Raising consumerism in India

First, consumer luxuries have got democratised during this decade. Products that were considered for a few started to reach larger and larger masses of consumers — from colas to shampoos to readywear to mobile to airlines. Categories that started in the 90s began to expand their footprint and became a part of mass life. Consumption and consumerism reached more people than it did in the 90s. Social inequity continues to be part of India’s economic, but the capitalistic principle that “open up from the top to a few, and the benefits will flow down to many” has come true. Consumerism is truly mass!

Along with this, has come a culture of upgrade and step movement rather than lifetime ownership and gradual movement. I think technology, mobile handsets in particular, made consumers get used to constant change — buying a new product even when the old one was “functional”, thus breaking the barrier of the “replace when it’s broke” mindset. And then this extended to other categories in life — from clothes to televisions to homes. Every Indian market presents an opportunity to marketers to get consumers to move up. As technology improves and consumers’ disposable income increases, the willingness and propensity of consumers to make leaps from unbranded to branded and pay significant premia is also increasing. There is no longer “lifetime ownership”, but “lifetime consumer value’!

Third, there has been a shift from product to services and experiences. And this is taking place across categories. Coffee has become Cafes, beauty products are transiting into Parlours — and this is going into small towns too with local “aunties” sensing business opportunities opening parlours and beauty counselling centres at home — and home videos have become multiplexes. And in every case, it provides marketers an opportunity to extract more value.

Source: A Decade of Evolution

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1 Comment »

  1. This is taking place across categories. Coffee has become Cafes, beauty products are transiting into Parlours

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