Brand image, trust key in India

02 November 2012

NEW DELHI: Brand image and trustworthiness are the most important characteristics for goods and services among Indian consumers, a survey has discovered.

JWT, the agency, and Mavenmagnet, the insights firm, drew on data from 5,000 people aged 25–35 years old, and found brand image was vital for 28% of the panel, ahead of trust on 23%.

Elsewhere, a 9% share of those polled were interested in products boasting the potential to "go global", an attitude applying both to indigenous and overseas brands.

An additional 8% cited the perceived "pedigree" of these offerings, with the chance to project wealth on 6% and the "cutting-edge" character of brands on 5%, matched by whether items were rare or unique.

Community contributions posted the same total, with a brand's heritage and specialist status both on 3%. A restricted supply logged 2%, as did an association with letting buyers assert themselves in some way.

More broadly, the research identified three spaces that brands can occupy, the first of which was called the "Belonging World", promoting closeness to friends and family, a key trend in the country.

Cadbury, the confectionery manufacturer, and Airtel, the mobile telecoms provider, were two of the companies argued to form part of this group at present.

Secondly, JWT pointed to the "Pedigree World", where shoppers purchase items that are well made and held in high regard. Nike, the sports giant and L'Oréal, the cosmetics expert, were in this segment.

The third such category was the "Leap World", quantified in terms of helping consumers feel good and take more chances, a position embodied by Rin, the laundry detergent.

Bindu Sethi, national planning director at JWT, also suggested that brands needed to focus on creating a "quality world" approximating the ideals established by members of their target audience.

"When our lives are close to the quality world we keep doing the same things. Where an experience or product is far from this notion, we feel the desire to move away from that," she told the Economic Times.

Overall, some 29% of people thought "personal growth" rested on advancing their career, while 20% hoped to travel widely. Only 5% mentioned happiness, and 3% cited achieving independence.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff