Here is what the industry leaders have to say “On Trust”.
Woodland’s brand legacy, the quality of products, constant innovation and efforts to be an eco-friendly brand makes it a highly trusted brand. When Woodland entered India, it created a new category of specialized ‘outdoor sports’ shoes. Positioned as a rugged, outdoor leather shoe brand preferred by adventurists, it soon drew the youth to its fold. Woodland has always acknowledged the feedback of its customers and customizes its products to suit their needs.
Woodland’s main focus has been quality and eco-friendly products and this has been reaffirmed through its promotions, systems, processes and practices. The eco-friendly products are made with materials and chemicals that do not harm nature and even the manufacturing processes are less harmful to the environment. By communicating and promoting the brand on the same lines, eco-friendliness had become the brand’s recall.
Employees, investors, and customers are intrinsic to creating a trusted brand and are closely linked to the whole eco system. While customers and sales are important for business success, employees and investors are critical for a brand to survive and sustain. Employees represent the core values of the brand and carry the brand on their shoulders.
Media too is an extremely critical aspect as it is the medium through which the right perception can be created for the brand. A brand can do everything correct but lack of communication with its target audience can lead to lack of brand recall and brand loyalty. The biggest threat today is the counterfeits that are usually made with the intent of fraudulently passing them off as genuine. Counterfeits are usually made in small factories in remote areas.
Woodland counters these trust threats by undertaking regular checks as well as informing the concerned authorities who in turn close down such nefarious factories. Legal actions is also being taken against stores selling counterfeits under Woodland’s name. The way Woodland is perceived today is solely dependent on where it stands as a brand in the lives of its employees and customers. Woodland advertisements across print, electronic and online media have no celebrity endorsers; its ad campaigns feature the real-world people, the common man to showcase the brand. For Woodland, the youth are the true ambassadors who carry the brand forward.
The Bajaj Group has an illustrious history. The founder of the group. Jamanalal bajaj, was an associate of Mahatma Gandhi and actively involved himself in India’s freedom movement while continuing to manage his business. Today the Bajaj Group footprint stretches over a wide range of industries, spanning automobiles, home appliances, lighting, iron and steel, insurance, travel and finance.
International standards of quality, reliability and durability strengthen the brand Bajaj. A critical element of gaining this trust and maintaining the faith of customer has been the ensuring of best standards in terms of product delivery, quality, customer experience and service. Transparency, fairness, disclosure and accountability have always been central to the working of the Bajaj Group. Bajaj Auto’s corporate governance and disclosure practices have been well recognized in the corporate world, making it a highly trusted brand not only with customers but also with the stakeholders.
The experience of all these stakeholders builds the brand Bajaj – experience in terms of product usage, interaction with various touch-points etc. This commitment to deliver a cutting-edge experience by its employees is most important for building the trust for Brand Bajaj.
By the year 2000, India was moving from traditional geared scooters where Bajaj was dominant, towards motorcycles where it did not enjoy a large share. It was the time, when Bajaj Auto had a rapidly shift gears from being world’s largest scooter manufacture, to becoming an outstanding motorcycle manufacturer. Meeting the challenging needs of the evolving Indian consumer was probably Bajaj’s biggest challenge. This period was a moment of internal awakening for Bajaj and the brand decided that developing its own products and process technologies was the only was forward. A whole host of actions, right from new product initiatives, development of an extremely strong R&D backbone, focus on learn manufacturing, vendor and employee rationalization resulted in the company quickly establishing itself as the largest exporter and the second largest domestic player in the industry.
Bajaj as a brand belongs to the people of India. Bajaj Auto is merely a custodian of the name but the ownership lies with its customers who response faith in it. The belief of millions of Indians whose faith and affection for the company is overwhelming, is explained in the spontaneous emotion of ’Hamara Bajaj’ – meaning, “Our Bajaj”.
For brand Uninor, trust also means ‘a confident expectation’. Two things- the biggest compliment it can get from the customers and the biggest responsibility that it needs to discharge – make Uninor a highly trusted brand. What made Uninor different was the decision to use its customers and employees as brand ambassadors for the launch, rather than superstar celebrities. Uninor pioneered Dynamic pricing, a unique product where customers could get upto 60% discount on their calls. Today, in its operational circles Uninor adds more subscribers than any other mobile operator every month, making it evident that we are giving what customers wanted all along. Being a part of the world’s 6th largest mobile operator – the Telenor group – gave our customers and partners the confidence of relying on a company that has done well in 14 countries and for over 150 years. For a brand that entered an extremely competitive space in India just about a year back, being recognized among the most trusted brands is indeed a long journey in a short time.
Uninor has three stakeholders, each vital to building and delivering on its brand trust. First are the customers who expect the brand to be honest, keep promises and be respectful. Second comes Uninor’s employees in whom the customers place their confidence in. Customers buy a service, expecting it to be reliable and meet expectations, and it is Uninor’s employees who build and keep this trust. Finally it is Uninor’s partners including the shareholders and banks who repose confidence in the future, and its IT partners and equipment suppliers.
A delighted customer, a happy employee, a secure investor and a committed partner all come together to create the trust.
Uninor launched its service with a product that was unique, but complicated in the way it was structured. Within weeks, it was changed and a simpler dynamic pricing was brought in. This time, though the product was simple, the communication of it wasn’t. Uninor quickly changed that as well and overcame the potential threats to the brand trust.
Today, Uninor is known as a brand that may make mistakes, but will not mistake the need to correct them.The ownership of brand Uninor in the truest sense rests with the people who buy it – customers who buy its services, employees who buy its way of work, and investors and partners who buy into brand’s potential and its future.
Our mission is ‘None shall be denied’ and it is our firm belief that every human has the right to high-quality, affordable medicines. With a singular objective of providing accessible health to all ever since we started in 1935, Cipla has innovated to create several drugs and devices, many of which have been India’s and World firsts. With our gamut of over 1200 products in 80 therapies we reach millions across 120 countries.
Cipla’s 75 year contribution towards making India self-reliant in medicines, and its unique humanitarian approach have made Cipla one of the most respected pharmaceutical names in the country. Also, the integrity in our business approach and functioning evokes a sense of trust that has helped us to grow across geographies.
We believe that the consistent hard work and commitment of our employees have played a crucial role in building trust for Cipla. The day -to-day work that we do culminates in alleviating suffering of millions and saving lives. Trust is our natural by-product and it incrementally accures from everything that we do. It is our 20,000 employees who carry the essence of brand Cipla.
Efforts to downplay the significance and quality of generic drugs have been a major threat to the entire generics industry. However, through discipline and focus. Cipla has been able to set standards through our state-of-the art manufacturing units. A large number of the Cipla’s drugs have been approved by some of the most stringent approving authorities from across the globe. In places as different from each other as Samitapur and San Fransisco, the name Cipla evokes trust in every person who uses our high-quality medicines. Every individual who has benefited from Cipla in some way. When someone uses our medicines, it alleviates their suffering, and they experience Cipla in the process. It is with this experience that their ownership of the Cipla brand begins.
Coca-Cola is a unique brand that communicates directly with the consumers and, draws form its corporate identity and perceptions. The brand strives to provide uplifting refreshment and promotes joy of sharing. Coca-Cola is seen as an icon of happiness that personifies optimism for all those who interact with it. The brand is trusted by Indian consumers who are one of the most optimistic people across the world, truly believing that the ‘best is yet to come’.
Coca-Cola believes that be it the employees, investors, customers or media, all are equally important as stakeholders. The brand has demonstrated this with consistency and simplicity, time and again.
Being the flagship of the company, brand Coca-Cola has faced trust issues due to certain issues leading to wrong perceptions in the past. Coca-Cola overcame such threats to its Brand Trust by being honest, open, direct and consistent in its communication. The management met all the stakeholders, understood their issues and got third party validation to refute the allegations. It also invited consumers to personally visit the plants to reassure them of the highest standards of manufacturing as well as convey the brand’s highest regard for their well-being.
While brand Coca-Cola believes that all stakeholders are equally important, it would have no reason to exist unless it satisfies its consumer’s needs. The core consumers the brand- the teens- are the owners of the brand in the truest sense.
Vikram Bakshi – MD (North & East), McDonald’s India
Building the brand trust has not been an easy journey for McDonalds’s in India. In the initial years, consumers rejected quite a few products. But as it started adapting to the local tastes and preferences, the consumer trust in the brand soared. McDonald’s commitment to quality, service, cleanliness and value has been a big driver for building consumer trust. McDonald’s is committed to be sensitive to local culture, values and preferences.
McDonald’s is owned by the customers – not only the end consumer but also every stakeholder who connects with McDonald’s and its functioning employees, suppliers, vendors, customers, government and society at large. Brand McDonald’s is a personification of its relationship with all the key stakeholders – employees, investors, customers as well as media.
In 2002-03, McDonald’s was in a situation that threatened its business. There was misinformation floating in the Indian market that the french fries are cooked in beef fat, which obviously was not true. In India, McDonald’s has always been using vegetable cooking oil in all its preparations. Media religious leaders, customers, and political leaders were invited to visit McDonald’s kitchen and the initiative generated positive media stories which helped its cause and clear up misconceptions.
Bata is India’s largest footwear retailer and manufacturer with a retail presence across 400 cities. Our brand’s success has been made possible only by the trust we have enjoyed among our customers over the last 75 years of our existence.
Bata has always been known for its reliable, comfortable and reasonably priced footwear and we have always kept consumer at the heart of our business, never overlooking their needs – giving them the best product lines and shopping environment. We have grown keeping pace with consumer expectations and this is reflected by changes in our store design, ambience, superior service, and introduction of trendy designs.
Over the years, Bata has earned prestigious awards and accolades at some of the most celebrated retail and lifestyle forums and this too has contributed to shaping its place of pride in the Indian footwear industry.
Every brand must have a strong value proposition to meet the growing customer demand of ‘more for less’. At Bata, we have been consciously focusing on delivering customer value, and constantly reviewing ‘what value is’ and ‘whether it is being delivered’ to gthe customer.
While all publics are important, the key to building trust for Bata lies with the customer. If the customer is satisfied and patronizes our brand, the company will grow and give good returns to the investors, which will in turn earn accolades from the media and others.
Trust is a very delicate attribute built over years, but runs the risk of being shattered with just one incorrect experience. Overlooking consumer expectation would be the biggest folly for any brand – be in terms of quality, pricing or product. Though we are the leaders in footwear market in India, we fully recognize the changes in the market trends and consumer expectations. We also foresee opportunities in the market growth and a rapidly expanding middle class. For this, we are systematically transforming Bata into a completely customer centric organisation to serve this new market.
The brand Bata is owned by its loyal customers. 1,20,000 customers walk into our 1200 stores daily, and Bata sells over 45 million pairs of footwear each year, making the Bata brand an integral part of every Indian household. From the school going child, to the office going executives, or the youth in playgrounds – Bata is etched in India’s memories.
Dabur works continuously to update its portfolio in line with changing consumer demands and aspirations. Its herbal heritage has helped the brand achieve several gains – consumers’ trust, market share and growth. Dabur has a strong in-house research wing that follows a ‘bush- to- brand’ approach, and has an in-house nursery, which grows several rare herbs that go into its various products.
Dabur considers its products, consumers, investors and employees as important pillars in building the brand trust. While very few Indian companies have survived the vagaries of time, fewer still have been able to withstand the onslaught of multinationals post-liberalization; probably no one has been able to adapt and transform itself so well as Dabur, during its 125-year-long existence, thanks to the unflinching support of its consumers. Dabur considered the onslaught of MNCs post-liberalization as a big threat. The brand overcame the threat by remaining a nimble footed organization committed to its heritage and by living up to its motto of being dedicated to the health and well-being of every household.
With its range that boats several Ayurvedic and natural products. Dabur has been at the forefront of making Ayurveda contemporary and more acceptable for the modern day consumer-both in India and abroad. Today, Dabur’s products are spreading the goodness of traditional India and traditional Indian medicine across the world.
Brand Dabur has been built on the trust of its consumers and considers them as the true owners of the brand.
Titan has manufactured more than 100 million watches till date, and has a customer base of over 80 million. It is India’s leading watch manufacturer and the fifth largest in the world. From its launch, Titan epitomized things that were new to the industry – innovation, style and consumer focus, bringing a paradigm shift in the Indian watch industry. These three elements which have been consistently adhered to by the brand over its 25 year of journey have played a vital role in making Titan one of the most trusted and respected brands in India.
Titan has become a vehicle to bring consumers a step closer to their unexplored dreams and the brand has become a form of self-expression for customers. However, the fact that Titan has always remained true to its end customers, is the biggest factor that contributed to Titan’s desirability.
While many stakeholders play a significant role in building a brand, for Titan it is the customers who have played the pivotal role in making the brand what it is today. At Titan, the customer is like a nucleus around which everything else revolves. Our employees and other stakeholders single-mindedly work towards ensuring customer satisfaction and delight at every point. Our customers reciprocate the affection that Titan shows them by making the brand an important part of their lives. In each customer is a brand ambassador for Titan, who deserves and gets every bit of the attention and respect from the brand. This in turn, has led to a deep trust and respect for Titan in the customer’s minds.
LG always believes in putting the customer above everything. To give the best global standard products to our customers we maintain the most stringent quality controls including processes like Six sigma. The depth and width of our service channel is designed to exceed our customer’s expectations at all times.
LG’s core objective is to offer products that are in sync with the needs of the Indian consumer with the offer of supreme functionality. At the same time, LG India continuously invests in building brand trust, as well as in the flagship product communications.
Trust is important and a key factor in building brand loyalty for LG, and, employees, customers, investors and media all play a major role in building trust for our brand. We try to establish an emotional connect with our target audience and develop products customized to their needs and requirements. This delivered consistently leads to trust in the LG brand.
Brands are important in the consumer market since they are the interface between consumers and the company, and consumers tend to develop staunch loyalty to brands. Failure to have a dialogue with a brand’s current and future consumers by any deficiency in recognizing consumer aspirations and life-truths can be a threat to that brands. India is currently one of the most competitive markets in the world and any brand targeting Indian consumers must have a very thoughtful and distinctive approach. Brand LG is in a constant process of listening to its consumers and trade partners, creating products and services that make life better for them.
Our customers are the real owners of the brand. LG is for the customers and by the customers; external customers who are the users of our products and services, and internal customers who are our employees. It is with their inputs that we create ever improving offerings, and it is with their patronage that we enjoy growth and profitability.
The trust that consumers have in brand Amul is based on their faith that Amul will consistently provide the highest quality products at the most reasonable prices. Our brand’s stature is based on the warm and pleasant experiences that millions of our customers have had with Brand Amul. Since 1956, several generations of Indian consumers have grown up with the brand and Amul has been an integral part of their daily lives. The value proposition of brand Amul goes beyond mere functionla and emotional benefits and our customers love to express through the brand.
Awareness about the organisational dimension of brand Amul; its role in unleashing socio-economic revolution in rural India; its perceived contribution to nation-building; has also served to enhance our brand image among consumers. Many consumers are aware that this brand is owned by 3 million milk producers in Gujrat. Through a series of consumer-centric and innovative brand extensions, brand Amul has acquired a high sense of energy and momentum. This has given our brand an image of modernity, youth, vigor, energy, dynamism and has helped to connect with and remain relevant to the younger generation of consumers.
Amul has an offering for every phase of human lifecycle, from infants to senior citizens, and this has kept us relevant with consumers across age-groups and through their entire life-spans.
While a brand essentially lives in the minds of consumers, holistic brand building and brand management efforts require high involvement and sense of shared ownership of all relevant stakeholders. This includes the farmers who own Amul, employees who contribute their professional expertise and media which is responsible for correct information dissemination. Most of all is the involvement of our loyal consumers who display their high sense of ownership for brand Amul.
An iconic brand like Amul continues to retain dominant leadership position since the last 55 years because it stays alive in minds of our consumers and has a loyal consumer base. The 1.2 billion Indians have a direct sense of ownership towards Amul- the taste of India.
Dr. Wilfried Albur – MD &CEO, Mercedes-Benz India
Mercedes-Benz, the inventors of the automobile have been at the forefront of the automotive development globally for the last 115 years, earning immense trust amongst automobile aficionados of the world. Mercedes has pioneered many major landmarks in vehicle safety, technology and driving dynamics and this has been possible by retaining the fascination for our brand through best in class design, technology and value offerings. The Mercedes-Benz brand promise reflects “best or nothing” reinforced by the exciting products offered and the highest standards of ownership experience for it’s customers.
our employees, customers and our network are critical factors in our brand’s success. The enthusiasm of our highly skilled employees makes Mercedes-Benz one of the most revered brands in the world. The aspiration quotient of Mercedes-Benz is judged by the passion of our customers for brand Mercedes. Our dealerships go far beyond car-ownership alone and offer a rich experience to car aficionados, technology fans and fashion enthusiasts alike. The Mercedes-Benz dealerships are designed for an experiential and interactive world that immerses visitors in the passion, heritage, values and innovation of our brand. The media, the unbiased and credible source of information to the world, acts as the window of information on our brand and hence also has a pivotal role in establishing the trust and faith on the brand.
With 22 launches in 2010, Mercedes continues the product excitement through the year bringing the latest and the best products in the least possible time through our network present in 26 Indian cities with 55 touch points.
Mercedes makes a consumer connect through two platforms- Sports and lifestyle. The Mercedes Trophy Golf celebrated a decade of golfing excellence this year. Fashion, the other engagement pillar for Mercedes-Benz conducts fashion weeks in Berlin, Miami and New York regularly. In India, the “Fascination Line” inspired by Mercedes-Benz, has been launched by Manish Arora, one of India’s leading designers. The holistic brand engagement of Mercedes-Benz and the world class experience which it brings to its customers has earned the three-pointed star their confidence and trust.
Microsoft’s reason for existence, its mission, is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential. For Microsoft, the one value most essential to achieve our mission is openness- being open with ideas, thoughts and receiving input. This value is at the core of all our interactions- demonstrations of our high respect for teams, partners, industry, work groups, and most of all, our customers.
When you add to this Microsoft’s other core values of integrity and honesty, it expresses the accountability of our brand’s commitments to all our stakeholders. Our passion for customers, partners and technology, a willingness to take on big challenges, and analyzing ourselves critically, we believe, makes all the difference.
The fact is that we can succeed only if people want to do business with us. Microsoft understands and values this. Our customers’ belief on Microsoft’s high standards of reliability, quality and security, and the respect that partners hold for our business practices, is the basis of our relationships. Customers share their personal information with the confidence that it will be protected.
We strive to be an industry leader shaping and implementing policies and practices that focus on productivity, security, reliability, privacy and, transparent and ethical business standards. These factors, vital for our success , give our stakeholders the faith that Microsoft will do the right thing for its customers, it business partners and the communities in which it operates.
A deeply held value of Microsoft, and the commitment of our 90,000 employees, is to make a difference in the world through innovative technology and fair business practices.
There is no great secret behind Mahindra becoming a highly trusted brand. Ever since the group was founded in 1945, the brnd has lived up to the values and ideals that defined the company then. Its founders strongly believed that businesses must drive positive change for customers and the communities in which they operate. The current leaders at the helm continue to believe in this simple tenet, and every Mahindra business strive to become a part of the community.
Mahindra considers its employees as most important in building trust for its brand. perceptions about a brand are built through signals sent out by two sources- products/service and employees (including leadership). While superior products/services are necessary and always good to have, the true source of bran differentiation will always be the employees. Brand Mahindra believes that products quickly become commoditized whereas a unique culture with empowered employees who constantly deliver value to stakeholders is extremely difficult to emulate or beat.
As a business grows- organically and/ or inorganically- it often becomes difficult to maintain a consistent level of performance on the parameters on which the brand is built. This could have mutated into a threat to the trust in brand Mahindra, but the company had a set of clearly defined values and good leaders who could “walk the talk”. hence, it became easier to manage high business growth while ensuring adherence to the values.
In the late 90′s, Mahindra went through an exercise to identify, define and articulate a set of values that specify how it conducts the business. It is important to note that these values have always been with the company, ever since the Group was founded in 1945. today, these values have permeated every part of the group and have proven to be an invaluable set of guiding principles in helping brand Mahindra remain true its core. The company has no doubt whatsoever that brand Mahindra is co-owned by its employees and all external stakeholders. Mahindra believes that in this age of the internet and social media, major decisions on the brand are often a result of crowd sourcing, wherein stakeholders contribute major insights. Internal employee buy-in is also seen as a very crucial factor in brand decisions.
The trust in the Infosys brand stems from our belief in conducting ourselves in a manner that will earn respect of all our stakeholders. At Infosys, we understand that to garner trust for our brand, we must deliver immense value to all our constituents – our clinets, employees, investors and the societies we operate in. Also, Infosys believes in clearly communicating its commitment and quality to its customers and employees.
The internal and external reputation of any organisation plays a significant role in building trust for it, and therefore all our stakeholders are equally important in the context of our brand. The management of our company is passionate about creating a global brand – so passionate that we monitor the status of our brand’s health every quarter. We have a focused and consistent branding program guided by our Global Head of branding for this purpose.
We have always been a pioneer in setting transparency, fairness and corporate governance standards, and stay committed to stand by these objectives at all times to all our stakeholders.
In 2009, after the Satyam debacle, the entire Indian IT industry went through a test of faith, and we felt the need to act proactively. We kept to our commitment of transparency and made a voluntary declaration of all of Infosys bank accounts along with the amount of money held in them.
The company also issued statements to employees, customers and stakeholders clearly articulating the company’s corporate governance practices. It is our firm belief that every individual who is a part of Infosys contributes to our brand and therefore owns the Infoys brand and the proactive approach taken by us helped reiterate the faith that stakeholders placed in our brand.
The fact that 480 million Indians use a Godrej product or service everyday is a testimony to the immense trust placed in the brand. The trust has shone through 113 years of relationship that the brand has shared with it’s consumers. It is the dignity of this tremendous reach, width, depth and relevance in consumer relationships that fuels the trust in Brand Godrej.
Godrej continues to nurture that trust by always delivering on it’s promises and more than meeting the needs of the ever-progressive and demanding Indian consumer. The vast portfolio of innovative Godrej solutions ranges from consumer products to properties, and from agricultural inputs to aerospace.
While Godrej believes in resonating with the entire eco-system through its belief in Brighter Living, the brand puts consumers at the centre of its existence and considers them most important in building trust. It believes that only through delighting the consumers and flexing the entire organization that it can win.
Trust is a vast emotional territory for a brand with different nuances. For Godrej, there was a real threat to the trust in it becoming just about the reliability and assurance of its products. The brand countered the threat by getting closer to the consumer, and building on the traditional foundation of trust. Trust as a value evolved to being more about empathy which helps the brand deliver powerful and innovative experiences to its consumers, and thus going beyond insights and products alone. Godrej refreshed its brand and strengthened its promise- what is called the essence of brighter Living.
Beyond legal rights, Godrej believes that the copyright of its brand is actually held by millions of consumers, partners and employees in its ecosystem and is activated every time someone somewhere chooses Godrej.