In the past, Indian consumers often viewed brands primarily as status symbols that catered to a select few who could afford their luxury products. Furthermore, Indian brands remained overshadowed as toting a Louis Vuitton handbag or owning a pair of Jimmy Choos was considered the epitome of branded wear, up until recently. As the middle class burgeoned, the country’s consumer base saw a switch in attitude from brand consciousness to brand awareness.
The Indian consumer’s understanding of brands has been altered, influenced by factors such as the values reflected as well as the price. This newfound awareness has brought several domestic brands to the forefront, with some even sharing the spotlight with other global brands. Companies such as Godrej Group and Life Insurance Corporation have garnered years of consumer loyalty and rank among the country’s most trusted brands.
The rise of Indian brands
As of 2022, conglomerates, banks and tech giants constituted some of the leading brands of India. Apart from these, a considerable number of brands have also mushroomed within the retail and FMCG industries. The latter also held the lion’s share of advertising on television led by brands such as Harpic and Dettol. Simultaneously, everyday household commodities were on top of the list in terms of spending among Indian shoppers, who were equally conscious of where they purchased these products. Big Bazaar and D’Mart have been two of the go-to supermarket brands among consumers.
D2C startups reform brand building in India
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and an already booming e-commerce industry, direct-to-consumer startups have increasingly spread across the country. The Indian market houses over 600 D2C brands each offering a wide range of products from grocery and personal care products to consumer electronics. Boosted by the Make in India initiative launched by the government, India’s startup ecosystem is extremely viable for fledgling D2C companies that have experienced a surge in investments of late.
While a part of the consumer population staunchly chooses to purchase only from name brands, a fair share of Gen Z buyers expressed a keen interest in experimenting with new brands that especially align with their values and lifestyle. Apart from affordability, Indian consumers also give impetus to the sustainability of a brand as well as its stance on socio-political issues, for example, women’s empowerment. Mamaearth and Licious are brands exemplar of these values while meeting consumer demands in the personal care and grocery categories, respectively.
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