Friday, March 30, 2012: 10:11:30 PM

Retail Poll Feature

Brand craze is subsiding

Availability of wider product range and growing awareness of consumers make branded products less coveted

With a consumer base where the majority of buyers are below 30 years of age, the Indian retail market is not just the most lucrative but also one of the fastest growing in the world. International and domestic brands take into consideration the fact that the average consumer has an affinity for everything new and there is also a fascination towards branded stuff.

 
In layman’s terms, branded products are those produced by an established brand and people using it show a particular fetish or preference for the same. However, in recent years the trend has been on a decline and the average consumer has opened up to the massive retail experience that has choice as its biggest selling point. Going into a supermarket today, one no longer relies on an imported brand for the best variant of mayonnaise and can easily expect a good domestic counterpart.
 
A survey by Retailing360 provides a rather clear picture with majority (67%) of the voters agreeing that the craze for branded products has gone down in urban India. According to management professional Manan Sharma, “The youngsters today have realised that one does not need to rely only on branded garments to look fashionable nor use the best technology to avail the best services. In Tier II and Tier III cities, some of the local brands have made a mark specifically because of this changing consumer pattern.”
 
According to Caroline Fernandes, brand consultant and creator-facilitator of theBarcode, a brand management firm in Bengaluru, “I think people are more conscious about fashion and realise that branded items have little to do with making a style statement.”
 
Challenging road ahead
 
It may also be worth noting that some brands, especially international ones, may still have a long way to go in establishing themselves in the Indian market and gaining popularity, which makes them equivalent to the non-brand segment. This phenomenon makes the Indian market even more challenging and lucrative for these players.
 
Tias Chakraborty
 

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