Digital Media Influence on Indian Consumer Buying Behavior

Digital Media Influence on Indian Consumer Buying Behavior

I was recently interviewed by Shruthi Padmanabhan, a student at the University of the Arts London. The interview was conducted as part of her research {dissertation} to understand consumer behavior and purchasing habits of consumers for the Indian luxury market.

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  1. Could you briefly talk about the kind of influence you have and how it impacts purchases for both, the audience {as a consumer} and for luxury brands you work with?

Me: More than a century after style arbiter Coco Chanel recreated the lens through which fashion was looked at by revolutionizing style through her aesthetic ethos, “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury”; we are now experiencing a new revolution in the form of digitization.

Caught in the exhilarating whirlwind of this technological revolution, every city and town, and even the villages in India are undergoing a digital transformation which is being referred to as “Urbanization of the Mind”. Our brush with social media has encouraged fashion to transcend from the fashion capitals and reach out to the streets where young people are waiting to imbibe and explore it.

Over half the country’s population is under 35 years of age and these young and enterprising brains have an eye for quality and authenticity. Businesses are already competing with each other through a range of online tools including social media and their e-commerce websites to target the right audience and to understand and study their audience through the microscope of social media data.

In my capacity as a social media influencer I create engaging content that appeals to high-net-worth consumers, I weave authentic stories which strengthens the positioning of the brand among its audience, and I leverage my personal online visibility and my reader base to increase the brand’s outreach.

 

  1. Do you feel that brands like Sabyasachi Mukherjee have opened up the Indian market by collaborating with Christian Louboutin? Do you think consumers are finally getting the chance to see what Indian fashion and culture is all about?

Me: We are finally beginning to liberate from the conformities of style and beginning to embrace it as a universal language that is not restricted to geographical precincts or cultural limitations.

The way I see it, Sabyasachi is one of those designers who works with unfettered creativity to present impeccable collections that are not just a definition of excellence, but also personify the Indian cultural ethos. Each piece is created with a story, where Sabyasachi reaches out to his clientele not just by means of fashion but through an essential and fundamentally emotional connection.

So when I first heard of the capsule collection which brought together two of the most revered fashion icons ~ Sabyasachi and Christian Louboutin, I could only imagine what a storm it was going to create. The outcome was expectedly exhilarating; borrowing the most remarkable elements of Parisian and Indian styles and bringing together the two cultures in a marriage that instantly captured the interest of fashionistas around the world.

Handiwork and handicraft were the two heroes of this exclusive collection which was resonant with India’s royal history of embroideries. Both designers have their own idiosyncrasies of style which were woven together for contemporary wearers who veer toward quirky, nonchalant designs.

Collaborations such as these are opening the gates for India’s exquisite techniques of embroidery to meet modernism in a way that gets the world to sit up and take notice.

 

  1. While India has brands like Sabyasachi, Shantanu and Nikhil and various other luxury designers, do you feel like consumers stray towards Indian designers for luxury consumption, or are they more likely to purchase from international brands?

Me: The world is a smaller place now. Trade and commerce across international borders is simpler and the availability of global brands in local areas is easier. What does all of this translate to ~ a fashion culture that is heavily influenced by global brands.

While brands close to home have their own audience, the majority of consumers lean inevitably towards international brands which are almost always seen as a symbol of status and class.

 

  1. Is social media the future for luxury fashion? Is it possible for influencers to promote the right kind of message to its audiences, to the point that advertising as such isn’t as important as it was in previous years?

Me: More than two and half centuries ago, Josiah Wedgwood and Sons took the then British Queen’s consort, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz’s permission to call their new collection of earthenware, the “Queen’s Ware”. It influenced buyer’s heavily and sold exceptionally well across Europe.

Do you see? Influencers have been around for a long time and their collaborations with brands have helped entrepreneurs and designers create a more valuable connection with their clients.

Social media is a phenomenon that is taking the entire world by storm; and India is a country of young consumers who thirst for originality and exclusivity in fashion. With most of the youth in the country using a variety of social media platforms, brands already know that social media has a much bigger impact than other forms of advertising.

It is the creative use of social media that can make or break a brand’s positioning and reputation among its audience today. People slant towards engaging brands where they can directly communicate with real people like influencers who drop the veil of unreachability which was a common problem for brand ambassadors, and make brands more accessible to their audience. Through social media influencers brands are thus able to identify more deeply with their audience and curate pieces that are a closer expression of their clients’ personality.

 

  1. What do you think the future for the luxury market is like in India?

Me: For some, buying from luxury brands is all about the experience while for others it is about owning a product that defines them as a part of the crème de la crème of society. With a considerable rise in the number of high net-worth individuals in the country, luxury brands are definitely looking at ways to effectively integrate into the Indian market.

Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, BottegaVeneta and Versace have successfully captured the interests of the nouveau riche with their exemplary marketing tactics. From truly mesmerizing in-store experiences to taking their clients on a highly engaging digital journey, these brands are not just about being exclusive in fashion but being untouchable when it comes to competition on the digital front.

I think that we are bracing for a luxury market that will be an inescapable integration of stunning digital experiences, witty social media engagement and remarkable in-store experiences.

 

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I hope you have enjoyed reading these influencer notes on the Digital Media Influence on Indian Consumer Buying Behavior as much as I did writing them.

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

24 Comments

  • Hi Tanya! Opened my emails and the only one I looked at was yours. Your tenacity is an inspiration, and reading your posts with the beautiful pictures guarantees a lovely evening! Sending a huge hug!

  • Loved this post. Words that reflect my sentiment totally… Can’t wait to hear what your next post will enlighten us on…. whatever it is, I’ve no doubt that you will make it interesting. Xx

  • I love your blog and website… Thank you for your words! I read – lots. I flit through many subjects; some I’m interested in others I’m not. But only some of them I go back to again & again… You are one of them. So thank you again!

  • You are such a talented writer ~ that’s a no-brainer. As soon as I see your name in my “in box” it brings a smile to my face and it’s the first item I open. Thank you for your awesomeness. Your words ROCK OUT LOUD xo

  • One is forced to ponder the seriousness of social media reach in life… especially when you think of the possibilities!! You are amazing and I love your posts!

    • Life sure throws curve balls, Donna… but making the best of all the moments in between. Sending love right back atcha!

  • I always look forward to seeing your new posts to enjoy your wit and outlook on life. I can see us being the best of friends if a couple thousand miles didn’t separate us… but hell… that’s just logistics. Keep blogging and inspiring!

  • Tanya, I understand that a good blog is a lot of work, and you do such a lovely job of it! You are amazing and talented and wonderful and so much more! xx

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence, Elana! Sending you the biggest hug of life through the interweb airwaves… Can you feel it? xoxo

  • Hi Tanya!
    That was thhhhheeee best advice on the use of social media for brands. So good, in fact…. I added it into my blog post! So, THANK YOU for that!!

  • Tanya, I just wanted to tell you I find you inspirational! You’re a bit like crack; I have to check on what you’re up to frequently! You bring laughter into my life as well as perspective! I hope you continue to kick ass!

  • Your blog brings up so many emotions for me and your writing is exquisite! You have such a unique voice… know that I will always be here to comment and encourage.

  • Tanya, you’re awesome!! Every time I read your posts, I can’t click fast enough to see what you are going to talk about today!

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