Superbrands’ success is based on the belief that strategies that sell are the result of a fine understanding of the market and market needs. And those at the helm of the largest companies are the most efficient in recognising them. As a result, not so long ago, Superbrands internationally was driven completely by their perspective. However, when markets evolved and research in India suggested that brand managers were keen to see the participation of consumers in the scoring process, Superbrands India relented.

The new modus operandi followed by Superbrands in India – and increasingly by a number of other countries – is now a two-stage operation. The first stage, involves consumer scoring. Here audiences are asked to respond on the basis of their overall experience with a given brand. Once the scoring is complete a league table is formed which eliminates all brands which have received a score of less than 6.5 out of 10. The list of brands which survive is then sent to members of the council comprising the country’s most outstanding marketing, research, media and/or advertising minds.

Superbrands recognises than many council members would have interests in the country’s most important brands. To remove biases from creeping in, Superbrands advises them not to score for such categories; their score is taken as the average score of all the other scoring members.

Thanks to such barriers, Superbrands has earned an enviable reputation for fair play and has come to be recognised as the world’s premier, independent arbiter on branding. Indeed, the organisation’s raison d’être is to promote the discipline of brand management and pay tribute to exceptional brands. Through identifying them and rendering their case histories in a coffee table book, the organisation hopes that people will gain a greater appreciation of the discipline of branding and a greater admiration for the brands themselves.

The Superbrand status is a fine testimony to a brands’ strength. Since 2003 when the first Superbrands logo was issued in India to a brand to today, more than 140 companies have used it to advertise their pre-eminent standing.

Indeed, in a market where several categories are growing annually at 10% and more, this recognition has helped brands create a major differentiator. Research conducted by Superbrands has shown that of the many awards industry gives out each year, Superbrands is not only top-of-mind, the status is also suggestive of a “trustworthy” brand.