to the second Eye on Asia study released by Grey Worldwide, Indian advertising is far from doomsday yet.
On one hand, while we have international brands such as Nike and Versace figuring in the innovative brands list, we also have a Satya Paul and a Lux making it there. Further, only 14 per cent Indians strongly agree that foreign made goods are better than Indian ones, which means that more and more people are opening up to alternatives.
Local brands should not attempt to mirror Western values; rather, they should embrace a reassessment of tradition in a contemporary context. Simply being 'foreign' is no longer as motivating as in the past. Furthermore, there needs to be consideration of relevancy in local markets as also recognition of the fact that the presence of global brands is seen to be driving the need for innovation and quality improvements in domestic brands.
Indians in particular find advertising overall quite exciting, but the opposite is true for China, where the ads are quite direct. 39 per cent Indians are interested in advertising, whereas 46 per cent say they are somewhat interested. Only 2 per cent are not interested at all in advertising. What's also heartening is that 26 per cent Indians feel Indian advertising is world class.
While the figures for most other Asian countries are quite high, only 32 per cent Indians feel that there should be more limitation and regulation in advertising and marketing. India ranks low in terms of negative perceptions about advertising (only 12 per cent Indians want more regulations). This indicates a sense of optimism about advertising.
This is not to say that advertising should lose its eye-appeal property: 43 per cent Indians feel that advertising can be more entertaining and engaging.
Branding is becoming a cultural discipline as well as a marketing science. How we track and understand our consumers can no longer be reliant on demography, surveys and focus groups. We need to engage in the cultural lives of consumers, understand why they feel the way they do.
Grey used its Eye on Asia database to develop a unique segmentation of Asians based on how they think, feel and react to brands. Five segments were evolved out of this data. The 'Functions First' segment (16 per cent) believes in the functionalities and basic necessities of things. Then there are the 'Status Seekers' (16 per cent), who go after top brands and need assurance/endorsement that they are getting the best. The 'New Brand Enjoyers' (21 per cent) have fun with brands, enjoying novelty as well as the newfound ability to indulge. Then there are the 'Individualist Believers' (23 per cent), who have high standards and individual tastes and believe that brands help define themselves. But the largest group is 'Perceived Value Seekers' (24 per cent), who look for constant approval among peers with regard to the brands they buy. They want added value, emotional connection and reliability.
In India specifically, 500 consumers in Delhi and Mumbai across age and SECs were interviewed face to face. Across Asia, over 7,000 respondents were sampled.
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