Market Xcel’s Brand Xcel 2024 Report unveils India’s iconic brands across various sectors and delves deep into the psyche of the Great Indian Consumer

Market Xcel’s Brand Xcel 2024 Report unveils India’s iconic brands across various sectors and delves deep into the psyche of the Great Indian Consumer

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New Delhi (India), March 4: Market Xcel, a premier market research and insights firm, unveiled the third edition of its annual brand ranking report, in the company of distinguished industry leaders including Sandip Ghose, Managing Director & CEO of Birla Corporation Limited; Vara Prasad, Divisional Manager, Consumer Insights at ITC Limited (Foods Division); and Sandeep Das, Global Foresight Leader at Mars Wrigley. This significant event took place on March 1st during the Brand Xcel Conclave at Crowne Plaza, Gurugram, marking a milestone moment for the branding and marketing community.

Commencing the evening, Sandip Ghose shared, “The world of marketing and consumers is such that everyone is clueless, it’s not easy to decipher what’s cooking in the minds of people. The whole psychological dynamics happening in the nation as a whole can’t be ignored. Some people are getting it right, and others are not. Why? Because they are unable to read the mind of the present generation- not the youth, but all the cohorts- from silent generation to Alpha. The ones missing out on the gist are the people who are applying old lenses to all generations…all consumers; thereby leading to a disconnect in communication.”

Talking about the blend of AI & Storytelling, Sandeep Das shared, “Storytelling is about the past, and AI is about the future, and their confluence is what yields interesting influences. The good news is that AI alone cannot take a storyteller’s job away. Great stories are the ones where tension is good. An AI engine can’t create tension; it needs human assistance. So, AI can’t take storytelling jobs away.”

The business strategist, Lloyd Mathias stated, “Looking at the technological disruptions, the democratisation of the internet and, digital payments, it’s a huge watch-out for brands and marketers. Brand Xcel has meticulously thrown light on digital-first brands vs legacy brands. The former is on top of everything digital. And the digital-related revelations tonight is crucial for approaches to thrive in this digital world.”

Chandan Mukherji, Director & Senior Vice President of Strategy, Marketing & Communication, Nestle India, stated, “New penetrations happen in homes because of young generations. They are more experiential and aspirational than others. And one major driver for all the above is digitization. And this digital shift is also narrowing the generational gap. Global trends like Korean food, K-pop, Korean drama, and Korean beauty have ventured into India with a robust velocity, thanks to the digital lens. This window gives cues to marketers to guess what’s next.”

Speaking about India’s rising affluence, Jayanto Banerjee, Chief Operating Officer, Hakuhodo India, shared,” India is the 7th largest market for luxury globally. Global brands are now reaching out to India, evident from Bollywood celebrities becoming the face of international brands. The modern consumer has grown up with affluence and desire, and what’s selling globally is also now widely foraying into India. India’s luxury space is booming, and it’s particularly fascinating to witness the spread of desi culture abroad.”

Employing a two-pronged approach, the Brand Xcel 2024 Report synthesizes extensive research offering micro as well as macro insights into consumer love for a particular brand, while also gauging new trends. Engaging over 32,000 participants from diverse demographics across ‘3 Indias’—categorized into Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers—the survey spans a wide array of sectors including Food (CPG), Personal Care, social media, Automotive, and new additions like BFSI, Health Hygiene, and Alcobev. Rather than selecting brands for nomination, this extensive study identifies brands that truly resonate with consumers, showcasing the most impactful connections.

One of the largest surveys of its kind, it highlights new perspectives and insights into brand rankings, that can be circled back to consumer behaviour. It examines the elements that have allowed the market to adapt to recent changes and helped brands maintain their connections with consumers. There are also intriguing insights into the evolving consumer profile, which in some ways is changing and in other ways isn’t changing at all.

In category ranking, Food CPG and Personal Care led, while in the top 50 brands’ ranking, the Ecommerce brands- Amazon, and Flipkart, social media and messaging apps like YouTube and WhatsApp and, IT and electronics brands Samsung and Sony were more pronounced in the urban. In rural Top 50 Brands, Personal Care was the leading category with 9 brands including Colgate, Lifebuoy, Godrej and more under its umbrella. Automobiles had a fair play, with Hero, Maruti Suzuki and Honda emerging at the fore in rural.

Adding more to the Top 50 brands’ ranking, brands like Amul, Jio, Colgate, Oppo, Vivo, YouTube, Godrej, Dabur, Nestle, Dettol, LG, and more emerged in both urban and rural though their pecking order is different.

The report also emphasises the enduring popularity of cult brands such as Amul (leading among the top 5 in Food CPG), and LG in the household appliances and kitchenware category across both urban and rural, underscoring the impact of consumer favourites across generations.

A wave of startups, including Blinkit, Zepto, Nykaa, Sugar Cosmetics, Park+, Pilgrim, and others, is transforming urban spaces with innovative solutions and addressing real-world challenges. Additionally, the 2024 Brand Xcel report showcased leading regional brands across India (North, East, West, and North), ranging from food to fashion and more, revealing a consumer shift towards nostalgia and local authenticity, indicating the need for brands to tap into regional tastes to engage consumers effectively.

Ashwani Arora, Executive Director, Market Xcel shared, “The core objective of the Brand Xcel 2024 Report is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the Modern Indian consumer, focusing on the country’s inherent diversity through the lens applied on deciphering the 3 Indias, generational influences, and the confluence of technology, health, and sustainability. India is defined by its heterogeneity, presenting a market that cannot be understood in broad strokes. Each consumer group, influenced by unique dynamics, necessitates a tailored approach from brands. This report guides brands in applying the precise approaches needed to connect deeply with varied consumer bases. By doing so, brands can achieve relevance and resonance, transforming every interaction into a meaningful connection. Our report provides cues to brands on how to embed themselves into the fabric of daily life by owning occasions and events, beyond dayparts, thereby establishing lasting bonds with consumers.”

Talking about the evolving consumers, Manish Narang, Director, of Market Xcel shared, “With choices abound, consumers are quick to navigate among brands, nudged by rapidly evolving tastes and preferences. And so, the categories and brand offerings are also evolving. This evolution is pronounced in the automotive industry, which leans increasingly towards electric vehicles, and in the domain of beverages, where tastes range from traditional sugary concoctions to energizing and health-centric options.”

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