Press Room

Maruti Suzuki Tops NM Incite India’s Social Media Brand Equity Ranking Q2 2012


Telecom sector is dominant with 9 brands; not addressing customer complaints increases negative sentiment

FMCG & Food companies are new entrants in the top 20; building emotional connections with customers contributes to gain

Maruti Suzuki ranks number one in  NM Incite India’s Q2 2012 Social Media Brand Equity Ranking (SMBER) list of brands that have been most successful in  creating social media brand equity in India.  NM Incite India produces the SMBER index brands based on the volume of associated buzz on social media sites and public sentiment surrounding the brand in the online world of India. 

Maruti Suzuki has taken the lead owing to its strong performance across social media channels and networks, pushing Samsung Mobile to second place. The brand enjoys strong sentiment and high volumes of conversation on auto forums that include blogs, boards, forums, and social media sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. 

“It’s pertinent to note the synergy between the offline and online reputation of Maruti Suzuki. Strong offline brand equity helps boost online conversations and sentiment. There is strong brand advocacy online, with users engaging across social channels about brand initiatives like price changes and product launches.  The company also  leverages  such conversations in its own robust social media strategy” said Prashant Singh, MD – Media, Nielsen India. 

Ranking second on the list for India is mobile manufacturer Samsung Mobile, Nokia, Brand IPL & coffee shop chain Café Coffee Day round off the top five. 

The latest Social Media Brand Equity Ranking analyzed a total of 462 brands across 32 categories in India. The analysis covers social media buzz for 12 months from 1st April, 2011 to 31st March, 2012 and incorporates all the qualitative and quantitative metrics that define a brand’s social media presence. This is an online approach that builds on proprietary methodology used by Nielsen  across the global for measuring brand equity and brand health in the off-line world.

“In this round of analyzing social media conversations for the SMBER index, we have increased the number of brands and added new categories, such as food products and sports. It is interesting to note the performance of these brands as they are now extensively using online platforms to interact with their customers across India. The SMBER index answers critical questions for these brands based on engagement with “owned” social media platforms, as well as the “earned” consumer conversations  across platforms,” says Prashant Singh. “Our robust ranking approach will provide answers for brand marketers concerning performance against competitors, or analyzing social media efforts beyond counting followers.” 


  • According to the SMBER index for India, the telecom sector continues to register a strong presence in the top 20 ranking, fuelled by large volumes of buzz across social media channels, as well as high follower bases. Mobile phone manufacturer Samsung Mobiles has slipped one place in the index and is now at second place. Nokia has gained on the index and is up to third position on the list, from its position at number thirteen. RIM’s Blackberry (11th) makes an entry into the list, generating buzz and positive sentiment for a new range of phones, and appreciation for the free apps during the outage. 
  • The presence of Telecom service providers Tata Docomo (6th), Idea Cellular (14th) and Airtel (17th) also gives insight into consumer engagement patterns. The analysis shows that high revenue users tend to be active on social media. They look forward to reading reviews before identifying their choice operator. The study indicates that mobile phone manufacturers and telecom service providers that address customer complaints tend to have higher positive sentiment toward their brands. 

“The telecom space continues to be an important conversation point for consumers in the online world. With a focus on smart phones, mobile phone manufacturers are reaching out to consumers through the medium, and keeping them engaged with regular updates on technology and apps.” says Singh. 

Automotive Sector 

While Maruti Suzuki leads the index for this quarter, the other brands ranking in the top 20 include Mahindra & Mahindra (8th) and Ford India (10th). Both brands have dropped from their positions of sixth and second, respectively, from last quarter. Auto brands seem to have hit the right chords when it comes to interacting and engaging with consumers via social media. The findings also indicate an aspirational value attached to the brands, with many non-buyers participating in conversations about brands, features and prices.  

Indian Premier League 

Buzz and conversation surrounding cricket, with a focus on the Indian Premier League (2012), is a new entry in the list. The brand ‘IPL’ itself is at fourth place, followed by teams Mumbai Indians (7th) and Kolkata Knight Riders (16th). While IPL is a new entry, its inclusion in the top 20 is driven by its superior performance on YouTube compared to all other brands. This led to high engagement levels on social media in the lead up to the IPL for the year. 

FMCG & Food Products 

  • Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands have made huge strides in gaining social media brand equity, entering the top 20 list this time around. In the personal care space, Axe Deodorant is the only brand in the list at 9th place. The brand has always been popular on social media and is driven by contests, product information, humorous videos and events. It sustains the engagement levels by establishing an emotional connection with customers. 
  • Food brand products have also entered the list, with coffee shop chain Café Coffee Day in fifth place. The CCD Facebook page establishes itself as a popular hangout, similar to its offline branding. This is followed by coffee and chocolate categories in the list with Nescafe (13th), Cadbury Bournville (18th) and Cadbury Celebrations (19th). The food brands have common themes of “celebrations” and “festivity” and have successfully leveraged the social networking site Facebook to build an engaging community. 

“Nescafe has changed the social media strategy to make online conversation more meaningful about coffee, rather than the brand ambassador, which shows a focus of the brand. While the Cadbury brands Bourneville and Celebrations have over a million fans, they also critically lay stress on consumer engagement and creating a connect with the brand to entice the consumer,” says Singh. 

Methodology: Social Media Brand Equity Ranking by NM Incite India 

The NM Incite India analysis identifies broad patterns of volume, sentiment, frequency and content themes from publicly available social media sources that can include blogs, blog comments, boards, forums, groups, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and other online services in India. Analytics for volume, topics and sentiment are derived from a combination of advanced algorithm-driven text analysis and human scoring of messages that contain relevant keywords, phrases, brands, products, and issues. This analysis has been created and executed only in India. 

About NM Incite 

NM Incite is a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey & Company, bringing to bear deep expertise in measurement science and management consulting. As one of the largest global leaders in applying social media to solve marketing problems, NM Incite operates in over 30 markets, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, China, India, Japan and Australia. Learn more about our global locations

For more information, please visit or Twitter: @nmincite