NEW DELHI: Colgate, Britannia and Nokia are the three brands most trusted by Indian consumers, according to a survey.

The Economic Times, the newspaper, and Nielsen, the insights provider, polled 8,160 adults in 12 cities, and found that Colgate, the oral care company, had retained the top spot it occupied last year.

Having traded for over 75 years in India, the brand is benefitting from a broad portfolio which serves various demographics, Prabha Parameswaran, the local managing director of Colgate-Palmolve, said.

"Whether it's launching products at the lowest possible price point to overcome the entry barrier or driving growth in the premium category through relevant product innovation, we have been addressing consumers at both ends of the spectrum and all points in between," she suggested.

Britannia, the 120 year old food group, claimed second place in the rankings, and has recently enhanced its existing stable of biscuits, bread and cakes with its healthier "NutriChoice" range.

"Across the entire portfolio, taste is very important," said Neeraj Chandra, chief operating officer of Britannia Industries. "We give the best quality product which addresses your most pressing need."

Nokia, the telecoms firm, held first position in the charts from 2008 to 2010, but fell to fifth in 2011. It jumped to third in 2012, however, as new devices built on an established relationship with shoppers.

"At a very basic level the definition of trust is you will not hurt me when I'm vulnerable," said D Shivakumar, Nokia's senior vice president for India, the Middle East and Africa. "Nokia has always been a great friend of the Indian consumer."

Clinic Plus, Hindustan Unilever's haircare offering, was in fourth overall. Dettol, Reckitt Benckiser's hygiene brand, came next, ahead of Tata Salt. Parle, the biscuit and confectionery group, was seventh.

Making up the top ten were Maaza, the fruit juice made by Coca-Cola, in front of Maggi, Nestlé's market-leading noodles, and Lifebuoy, the soap manufactured by Hindustan Unilever.

Sudhir Sitapati, general manager and category head of skin cleansing at Hindustan Unilever, reported that Lifebuoy had enjoyed particular success after implementing a major repositioning effort.

"In the late-90s and early-2000s, the brand was in a freefall in terms of volumes and share. It was loved and trusted but was declining because of the ... very masculine sporty kind of health it represented," he said. "Men used to be decision makers; women had become the decision makers."

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff