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.
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
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
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 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
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.
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
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
This is the best rank Vodafone has secured in the last four years.
8 | 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 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 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.
We would like to thank our title sponsor Surewaves