Amazon, Asian Paints and Tata Tea emerged as India’s most purposeful brands in the technology, non-FMCG and FMCG categories, respectively, in the 2021 edition of Kantar’s annual BrandZ India report.

The report — based on an analysis of 418 brands across 30 categories — found that perceptions of a brand’s purpose and its ability to ‘make people’s lives better’, is crucial to establishing a brand’s Meaningful quotient and, in turn, helping the brands grow.

Everyday solutions

The technology rankings for the “Most Purposeful Brands” had Amazon at the top followed by Zomato and YouTube. Google and Swiggy were jointly ranked at the fourth spot, followed by Flipkart in the fifth position.

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The report by the insights and consulting company pointed out that tech brands gained in saliency by offering “everyday convenience”, scaling up their services and products while foraying in newer categories during the pandemic to meet evolving consumer needs for at-home and delivery solutions.

Differentiate associations

While Asian Paints topped the non-FMCG rankings, Samsung and Jio ranked jointly in the second position, followed by MRF, Tata Housing and Airtel.

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“Non-FMCG brands are now adopting marketing strategies that promote the brand in ways that look beyond the function of the product or service. The key is to do more than just meet immediate needs, adding new and potentially differentiating associations,” the study added.

Social causes

The FMCG category rankings saw Tata Tea top the chart, followed by Surf Excel and Taj Mahal. Parachute and Maggi were both ranked at the fourth position followed by Britannia.

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The study stated that FMCG brands that scored high showcased that purpose and profit can go hand-in-hand by focusing on reduction of their environmental impact and promoting social causes.

‘Real meaning’

Deepender Rana, Executive Managing Director – South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar, said that “purpose” as a contributor to brand equity was found to be “ten times” more important in India in comparison to other markets.

“One of the key reasons for the rankings to focus on brand purpose this year was due to changes in consumer expectations from brands. The past two years have been a period of turmoil. So consumers’ expectations from brands was also to step up, not just in terms of delivering products and services, but also in terms of adding real meaning to their lives. During the pandemic, Indian consumers also gravitated towards trusted brands,” he added.

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Rana said the study showed that a larger societal purpose is even more critical to success for brands in India. “Of course, it is not about jumping on the bandwagon of the latest fashionable cause. Instead, real purpose flows from, and builds on, a brand’s existing core values and DNA. This reinforces the need to understand and measure if a brand’s Purpose is perceived as adding real meaning to consumers lives,” he added.


Soumya Mohanty, Managing Director- Client and Quantitative, Insights Division, Kantar said, “Purpose can work as a strategy for brands when it’s based on the right consumer insights and executed effectively. The BrandZ evidence shows, in fact, that brands that score highly among consumers on this kind of authentic brand Purpose are likely to grow twice as fast as ordinary brands.”