HDFC Bank leads the list with a value of $9.4 billion, while Airtel has been valued at $ 8.2 billion and SBI at $6.8 billion. The complete value of the top 50 valuable Indian brands reached almost $70 billion, according to the study.
BrandZ, a WPP property, takes into account only business-to-consumer brands of the listed companies and has interviewed 25,000 consumers in India about 500 brands and 37 categories. The survey also included only those companies which have reported positive earnings. In the case of banks, at least 25 per cent of revenue has to come from retail business.
The average 'brand contribution' (a measure of the impact brand alone has on value) of the top five brands is far higher than the overall average of the top 50, illustrating the positive impact that building a strong brand has on the financial valuation of the brand. These brands create powerful connections by being meaningful to consumers, and differentiating themselves from others. The survey revealed that the top five brands account for 45 per cent of the total value of the top 50 or about $31 billion.
"India is an under-branded, under-advertised market. But I expect Indian brands and advertisement to do well next year with the economy picking up pace," said Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP group. The survey has been carried out by marketing and brand consultancy, Millward Brown in association with WPP. "Most of the other brand studies lack vigour and credibility as compared to BrandZ survey," Sorrell said, taking a swipe at rival rankings.
The survey revealed that services businesses like banking, telecom and insurance, which are the nerve centre of today's Indian economy, are prominent in the ranking. Seven of the top 10 brands, and 30 per cent of the top 50 brands came from the services sector.
One of India's well-known brand "Tata" was, however, missing in the list as the holding company Tata Sons is not listed, though Tata Motors made it to the list.
Interestingly, younger brands (post liberalisation) tend to be banks and telecoms that rapidly achieved scale and enjoy high market value. Older brands are often well known, FMCG brands.
In a note, Brandz said digital advertising investment was expected to grow by 35 per cent in 2014, following a 30 per cent increase a year earlier. This growth would give digital just under 8 per cent of total media spending. Digital is already is the third highest media sector investment, less than TV and print but higher than out of home, radio and cinema advertising.
The study said print was expected to claim a strong 38 per cent of the total media spend in 2014, down from 53 per cent in 2005. Total media spending is expected to touch Rs 43,060 crore in 2014, up from Rs 38,600 crore in 2013 and from only Rs 15,633 crore in 2005.
The survey also says that many successful international brands in the ranking have taken time to understand Indian needs and tastes and adapt to them. For example, Maggi, Colgate and Horlicks.