How much does India trust brand Gandhi? The Mahatma, that is, not the political dynasty which shares his surname? Not as much as it trusts its favourite mobile telephone, television, washing machine, jeans, cricketer or even sun glasses, it turns out.
In what is touted as India's largest brand trust survey, the apostle of truth and non- violence clocked in at the 252nd position, 200 places behind cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, who ranked 52nd. He even lagged ten places behind actor Aamir Khan, who was ranked 242.
The revelations were a result of a study, published by the Trust Research Advisory (TRA), a research organisation dedicated to understanding and simplifying concepts related to the idea of "trust". The study titled 'The Brand Trust Report, India Study, 2011' was released last week. The survey is based on responses collected from 2,310 participants spread across nine major metro and mini metro cities in India. "The results are based on the level of trust every individual has in all these brands," said TRA's chief executive officer (CEO) N. Chandramouli.
What Indians trust most, it appears, are brands that they either use extensively or those which are familiar. And consumerism rules. So, mobile handset maker Nokia emerges as India's most trusted brand in this survey, hardly surprising in a nation of half a billion mobile subscribers, with at least one handset per adult on the average.
The Finnish phonemaker is followed by Tata, easily one of the most visible marques on Indian roads. Consumer electronics giant Sony is third followed by the Korean twins Samsung and LG. Telecom players Airtel and the ubiquitous Reliance also figure in the top 10 brands, all-India.
The only 'public sector' brand in the top 10 is insurance behemoth LIC of India, which came in at number seven. LIC appears to be trusted more in the East and West zones. It was ranked fifth in the Eastern part of the country and seventh in the West, slipping to the thirteenth place in the North zone.
It failed to figure among the top 15 brands in the South. India's largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), figures just outside the top 10, at 11, all- India.
So what exactly is a brand's 'trust' quotient? According to Chandramouli, as many as 61 individual components had been identified by TRA. These 61 primary components of 'trust' were then grouped into ten composite descriptors like competence, sincerity, respect, empathy, enthusiasm and responsibility.
Respondents were asked to name brands and rank them according to these attributes. Since prompts were not used, this threw up over 16,000 brands among the respondents. "Brand trust can be defined as the 'soul of the primary bond of engagement'. Over time, the more evident connotations of trust like pedigree, size, performance, etc, have changed, and the subtler forces are beginning to exert their influence on brand trust," he says.
Incidentally, TRA has trademarked the term 'Brand Trust'. Adi Godrej, chairman of Godrej Industries (ranked at 22) is quoted in the report as saying, "Trust as a value evolved to being more about empathy which helps the brand deliver powerful and innovative experiences to its consumers, and thus, going beyond insights and products alone. Beyond legal rights, Godrej believes that the copyright of its brand is held by the millions of consumers, partners and employees in its ecosystem and is activated every time someone somewhere chooses Godrej."
Courtesy: Mail Today