To be successful in India, it is both necessary to gauge the financial potential as well as the mindset of the Indian luxury consumer. This will help in bringing forth the right product offerings to the Indian consumer as well as targeting them better. There are conventional foundations for ensuring success of a brand and they are listed below in brief: * The brand must be “expansive” – Which means it should be full of innovation opportunities for the marketer and in terms of satisfying the different needs of the luxury consumer.
* The brand must tell a story – One of the best ways for an organization to compete and distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack is to tell your brand story. The story should be so powerful that it should make customer act as the way you want. * The brand must be relevant to the consumers’ needs – Depending upon the mindset of the luxury class, it is necessary for a brand to satisfy those needs, whether they be for recognition or functional use etc.
* The brand must align with consumers’ values – A brand that does not concur with the basic values of a consumer’s society has a small chance of succeeding because luxury items are identification for a luxury consumer. This makes it difficult for the consumer to adopt the brand in such cases. * The brand must perform – Irrespective of which category the brand belongs to, a performance assurance is a must for the brand.
Based on the inputs given above as well as an understanding of the decision making process of the luxury consumer, we recommend the following paths for luxury marketers based on what Indian consumers really desire from their luxury brands, i. e. product brand, dealer/store brand and price/value relationship : (The price / value relationship has been accorded less focus since the Indian Consumer is at a phase when cost of luxury is secondary to its appeal / benefits) 1. Brand Me Affluent!
– It is essential for marketers to ensure that the recognition value of their brands is always high so that it lends a sense of affluence to the consumer, which can only come if others around him / her perceive the brand to be a top-notch luxury brand. This can come from either being aligned with the most successful celebrities or being a part of elite events and promotions. 2. Nothing but the Best – This is a golden opportunity for the marketer to earn greater margins by adding customized value to his line of luxury goods.
These added-value customized goods will ensure that the customer feels he has something more than just the ordinary range of luxury goods available. 3. Luxury is having the world at my fingertips – First! – A luxury marketer will not only have to be faster than his competitors in reaching out to the consumer, to gain a share of wallet but also continuously offer innovative products that serve to differentiate between the consumers. 4. “Ethnic Chic” – The Fusion of Local & Global goods – This point is connected to the strategy of a product being in line with the consumers’ values for it to be adopted.
Apart from this, in the Indian context, ethnicity is also a fashion statement in many product categories. 5. You Think I’m Demanding? Next! – The marketer’s job should be a constant endeavor to offer newer luxury goods to the consumer, in sync with their needs. In addition to that, marketers will need to make sure that each and every single consumer has to be treated with a high-level of personalized attention, given the nature of the product and the consumer. Even minor Shortfalls in this case will have the consumer shifting their brand preferences to those marketers who can satisfy their needs better.
6. CANNIBALIZATION OF BRANDS – It thus becomes essential to ensure that successful celebrities are partnered with at the right time, thereby both eliminating chances of Competition as well as delivering the right aspirational / appeal message to the intended audience. Conclusion The starting point for identifying successful luxury brand strategies in India has been established by identifying certain salient aspects of luxury brands that remain constant as well as identifying the stage of mindset of the Indian consumer towards these brands.
The focus is now towards ‘how soon’ luxury brands will enter the market to gain a first mover advantage, which is of significant importance in India. Apart from how soon, we primarily focus on ‘how will’ luxury brands cater to the mainly aspirational needs of the Indian consumer. A word of caution that goes for luxury marketers, irrespective of their brands and Geographical presence – The luxury consumer is always looking for newer ways to Satisfy his continuously changing needs.
Hence, the need to keep a close tab through insightful research is of prime importance. As far as India is concerned, given the rapidly accelerating affluence of the Masses, the scenario is set to witness a boom. The ones who will be riding the Wave will be the ones who’ve kept their ears open to each and every word of their Each and every customer. After all, in the luxury business, no marketer can afford the luxury of treating its consumers as a loosely bunched segment.