India: Six Surprising Things

Building Strong Brands

I am just back from a three-day trip to India; I was in Kolkata to speak at the 2013 Brand Conclave. It was a terrific event. Here are a few things that surprised me:

– Low income consumers in India generally buy the most expensive cement. I had an interesting conversation with a marketing executive from one of the large players in that industry and he explained that people with low incomes seek out quality when it comes to cement. They avoid the lower priced products. When they are building a house, they want to do it right; it is an important investment. So they buy a brand they trust, which also happens to be one of the most expensive options.

This is a good reminder that brands matter to everyone and people with lower incomes sometimes buy premium brands.

– India’s retail system is incredibly fragmented. There is an astonishing number of small…

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