Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Changing Preferences of Indian Population (Towards Luxury/Premium Brands)

The concept of luxury is not new to Indians. There have been instances in the past wherein the Indian Customers have had quite high demands and preferences in terms of customizing luxury and luxury products according to their taste and have paid big money to get that done. But the concept of luxury has always clung to the high class urbane, royal and sophisticated lot. However, witnessing the trends lately there have been a paradigm shift in the thought process and the buying patterns of the upper middle and middle class of the Indian stature.

There has been an exemplar drift towards the consumption, acquisition and/or purchase of luxury items by the otherwise hesitant Indian Middle Class. Also the growing segment of liberalization-era HENRYs - High-Earning, Not Rich Yet - in India, who earn INR 40 Lac- INR 50 Lac per year, are the major consumer segment that are growing in the lap of luxury. Disdain for opulence and indulgence has faded and the emerging consumer brackets are defining luxury on their own terms. 

The changing preference of this class of customer can be attributed to the fact that luxury is seen as a reward, both for achievements in life as well as showcasing the achievements to others. Also, there are consumers in the country who have had a global exposure. So they constantly try to play on the mindset of ‘I’ve made it’. However, the consumers are not completely ignorant about the quality of service that they expect for a certain commodity. They need a differentiation in product and service to justify why they are paying for it.
India's luxury industry is set to grow at 25 per cent a year between now and 2015, according to an ASSOCHAM-YES Bank study. The suppliers now are constantly struggling with luring the customers to these Luxury stores as well as making them permanent to their stores whereby educating them to have an association with the brand. There is a need to educate these consumers and teach them about the experience that the brand provides, but in a non-intimidating manner.

To be successful in India, it is necessary to gauge both the financial potential as well as the mindset of the Indian luxury consumer. This will lead to bringing the right product in front of the potential buyer and hence targeting them in an improved way. Also the level of service that is provided to the customers has a great impact on the Indian consumer mentality. Therefore, in order to serve this developing class of Indian Consumers, there is a need for efficient and well trained forefront employees who are generally the sales persons and the store managers who could gradually acquaint them with the power that the brands provide.

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