25 years post its economic reforms liberalisation, India is truly a land of opportunities. Despite the slowdown in the last three-odd years, India’s long-term potential as an attractive marketplace remains as strong as ever, buoyed by healthy demographics such as a young population.
Today, global MNCs and local giants compete in almost every sector of the economy. However, Brand Origins (global or local) matter significantly to Indian consumers.
Worldwide, industries are far easier to globalise than those that hinge on local preference. Computer chips, for example, tend to globalise far more easily. In fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) however, local tastes, and local relationships matter. Local companies will have a product portfolio that is born out of an inherent understanding of consumer-need by virtue of being local.
According to a Nielsen Study, Brand Origin, in general, mattered more to Indian respondents. Only 2% said brand origins were not important to them against a global average of 6%. In fact, 43% of Indians, against a global average of 28%, said that Brand Origin is more important than any of the other purchasing criteria, with Quality and Functionality being two criteria on which Brand Origin was most important.
The Swadeshi phenomenon also rang true; 71% Indians (3rd across countries) said they would buy local brands to support local businesses, versus 59% globally. 69% said that local brands are more in tune with their tastes. Global brands were seen as having more innovative product offerings.
From a category perspective, Indian preferences were in line with other countries – with a preference for global brands when it comes to personal/ beauty care, and local brands when it comes to food (except for Chocolates).
Respondent preferences do appear to translate into actual performance. Local brands lead across many food categories while in Personal/Beauty Care, its global brands that lead.
When considering either a global or local brand, consumers both globally and in India, ranked price/value as the primary consideration. The other top factors in consideration were:
Incidentally, promotions did not rank in the Top 5 considerations for consumers; neither did packaging, organic options or environment friendliness.
For more details, download the full report (top right).