huge growth in the Indian economy, a number of brands have entered the market, and the affluent Indian consumer is adopting the latest global fashion trends. Amongst the Indians who participated in the Nielsen Global Luxury Brands Study, 35 per cent said they bought designer brands. With this percentage, India ranks third on the list, after Greece (46 per cent) and Hong Kong (36 per cent).
"People are travelling overseas more frequently now and quite likely, their interactions with foreign brands have increased considerably. Moreover, foreign brands are synonymous with status and our survey finds that 57 per cent of Indians surveyed buy designer brands as a status symbol. The number of outlets that these brands have opened up in the country in recent times is a testimony in itself of the increasing fashion consciousness amongst Indians," says Vatsala Pant, associate director, client solutions, The Nielsen Company.
"There seems to be a huge market potential for luxury brand line extensions into every corner of the home and office and crossovers between brands and products are certainly an opportunity to drive the demand for these products," says Pant.
In terms of spends, the top brands that Indian consumers spend on are Calvin Klein (34 per cent), Gucci (25 per cent), Diesel (24 per cent), Christian Dior (16 per cent), and DKNY (10 per cent). India has also made it to the top 10 markets globally for some of the brands. In terms of purchase of Gucci products, India ranks third highest globally. On a global ranking, it ranks sixth for Calvin Klein, ninth for Diesel and 10th for Fendi.
The study reveals that leaving the money factor aside, Gucci (41 per cent), Calvin Klein (31 per cent), Christian Dior (26 per cent), Versace (25 per cent), Diesel (22 per cent) and Giorgio Armani (22 per cent) are the most coveted brands among consumers in India. Local designer brands are also quite popular amongst Indians, with 40 per cent respondents reporting buying these brands. This is the sixth highest percentage globally for a country that buys local brands.
Three countries - India , the Philippines and Indonesia - top the Asia Pacific, with Italian brand Gucci being most popular, with a percentage of 41 per cent, 39 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively. At 41 per cent, India actually tops the world with most people wishing to buy a Gucci product if money wasn't to be considered. It is noticeable that the level of desire among Asian consumers to buy Chanel and Christian Dior has increased by six and four percentage points, respectively, compared to two years ago, when the Nielsen survey was last conducted.
Though 73 per cent Indians feel that designer brands are usually overpriced, 35 per cent also believe that designer brands are of a significantly higher quality than standard brands. On a global level, India stands eighth in thinking that designer brands are quality products, and invest in them in spite of the price. Some 45 per cent Indians think that only fashion conscious people consider buying designer brands.
"With the flourishing Indian economy and greater disposable incomes of consumers, India has become a potential hub for designer brands from across the world. The increasing experimental nature of consumers in India has also helped the fashion industry to spread its roots in the country," says Pant.
The latest survey, conducted in November 2007, polled about 26,312 Internet users in 48 markets in Europe, the Asia Pacific, North America and West Asia. Some 500 interviews were conducted in India.