Some of the trends listed below may look contradictory but then, at this time, the Indian consumer, especially the urban, middle income, and relatively young segment (and this classification will probably cover about 200 million individuals) is showing some seemingly contradictory buying behaviour.
Contradictory: Technopak Advisors chairman Arvind Singhal. Sudhanshu Malhotra / Mint
Here’s what we are likely to see in 2009:
* Consumers will move beyond basic needs to discretionary spending.* They will seek value in products that serve basic needs such as food and grocery.
* The definition of value will be different for different products.
For instance, they will seek the lowest price for products that serve basic needs, whereas in others the determinants will range from aspiration to convenience to brand name.
* There will be more visible consumption for products having bling value and consumers will continue to pay a premium for them.
* We will see rise in indulgence with more desire for enjoyment and experience.
* Consumers will seek more instant gratification.
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* We will also see the culture of throughout-the-year consumption rather than festival- or occasion-led spendings in the past.
* We will see increasing fear of being ordinary. Consumers would want to be extraordinary though still within current social norms.
* Consumers will get more conscious about their health and well being.
* They will begin getting concerned with the surrounding environment—including nature, society, politics and public policy.
Arvind Singhal is chairman, Technopak Advisors Pvt. Ltd, a management consulting firm.
This is the third of a nine-part series. Tomorrow: Star India Pvt. Ltd CEO Uday Shankar talks about the broadcast sector.
Also Read earlier stories of Trends 2009
Graphics by Sandeep Bhatnagar / Mint