Parijat Chakraborty
Jul 11, 2017

Opinion: How to unlock influence?

What are the key factors that unlock influence and what separates the most influential brands from the rest?

Opinion: How to unlock influence?
They are larger than life. They are aspirational. They enhance our lives – make it better. We trust these brands. We connect with them emotionally and cannot imagine our lives without them – they are influential.    
This is the second year Ipsos has assessed India’s Most Influential Brands. Consumers rate them high on quality, experience and value, but marketers earmark big marketing spends and consciously work towards increasing their brand equity – all this investment seems to be paying off for the influential brands as they tend to outperform their competition reflecting their perceived value.
What builds influence? How do some brands stand out from the rest? The Ipsos Most Influential Brands study shows there are five key factors that are the building blocks of influence.  
Influential brands are trustworthy – consumers trust their message, proposition – that faith leads to consumption, patronage & relationship. 
Influential brands engage with consumers across different consumer touchpoints. Consumers love them and want to stay connected. Brands stay relevant and constantly innovate to keep the relationship going. 
Leading Edge
They are model brands – iconic – they don’t toe the line, they are leaders – they stand out and define new paradigms – they grow the category – others emulate them and derive inspiration from them. 
Corporate Citizenship
Influential brands give back to society. Consumers patronize them as they are socially more responsible. It’s built in their ethos. Driven from the top.
Influential brands play it big. They have astronomical marketing spends – are visible across consumer touch points with inspiring communications, visuals, adverts that are highly impactful, generating a strong consumer pull. It all hinges on placement, promotion and people.
Interestingly, all brands that have featured in the Most Influential Brands List are those that consumer engages with on-a-daily-basis; a constant companion; an extension of consumer – Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Patanjali, State Bank of India, Amazon, Samsung, Airtel, Jio and Flipkart – if we look at the top 10 list. Next 10 – 11 to 20 too echoes the same story – these brands help the consumer define themselves better -, Apple, Dettol, Cadbury, Sony, HDFC Bank, Maruti Suzuki, Good Day, iPhone and Amul. It’s impossible for consumers to imagine their lives without them. 
The formula for success of Influence rides on those 5 pillars of trustworthy, engagement, leading edge, corporate citizenship and presence.
(Parijat Chakraborty is the executive director, Ipsos Public Affairs)
Campaign India

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