Axiata Group emerges as the Top 10 Most Loved Brand in Asia Pacific

    Learn more about what it takes to become a well loved brand

    The challenge

    Prior to the pandemic, consumer journeys can be predicted rather easily. The 9 to 5 commutes during the day and engage in social media consumption during the evening. When COVID-19 struck, businesses were unprepared for the overnight turnaround changes that took place, as there were lags in figuring out the relevant strategies to cater to consumers’ psychological and attitudinal change. This led to gaps in the market where consumers felt that they were being let down by brands they believe in. As supported by the Edelmen Trust Barometer in 2020, trust levels towards corporations dropped significantly when compared to previous years.

    Responding to this change, the Axiata Group conglomerate took a step back to reassess and reset priorities to connect and foster a more authentic connection with consumers beyond transactional means. As a result, Axiata emerged as the Top 10 Most Loved Brand in Asia by Talkwalker, ranking in the same group as the likes of Mercedes, Spotify, Netflix, and many more.

    The strategy

    With a 25% increase of social media usage during lockdowns across all of Axiata’s markets, it was a signal for the Group to leverage its readily-available digital presence. By utilizing tools for social listening, Axiata Group managed to capture real-time conversations and curate strategies based on these 3 principles:

    • Listen: Listen and empathize with the consumers. Truly putting the brand in the consumer's shoes and trying to understand how they view the world around them.
    • Staying Present: Being proactive in picking up trending topics on the go and curating novel content strategies to focus on important topics in the “now”.
    • Be Relevant: Communication messages need to be personally relevant, aligned to the consumer’s current situation and values as opposed to the general adage of demographic targeting based on gender and age.

    These 3 principles were the guided mantras for all communication initiatives that took place during the pandemic.

    The execution

    With these principles in place, Axiata Group ensured that on an executional level, they were adopted thoroughly and practiced across regions. Brand love reinforcement strategies include:

    1. Capture the heart share of consumers

    By comprehending local context accordingly, Axiata Group showcased the human side of the brand via these measures:


    • Offering free data to help consumers that were struggling with spending during lockdowns.
    • COVID-19 assistance program – deployment of RM150 million in assistance to micro-SMEs during the extended period of lockdowns via Axiata Digital Bank & Aspirasi.

    Sri Lanka

    • Uplifting nation’s cultural heritage via a digital platform for communities to interact with one another on special occasions such as Vesak Day.
    • Propelling the health sector by building more ICU beds to meet the demands of healthcare at the height of the pandemic.

    Understand what the Talkwalker Brand Love Index is all about!

    2. Showcasing brand purpose with meaningful messages

    Bespoke messaging and content customisation tailored to local context sparked meaningful conversations amongst Axiata consumers, which in return boosted Axiata’s position as the most loved brand. Social media postings such as Aspirasi Assist, Axiata Arena PPV Centre, and XL Axiata 4.5G (Indonesia) were amongst the most notable mentions across the web.

    3. Rethinking and redefining experience

    The pandemic has reinforced what businesses have already known: staying true to the brand purpose. That means businesses must deliver meaning at each consumer touch point to truly meet consumers’ skyrocketing expectations during the pandemic. Axiata Group took this meaning of the new normal by reframing current initiatives to connect with relevant conversations at a particular point in time.

    The statement, “Advancing Asia through Technology, Innovation, and Creativity”, was expressed meticulously via eCommerce, eLearning, health, and work from home (WFH) initiatives across the board. By embracing current scenarios, it creates a more authentic connection with consumers, delivering feelings of joy and empathy which boosted our brand love.

    For these 3 strategies, what stood out the most was the ability to deliver the impact quickly via the Collective Brain Operating Model. As each market was impacted at a different degree due to the pandemic, they were able to collate a blueprint from each respective market. The centralized blueprint was later shared and adapted to the needs of the local market.

    The results

    Axiata’s success as the Top 10 Most Loved Brand across Asia portrayed the effective utilization of data and how it transformed and created positive domino effects to communities and corporates alike.

    Out of the 1,228 brands that were ranked, Axiata Group secured a distinguished spot amongst the Top 100 Most Loved Brands across the world and Top 10 in Asia Pacific. The cumulative success were the results from measures taken during the pandemic, which in return produced the following notable mentions:

    • 2486 positive social media engagement score (vs 1246 of average scores)
    • Highest "joy-related" mentions
    • Highest mentions across the web
    • 83% positive brand sentiment (vs 47.2% of average sentiment)

    The success of this campaign demonstrates the value of ADA’s data-first approach to deliver impactful business value for clients.

    Becoming a loved brand

    Axiata has displayed what it means to build a customer-centric brand that prioritizes a genuine relationship with their audience. By doing so, it is able to build a loyal customer base who will stick with the brand for the long run.

    At the heart of Axiata’s consumer close strategy is a strong understanding of their consumers, powered by real-time consumer insights. With Talkwalker’s Consumer Intelligence Acceleration Platform™, brands are able to analyze consumer data across multiple platforms to obtain a deep understanding on how to best forge a strong relationship with them, and become a brand they love.

    Find out how to become a loved brand