Global brands in India know that only Indian consumers can save the slowing luxury market. Many global brands in India have tried to convert the simplicity loving Indians to consumers of luxury. Read this post to find why the common man in Delhi still prefers a nearby Kirana store to a hypermarket.
During my school days, Maggi 2 minute noodles was one of the first global brands to be launched in the Indian market. Most of my friends brought the Maggi after being enthralled by the advertisement of children greedily eating the Maggi.
The taste of the Maggi was so alien that word of mouth spread about Maggi being tasteless. After a few days, two packs of Maggi were distributed to every student of my school. As we did not like the cooked Maggi, we preferred to eat bits of raw, crisp Maggi. After a few years, someone discovered that Maggi is tasty if prepared like Upma, with sauteed onion and spices. Slowly Maggi became part of our diet. Now Maggi has become a member of the staple diet of India. Bachelor or kid alone at home have Maggi as the main course for the lunch or dinner.
Maggi, took more than a decade to become ‘sells by itself’ consumer good in India. Though I don’t remember the initial taste, I’m sure the taste of the spice powder with the Maggi pack has been reinvented to suit the Indian taste.
A study by Departures magazine in association with Ledbury Research, also says that the Indian market is hard to get because they prefer ‘log-free clothes and accessories’. In India, we look for quality, durability and reasonable rates. The attitude of the shopkeeper is a great influence in the choice of a product. If you treat the customer like a king and assist them in their selection they will surely buy at least one product. If you think that by announcing with the launch of a famous global brands in India, with a bang, the customers in India will make a beeline to the outlets, then forget it! Only those who travelled abroad are aware of the brand. Forget about the foreign brand, even some Indian brands are more famous abroad than in India. I brought a Hidesign bag and proudly displayed the brand in front of my friends, neighbours and colleagues; sadly no one recognized the brand, they just said, “the bag looks good, how much did it cost?”
Marketing strategy of global brands in India has to be tailor-made, with a bit of desi tadka. Indians consumers like to adopt the goodness of the western lifestyle, without compromising on their Indian identity. Products and brands like Indo-western wear, Globaldesi, Satyapaul and Macdonald’s Masala grill allow the consumers to follow the global trend while still holding on to the tradition. If global brands in India wants the Indian consumers to save the luxury market, then add a little tadka, Indian flavour, to the products.