SBI tops worldwide score in customer relevance

An international study on brand relevance, with an India version ‘Relevance India’ has been launched by GolinOpinion, the PR division of PointNine Lintas.

The report that is billed as the firm’s first marketing product, the reports concentrates on brand relevance across three key sectors that touch billions of lives: social media, personal banking and automotive.

A key finding of the report is that popularity matters more than truth when it comes to customer relevance.

Speaking about the findings, Fred Cook, global chairman, Golin said, “Relevance is what attracts and keeps people paying attention to what brands have to say and moves them to act. This is something that we, as marketers and communicators, can directly impact. We’ve been studying, and perfecting the art of analysing relevance for years because we understand that it is the most important measurement of a brand. Our research indicates that despite people being continually let down by the perceived trustworthiness and truthfulness of brands, they continue to buy their products and services.”

Speaking of the India launch, Vikas Mehta, CEO, PointNine Lintas, said, “Finding a unified metric that can measure the impact of multiple marketing initiatives is one of the biggest challenges today’s marketers face. In Relevance, I believe GolinOpinion has found a viable choice that replaces data analysis with data analytics. It’s a great way for any brand to find out where they stand vs. competition, locally or globally.”

India Results

The India data, that covered three categories, threw up some interesting aspects:

People around the world believe that their ideal brand would deliver on being trustworthy (ethical, moral, honest and truthful however according to the research, study the reality tells a different story. Of the most relevant brands studied, 0% met the ideal when it came to being trustworthy; while people are seeking it, leading brands aren’t seen as relevant. 91% of the most relevant brands studied exceed the expectation when it comes to being popular. This is a part of a major shift.

Within the three categories studied it was found that for the social media category, people don't need truth; they want to be entertained. People prefer local banking over global — and since all banks are under-delivering on the ideal, unique relevance drivers in this category have emerged. And the automotive category struggles to have a breakout relevance brand leader.

Banking: the SBI factor

An ideal banking brand in India is ‘Trustworthy, Effective and Transparent’. As with other categories, respondents scored brands very similarly to one another, though SBI scores higher against the ideal and exceeds expectations on ‘Essential and Popular'. No other bank in 12 other countries, where the research was done, scored so high on trust.

Auto: It’s Honda all the way!

The automotive sector which covered global brands, shows Honda as a clear Relevance leader in India, followed by a close competition between Toyota and Ford. Nissan has low relevance, while Fiat is barely known. In India, an “ideal” automotive brand is Trustworthy, Effective, Authentic and Innovative. However, there is little difference in how consumers score each brand.

What makes up relevant brand content?

While middle aged consumer tended to prefer inspirational content, older customer reversed the trend to show a preference for information.

The study includes India and the data has been mapped across 13 countries. A dashboard offers analytics across 15 parameters of relevance.

In India, practical information is key, but respondents also rate inspiring information highly relevent.

Developmental work is being done in Chicago and Mumbai, to further improve functionalities of the ‘Relevance’ tool including real-time data integration.

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