We and our brands

This is a feature about us—and the choices we have made. While the whole country was busy casting votes to elect its new government, some of us from select cities were involved in a ballot of another kind. This ballot was about brands that matter to us, brands that make a difference in our lives—that bring us health and happiness. Ladies and Gentlemen, sit back as we take you through the first-ever initiative of its kind: The Complete Wellbeing Health and Happiness Brand survey 2009.

All product brands and stamp of Complete Wellbeing

The fantastic thing about living in a democracy is the freedom and right to choose. We have the right to decide where we live and how we live. We have the right to elect our government, our life partner, our lifestyle—and the brands we use.

Choosing brands is a complex task, especially when you have so many options to choose from. We choose in many ways—some rational, others not. But whichever way we choose, we cannot deny the roles brands play in our lives. Most of us have favourite brands that we absolutely live by, implying that there is more to brands than the functional benefits we derive from them. We share a relationship with the brands we choose to use... Brands, on their part, seem to have a personality, complete with individual characteristics. In many ways, brands are an expression of who we are, and how we live. It wouldn't be too far-fetched to state that some brands have become a part of our psyche such that it's difficult to imagine life without them.

Since Complete Wellbeing places significant importance on the interconnections between various aspects of an individual, we thought it would be prudent to understand how consumers choose brands that bring them Health and Happiness. So, befitting a democracy, where everything is based on freedom of choice, and where election is by ballot, we set about conducting a poll. In some ways, it's an extension of the role models survey we conducted last year as our focus remains on health and happiness.

This time we asked you to elect brands you thought represented Health and Happiness the best. And The Complete Wellbeing Health and Happiness Brand Survey 2009 took shape.

This survey is unique because never before have brands been seen in this light.

Brands and your life

In the recent times, brands are increasingly becoming health-and-happiness oriented. Coke's "Thanda Matlab Coca Cola" has made way for "Open Happiness". Videocon's latest campaign proclaims, "Change is happiness". Surf wants us to believe that "Daag Acche Hain", or in other words, "stains are good". In the new Idea mobile commercial actor Abhishek Bachchan is urging you to "walk when you talk", because it's healthy. Regardless of the product category, every brand wants to make you either healthier or happier or both! Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, Philips, Sony, Dabur, Lakme, Maggi, Nescafe—you name it, and they're offering us good health, a happy life, good relationships, the works.

What this means is that brands in these times are vying for a place not in our home, but in our life, our relationships, our workplace. They are uncovering the intangible influence they exert on us by fulfilling our needs and giving us experiences we cherish.

We would like to believe that the new brands reflect a general shift in consciousness of the consumers. Our survey is an attempt to highlight this shift to help us make better choices.

Do you share a special bond with your brand?

Tell us if you share a special relationship with any brand in your life—a brand that has made a significant difference to your life. Write a story and send it. We'll publish the best stories in our subsequent issues and published entries will win a surprise gift from Complete Wellbeing. Send your stories to editorial at completewellbeing dot com.

Survey and results

The polling is closed. The counting is through. Now, it's time for the results. In the following pages, we have summarised the results of the survey in three distinct categories: Brand that bring "health", brands that bring "happiness" and brands that bring "Health and Happiness". Witness the first-ever polls in print. Continue reading for the pre-election coverage.

Who were the voters?

The voters who took part in the poll were adult [above 18], educated, held senior posts or were self-employed [SEC A] and were Health and Happiness conscious Indian citizens. They belonged to the three cities that best represent India's lifestyle choices—Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. It cannot get more metropolitan than these three cities. In all, 1001 individuals cast their votes.

Constituencies

The number of contenders was overwhelming. To simplify matters, we divided the candidates into 13 constituencies, in other words, product categories [See Product categories].

The three assemblies

Respondents had to vote for brands in three assemblies based on their perceptions of Health only, Happiness only, and Health as well as Happiness. In other words, votes were cast based on what each brand stands for, not user experience. So effectively, the list of winners will be from these three. There were some obvious candidates who had products that fit the Health and Happiness criteria like a T, and there were others who are now perceived from that angle.

Election commission

Synovate, of course. Like the last two times, for this poll too, Complete Wellbeing entrusted the task of executing the election to global market research company, Synovate.

Synovate conducted the elections and collated the votes. So no bribing or booth capturing there-the results are as authentic as they can get.

Poll highlights

Unlike the recent Lok Sabha elections, the results of The Complete Wellbeing Health and Happiness Brand Survey 2009 weren't predictable. When Congress emerged victorious, many weren't surprised, but the brands that topped some of the categories may blow you away. This is particularly true in the Health assembly. The gender and city-wise preferences too may cause you to raise your eyebrows.

Also, you'll notice both corporate brands and product brands alongside each other within a single category. This is because sometimes the corporate brands become bigger in terms of public recognition and image, at other times it's the other way around. Take Onida for instance. It's a more recognised brand than MIRC Electronics—its owner. Sony, on the hand is definitely bigger than Bravia or VAIO. Also, the competition was very close for almost every position—in some cases, the difference between ranks was a mere one per cent of votes. That the brands made it in the Top 10 in itself is an achievement.

Overall, the poll results are expected at times, unexpected at others. Nevertheless, they teach us an important lesson: no matter what the brand, if it inspires health and happiness, people will elect it.

Product categories

  • Beverages
  • Consumer Health Supplements
  • Electronics
  • Fitness and Sports
  • Foods
  • Grooming
  • Health and Beauty Centres
  • Hospitals and Testing Labs
  • Oral Hygiene
  • OTC Health and Hygiene
  • Skincare
  • Toiletries [soaps, shampoos]
  • White goods

Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!

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