Brand Building Action PointsThe Indian Consumer and Shopping Habits
1. Be clear about the brand proposition
This advice may sound like Marketing 101, but it is critical for brand success in India today. Brands need to be absolutely clear about the slot they fill for the consumer. Being too broad-based in a changing India will be a challenge.
2. Position each variant
For brands that offer extensive ranges, each variant on the shelf must be well defined and differentiated. The consumer needs to understand how a particular benefit distinguishes one shampoo from another or confusion potentially will impact sales across the range.
3. Go deep
Loyalty is eroding, especially among consumers in cities and big towns. It is easier to create brand loyalty in smaller towns. Focus on penetration, reaching as many people as possible to develop a large customer base.
4. Differentiate on value
Price remains important. But it’s not always the first consideration. And too low a price can make a product look cheap. Find an important point of difference such as convenience.
5. Justify the premium
Indian consumers are willing to pay a premium, but they need to be convinced that it is merited. The brand needs to explain why a product is of higher quality than the competition or how a particular feature will improve the consumer’s life and is worth the extra money.
6. Be constantly present
Out of sight, out of mind may be simplistic, but it is true. Consumers are constantly exposed to brands. To stand out from this crowd, be in front of the consumer continuously. TV is important, but it is not enough. Because of mobile, people are increasingly viewing on demand.
7. Communicate across generations
Communicating across generations sometimes means sensitively negotiating the cultural divide between child and parent and modern and traditional mindsets. Associate the brand message with modernity, but present the message respectfully. In many families, parents see their children as their conduit to modernity, and they rely on their children for purchasing advice and e-commerce assistance.
8. Be socially progressive
Advocate for progressive change that improves the lives of Indians. And don’t be shy about publicizing the brand’s efforts. Consumers may not choose a brand because of its social action activities. But being aligned with consumer values helps keep brands in the consideration set.