Saturday, June 5, 2010
Strong Beer : two Indian cities & two entirely different consuming behavior
The latest blog is written with the intention to describe that in India things might go for a toss if a marketer relies too much on the general fundamentals of consumer behavior. Nothing specifies this better than strong beer .Just take the case of two cities Mumbai & Bangalore ,while Mumbai is extremely fast ,humid and known as a city where dreams come true Bangalore is more upmarket in it's approach ,is more sophisticated ,known for having a very pleasant weather and is the Silicon valley of India . Now take the case of a strong beer brand ,lets say Haywards 5000, going by intuition who are the ones who should consume Haywards 5000 in Mumbai and who are the ones who should consume it in Bangalore. In Bangalore it should be consumed mainly by the down market crowd or the typical blue collar employees where as the more sophisticated upmarket consumers should be preferring costlier wine brands. In Mumbai it should be the other way round, Mumbai where life is so fast that no matter you belong to what kind of socioeconomic strata life will always be sweat drenching ,fast & furious,here even if you are an upmarket consumer at the end of an exhausting day nothing can be as chilling as a mug of strong beer with some upbeat sounds at an upmarket pub. So that's what the behavioral approach says, but if you really believe this then kindly revisit your thinking. In fact its just the other way round. In Bangalore strong beer is consumed more by upmarket , sophisticated customers who love to have it in posh pubs along with their respective girl friends/ boyfriends .In Mumbai it is mainly consumed by Blue collar employees who generally come from lower income group . Probably while coming back from their work they probably prefer drinking a glass or two in some Irani restaurant along with some snacks.While in Bangalore it's more of an item to have fun with, in Mumbai it is just an item which is taken in small quantity to refresh one self. Based on the pattern of consumption it is very essential that this very same product that is strong beer must be promoted in a different way in both the cities . If a marketing strategy is designed with out really understanding the consumption motive then it might not be very effective.
India is such a diverse country with such a diversified demographic profiles that here no rule works. Only thing that can pay off will be doing an extensive on field research followed by learning from doing real business.