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India’s Most Loved Brands & how they got it right

India’s Most Loved Brands & how they got it right

These are some strange times we live in. Navigating a global crisis as well as your consumers’ feelings is rather tricky - but that’s where brand love comes in. If you give consumers what they want or address issues relevant to them, it goes a long way in building brand advocacy and loyalty, and of course weather the storm that is COVID-19. Take a look at 50 of the most loved brands in the world.

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What makes a loved brand?

Is there some magic formula? Is there a shortcut? Or is there a secret that only a few community managers or digital mavericks know of? The answer is none of the above.

It’s more a matter of getting the basics right - and most importantly, any company can do it, regardless of their budget.

How, you ask? The answer is in our report. If you haven’t read it already, with the help of our social listening platform, we took a look at and analyzed over 700 brands across 28 different countries around the world in order to understand what makes the most loved brands so loved. We mainly looked at data pre-corona to look at how brands were performing right before we began to live in these extremely unusual circumstances.

We narrowed down the list to 50 most loved brands and took a closer look at them. A combination of factors go into making a loved brand - here are some key insights:

-Engagement is great, but the more the engagement with your brand, the higher the negative sentiment. So take all of those numbers with a small pinch of salt. Sentiment> Engagement.

-Virality goes the same way as engagement. It’s amazing, and some of these experiments are a huge success, but they are once in a blue moon. Virality comes with its share of critics.

-CSR is what a company does for their community or to empower the ecosystem they thrive in. It goes a long way to determine their brand value.

-Employee engagement - Do your employees like working for you? Are they your biggest advocates? This is an extremely important factor in determining brand love.

So while vanity metrics do make things seem larger than life, it is indeed important to ensure that customers like what you have to offer. At the same time, you can’t please everyone. So what do you do? I’ve dug deeper into 10 of the most loved brands in India in order to see what they’ve done right, so you can follow their examples. Here’s a look at them.

India’s Brand Love Story

  • Four Seasons

Who doesn’t know this brand? The Four Seasons brings to mind lazy summer vacations, floating in the turquoise waters of a sparkly clean swimming pool, indulgent food, and a top of the line spa service. Though they have only 2 hotels in India, they are among the most loved brands with a net sentiment of a whopping 96.6% and an engagement of 24.3k over the last thirteen months. So this means that even though corona has hit the hospitality industry quite hard, the Four Seasons has managed to have a very high net sentiment over time.

Four Seasons crafts their social strategy to reflect the experience that they create with their service and offering. Pictures like the one above from Shenaz Treasurywalla spells indulgence and who doesn’t want some of that?

  • Cadbury

For as long as I can remember Cadbury has signaled happiness - I have a distinct memory of eating several Eclairs per day and a couple of Dairy Milk per week during my summer holidays, so it’s no surprise that Cadbury made it to the list. With 38% positive mentions on the list and 2.5million engagement over the last thirteen months, Cadbury quite literally takes the cake.

Look at their emoji cloud. Ittells us heaps about how people feel about Cadbury - pure joy.

Of particular note is their ad campaign last year where they used India’s multiple languages to drive home a message of togetherness.

  • Ponds

Ponds is one of India’s legacy brands and has managed to stay in the limelight throughout the lockdown, mainly because self care and fitness have been recurring popular themes during the lockdown. Ponds has been one of the earliest adopters of influencer marketing in India and that’s what really helps Ponds with their presence.

Their Instagram account is testament to that. Gone are the days where they only feature celebrities, their posts during lockdown are from a myriad of influencers - from those with verified accounts and large followings, to nano influencers with just over 1k followers.

The first post is from a nano influencer and the second from a micro-influencer.The bottom line is, this makes Ponds relatable and that's what works to their advantage.

  • Intercontinental Hotels Group

There is something about hospitality and India - three of India’s most popular brands on social are hotel groups! Intercontinental makes it to the list because of their stellar numbers over the last few months. They have an overall net sentiment of 91.2% which speaks for itself.

The Intercontinental group has recently been making waves in India because they announced their plans to diversify their luxury hotels in India, and they have frequent mentions in the news. Looking at the word cloud associated with them, luxury and growth seem to have made the mark.

  • Boston Consulting Group

BCG has also made it to this list of popular brands in India, though it’s not a mainstream B2C brand. The main reason for this is that BCG has been providing insights to the Indian government with regard to the COVID situation in the country, and crunching numbers in order for decision makers to gain a better perspective and to take a call on various matters.

Another strategy that’s worked for BCG- not only limited to India - is their BCGlife Instagram account where they give us a closer look at the lives of “BCGers” globally. This reduces the distance between the brand and the audience which helps us relate better to the brand as a whole.

  • Cognizant

Cognizant, like BCG, has also made it to the list of most loved brands in India and this is not least because of its brand strategy. Cognizant has demonstrated, in recent times, that they really care about their employees and are a trusted employer. They have a net sentiment of almost 80% and an engagement of 159.3k which is indeed huge for a company like theirs.

Cognizant, in a winning move, gave a little over 2/3rd of their employees a raise in their base salary at the beginning of the lockdown period in order to support them during these trying times. No digital strategy or clever communication matches up to the actions of an employer that provides a supportive space for their loyal employees.

  • Taj Hotels

Taj Hotels has always stood for quality and luxury - for as long as I can remember, special occasions were celebrated at the Taj. It’s also a legacy Indian brand that has made it big on the global platform - which is why, it comes as absolutely no surprise that Taj Hotels has made it to the list of most popular brands in India.

Celebration and “good times” are synonymous with the Taj and looking at their emoji cloud, we can see that it’s a mix of both of these things that have led to the Taj being a loved brand.

Post Covid, Taj has also won hearts with its community service by opening up its doors to frontline workers - doctors and nurses, who could stay at these hotels while treating those in need. 5 hotels in Mumbai, one in UP and one in Goa opened their doors to first responders.

  • Voot

Voot is undoubtedly one of the most popular brands in India and has been giving Netflix and Amazon Prime some serious competition over the last few years. With a net sentiment of 69.5% and an engagement of 35.3 million in India, over the last 13 months, Voot is an OTT player not to be taken lightly.

One of the biggest reasons for Voot’s popularity is of course, the hugely popular Big Boss. Almost all of the most prominent hashtags for Voot are related to Big Boss 13.

Voot seems to have discovered its foolproof formula in Big Boss and time and again, the show has helped boost the numbers for Voot. In terms of marketing strategy, Voot played on price - which is always a win in such a competitive market. Voot was available for free for a very long time, which helped boost its membership. Recently, Voot Select was launched - which involved a price - however, this is highly pocket-friendly at INR 499 a year. So along with very good content, Voot played on price, which seems to have worked in their favor.

  • Bajaj Allianz

Bajaj Allianz is one of the largest providers of insurance in India and they’ve always been proactive and particular about their communication. Therefore it comes as no surprise that this company has made it to the list - despite the fact that the finance and insurance industry was very badly hit globally. With a net sentiment of 75.5% and an engagement of 782k, the numbers do seem to be in favor of Allianz.

What’s particularly impactful is their campaign post COVID where they feature Amit Kapoor, a business owner as well as a COVID survivor. They’ve managed to illustrate the importance of insurance with the help of Amit and if nothing else - their campaign is extremely relevant in these troubled times.

  • Instagram

Last, but definitely not least, we have Instagram. Though newer players like TikTok or even Twitter Fleet have been recently making waves, our numbers indicate that Instagram is definitely the reigning queen (at least in 2020).

Instagram’s staggering numbers sure indicate that they are on the right path - with a whopping 5.6M mentions and 74.7M engagement over the last thirteen months, Instagram is indeed in the volume game.

Since the lockdown in India was implemented, here’s a look at the main themes associated with Instagram. Unsurprisingly, Facebook and Twitter feature prominently in discussions about Instagram, as do COVIDand coronavirus.

What are they doing right? It turns out - a lot of things. Instagram has the pioneer’s advantage and that of habit. The first thing people do when they wake up - more often than not, is check Instagram, along with their messages. Moreover, Instagram goes hand in hand with influencer marketing which has only been on the rise over the last few years - let’s just say, Instagram fills a gap in the market and is much more than a loved brand - it’s a very relevant product.


A brand or a product is only as good as the number of takers for it. Winning brand love pays off in the long run in the form of larger customer LTV, brand loyalty and many more. If there's one takeaway from this post about loved brands that I can give, it would be : treat your customers the way you want to be treated. People are looking at authentic, relatable brands that add value today. A celebrity endorsement or two doesn't cut it anymore.

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