Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Most Hated Indian Telecom Brands - Anti Branding

Double jeopardy is an empirical law in marketing where, with few exceptions, the lower market share brands in a market have both far fewer buyers in a time period and also lower brand loyalty. Dr. Kucuk, a researcher in marketing has come out with a new concept that probably might give the brands with a lower market share a reason to smile. In his concept of negative double jeopardy he proves that the most valuable brands attract more anti-brand sites. You can read his work here. I did my small study on Indian telecom brands and their anti content following the methodology used in his studies.Based on the data regarding anti-brand content I calculated anti-brand content per-million users for the top brands. Idea Cellular was excluded since it was not possible to get exact anti-brand activity.

Brand Market Share Anti Brand Content
Bharti 19.99% 33.11%
Reliance 16.72% 5.96%
Vodafone 16.58% 1.79%
BSNL 11.31% 15.27%
TATA 10.98% 41.02%

Tata Indicom had the highest anti consumption activity with highest number of complaints with respect to other operators. This finding does find some chinks in the double jeopardy proposed by Dr. Kucuk. Tata Indicom may have a lower share due to a lot of frustrated customers. But "Tata" as an umbrella brand has a high brand value. Similarly BSNL had high levels of anti activity. This data can be better analyzed by studying the amount of port-outs and port-ins for an operator. As of now this is an alarm for Tata Indicom. Telecom industry is set for consolidation in the long term. A second characteristic of the Indian telecom industry is that it is almost commoditized. The question is that "Is there any real Brand differentiation ?"