The Tata brand has slipped three places to the seventh spot in the India’s Most Attractive Brand 2016 list by TRA Research, a brands insights company, formerly Trust Research Advisory today. This is the third in the series and is based on the proprietary 36 traits of attractiveness matrix.
However, the rankings were done before 24 October and do not take into account sacking of Cyrus Mistry and the war of words that broke out later on between the ousted chairman and the incumbent chairman Ratan Tata and Tata Sons board.
Tata, the wholly indigenous conglomerate which has stakes in a multitude of industries in the country and a global presence, has consistently been in the top five rankings of TRA. It was at 5th spot in 2013 and 4th in 2015, but has dipped to 7th owing to a number of reasons.
Some of the blame for this can be put at ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry’s door. The brand went through a shake-up with the departure of then chairman Ratan Tata (now incumbent chairman). “However, Mistry’s silence – can you recall any interview of his – was one of the factors for this drop,” says N Chandramouli, CEO of TRA.
“Communication is the principal rule of leadership. Mistry wasn’t perceived as a bad person or bad leader. But his silence as head of a $100 billion group was strange, to say the least,” says Chandramouli.
Another reason that resulted in the fall in the rankings was the Nano fiasco. There was a gap in the promise of the Rs 1 lakh car which was not available at the price after the company sold one lakh cars at that price.
“The gap in what was announced and the price at which it was actually being sold eroded consumer trust. The incidents of the car catching fire eroded that trust even further,” says Chandramouli.
"Another reason for the drop, he says, was the suicide of Charudatt Deshpande, head of corporate communication at Tata Steel. In this case, there was no convincing response from the group, As head of a 148-year-old company that talks of corporate governance, Mistry did not react to it beyond a note that was made public,” says Chandramouli.
The recent goings-on with the boardroom battle at Tata Sons that has spilled to the front page of newspapers and has occupied top space in the digital media will further damage the ranking of the group, says Chandramouli.
The ranking is done on 61 parameters of trust and includes 425 questions. All those brands which are desired by the audience (consumers) and have brand recall are chosen for the report.
TRA Research is an actionable brand insights company that analyzes stakeholder buying propensity, which is made of its proprietary matrices of brand trust and brand attractiveness. The company conducts primary research with consumers and other stakeholders to assist business decisions and give brands insights on solutions to consumer behavior.
Reports are mined from its 11 million data points on brand intangibles of 20,000 brands. It publishes the Brand Trust Report as well as India’s Most Attractive Brands.
The leader among the top five Most Attractive Brands 2016 is LG -- the South Korea-based consumer electronics giant which has moved up from second place. “LG’s progress is admirable, having dethroned the two-time reigning personal gadgetry brand Samsung Mobiles,” says Chandramouli.
Brand attractiveness is defined in the research as an invisible, overwhelming pull that subtly but irresistibly draws audiences towards itself.
Sony ranks second followed by Samsung in the mobiles category which ranks 3rd this year. The ranking research was done before the Samsung Notebook fiasco. Honda makes an entry at the fourth position and is also leading in the automobile category.
Samsung, in the durable category leaped from 87 rank to 5th rank this time around. Bajaj is the only Indian brand in the top five in this category.
This year’s research was conducted among 2,338 consumer influences across 16 cities and generated nearly 5 million data points and 10,000 brands.