HDFC Bank retains top spot in BrandZ top 50; Jio enters at No 11

HDFC Bank retained its top position in Kantar Millward Brown's BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands, doubling its brand value since 2014 with what the research agency called a sustained focus on improving services.

The leading private sector lender had improved its brand value from $9.4 billion to $18 billion since 2014, said the agency in a statement from Mumbai. HDFC Bank topped the chart for the fourth year in a row.

Demonetisation slowed down growth for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands in 2017. Despite this, the value of the top 50 Indian brands grew to Rs7,00,000 crore ($109.3 billion), rising 21 per cent against a 2 per cent decline the previous year and outpacing the value growth of both the China Top 50 and the Global Top 50, according to the BrandZ Top 50 report released on Wednesday.

The growth is well ahead of the 8 per cent value increase of the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2017.

The top 10 list has not changed much since 2016, with all brands holding on to their spots or going up a place, except Bajaj Auto which dropped a spot.

"Indian consumers seek authenticity and value for money, and the meaning of those things is being constantly redefined.

"As consumers become wealthier, they look beyond price to factors like extra features, innovation and a personalised experience," David Roth, chief executive for EMEA and Asia at The Store WPP, said in the statement.

"As reflected in this year's ranking, the most agile Indian brands have recognised the complexity in the market, and achieved just the right balance between aspirational and affordable," he added.

There were seven newcomers to the ranking. Telecom provider Reliance Jio ranks at No11, months after its launch. Other new entrants included DMart, appliance brand Whirlpool, insurance brand Bajaj Allianz, Canara Bank and entertainment brands Sun Direct and DishTV.

The automobile sector has grown 23 per cent in value by meeting consumers' diverse, changing aspirations and budgets, the report noted. The category includes tyres, lubricants and automotive fuels.

The FMCG category, which includes alcohol, food and dairy, personal care and soft drinks, was significantly affected by challenges like the Goods and Services Tax but still managed to grow by 6 per cent in value, the report said.

It was noted that noodle brand Maggi - the overall second fastest riser in this category - aligned itself with the trend for nostalgia, which helped it bounce back after a couple of difficult years.

The financial services category increased its value by 26 per cent. And the fastest rising banks were Punjab National Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, the report said.