New Year, New Consumer

  • The Indian consumer has been on the radar for brands across the world. With the country still showing healthy growth rates amongst a sea of gloom, brands from categories ranging from budget to premium have been looking to the Indian consumer for growth.
  • The key question on every leader and marketer’s mind now would be, “How will the Indian consumer behave in 2017?”, considering the “cashless” thrust of the government
  • Will the current slump from demonetisation be met by a fierce return to consumerism with demonetisation?
  • Notebandi was not surgical in nature at all — it was more chemotherapy.
  • In effect, our young consumers have experienced something they never did before: deprivation and scarcity.
  • It took 40 years for the Indian consumer to move from a need-based buying behavior to a want-based behavior.
  • Brands across categories revelled in this desire to possess, own, experience and consume the elixir of freedom and choice — unlike their grandfather’s generation, brought up in scarcity and deprivation where saving was a virtue and “wanting” was seen as depravity.
  • This sudden and forced introduction to deprivation and scarcity, especially with fiscal capability, can result in unpredictable behavior.
  • The fountain of consumerism had been the easy availability of money. With the fountain drying off suddenly the consumer is not experiencing any change in lifestyle.
  • This coupled with the fact that readily available cash is no guarantee in life may lead to introspection and the consumer may begin to distinguish between needs and wants and whose wants may begin drying off.
  • The upgrade-now behavior may give way to a maybe later culture.
  • Therefore from the above, we can conclude by saying post demonetisation, the buying pattern of consumers or the behavior will be affected.
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