Ethnic consumers consulting case analysis

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Identifying the case´s key features and presented issue
In order to better analyse the demands proposed by the professor, first it is useful to present the main background information given on the case description, to be known as the following:
• Date and place: September 2010 in Mumbai, India.
• Actors involved: Nitya Guruvayurappan, whose aspiration is to start a consulting company thatdeals exclusively with behavior issues unique to the Indian context, is prospecting a manufacturer of hair oil and fairness cream as her first client.
• Central issue: Nitya Guruvayurappan must use data from a research publication she co-authored in 2007 to bring insights for the client on consumer values (not extensively previous studied on such market) and specifically use some frameworks tounderstand how brands could differentiate themselves using values unique to the Indian context, matter possible to be scrutinized after she had identified an area of differentiation based on cultural values and ritual experiences from which brands in emerging markets could benefit when were pitched against one another. Some related topics to be addressed were: to what extent emerging markets as Indiadiffer from developed markets on consumer values? Is it possible that brand differentiation transcend the usual generic symbolic benefit to accommodate brand symbolism associated with deeper level of values? Are the existing brands already connecting themselves with the diverse value associated to the Indian consumers? And finally, could values get associated with different socio-economic classes ofconsumers?

Assignment questions

What are the differences with regard to cultural values across social classes and their implications on different product categories?
First, it is suitable to have a coherent understand about the emerging Indian household’s profile (2010):
• Lower class: Deprived (103 million HHs, 1.000.000rs): senior executives in large corporations, owners of largebusinesses, politicians and rich farmers.
Next, about the differences regarding the cultural values across the Indian social classes itself, it can be mentioned that, apart from the common challenges of management of marketing mix elements, understand culture diversity, develop appropriate product lines and localize global communication, a foremost understand of the psyche of Indian consumer in achanging environment, as the local consumption has increased along with the rising household income (roughly doubled over the past two decades), and the phenomenon of emergence of a growing middle class became reality, despite according to official data about only 30% of the population is considered urban (5.161 towns vs. 600.000 villages), is a must for the Indian marketers. Yet about the matter,one should notice that along with the ascension of the purchase power, there was also an increasing affordability of the products, both together signalizing for a change in the values and lifestyle of the Indian society, whose highlights are as follows: Urban consumers are more willing to satisfy their desires and look for material success, which reflects in the constant replacement of values ofconservatism and risk avoidance for openness to experiment and spend money in items that goes beyond the essential (despite the former rituals of save money and to be strict respectful past traditions, which was supplanted by the fact they not necessarily tie their lives to these principles anymore). Such fact is also attached to a growing dependence for technology (coming from a higher need forconvenience and lack of time), and can be translated, particularly in the case of the upper class, who possesses a higher surplus money to spend, reflecting the Veblen conspicuous consumption theory to some extent. A last value shift concern the seek for individuality, which follows the fact a few parts of the urban India sustained the joint family model characteristic of older generations....
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