While most Indian consumers are value-conscious and their loyalty towards a particular brand depends a lot on pricing, there is a large proportion that remains strongly bonded towards brands by virtue of their leadership in the marketplace or because of intense faith in them.
This facet of the Indian consumers was revealed by a recent study titled Brand Relationship Style Monitor Study (BRSM) conducted by advertising agency FCB Ulka's research arm, Cogito Consulting.
The study, which is a proprietary of FCB, is conducted in seven countries (US, China, Hong Kong, Germany and Brazil) and measures the intensity and nature of relationship customers have with brands.
It was conducted for the first time in India and looked at seven relationship styles - non-committal, price-based, follow the leader, reliant, caring, delights me and perfect fit.
The product categories covered were automobiles, SUVs, compact cars, big-sized cars, banks, credit cards, colour TVs and mobile services.
Mr Kinjal Medh, COO, Cogito Consulting, said, "This study helps marketers find out aspects such as how strong their brand is, how loyal target consumers are to the brand and also how vulnerable their brand is."
Indian consumers different
He added that Indian consumers are quite different from the rest of the world.
"Indian consumers tend to gravitate to the two ends of the BRSM - namely consumers in a `perfect fit' relationship with their brands as also consumers in `price-based' equations with their brands. Both styles are highly indicative of the seriousness with which consumers here seek brands, being fairly high involved decisions at the same time being highly price-value conscious."
The study reveals that brands in categories such as telecom and consumer durables have strong skews towards the `follow-the-leader' relationship style, while few brands in financial products category suffer on relationship styles such as `caring' and `reliant'.
The study also highlights certain diagnostic measures that can be used for brands to move up the relationship ladder, for better brand equity.
"The BRSM not only talks about the kind of bonding a consumer has with a particular brand, but also gives inputs on what to do to improve this bonding."