is a brand, a home-grown one at that, which has come to define buzz over the years. It was India's Buzziest brand from 2006 to 2009, four years in a row, before it dropped sharply in 2010. It was back to head the list in 2012 before dropping to No. 3 last year and is now at No. 6. Among a list of heavyweight international brands, it is a credit to Indian enterprise, technology - and marketing.

Unlike last year when four jurors supported it, this year only one did. That is why, although it is voted to No. 5 by the voters, it takes a drop after the jury opinion is taken into account.

7 | VODAFONE

Vodafone

Another telecom brand at No. 7. In its old avatar, as Hutch, it was among the top 3 brands at the Buzzies. And even when it took on a new name over half a dozen years ago, its distinctive advertising has kept it consistently among the 10 most Buzzy brands.

This is the best rank Vodafone has secured in the last four years.

8 | COCA-COLA

Coke

Buzz comes and goes around brands from one year to the next. But at No. 8 is a brand, the product of which has been virtually unchanged for over a century. And yet, it has managed to get into the Buzzies every single year. It is a brand that has seen revolutions and earthquakes and tsunamis over 128 years and is still up there among the best. The brand to beat? Coca-Cola!

Like Vodafone, the Buzzies have never been kinder to Coca-Cola, giving it the best rank yet at No. 8.

9 | IDEA

idea

The Top 10 list is dominated by mobile telephony in some form and this carries on all the way to No. 9. Here we have a brand whose advertising has become part of the modern lexicon with its unforgettable punch line, 'What an idea Sirji'.

Idea used to be in the Top 10 between 2008-11 before slipping into double digits in the last two years. This has been a comeback year, thanks to two jurors: on the popular vote it is at No. 15.

10 | FLIPKART

Flipkart

Today, it is hard to imagine that just five years ago, we had barely even heard of this brand. Today, it is a name most of us have done business with - the giant of e-commerce, Flipkart.

Flipkart entered the Buzzies at No. 3 two years ago to get the Buzzy silver. It slipped to No. 5 last year and is down to No. 10 in 2014. Is the buzz waning?

Actually, on the popular vote, it figures at No. 6, just one rank lower than last time. Last year, two jurors backed it, moving it one rank up. This year, none of them have, sending it down by four ranks to No. 10.

The Jury_small

How the poll was done

We would like to thank our title sponsor Surewaves

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