Indian brand owners would need to change their mental make up
With liberalisation, the opening up of the Indian economy and its rapid growth, we have many instances of global brands entering India with varied levels of success. Some, like Cadbury, have been in India for many years and have built up considerable loyalty and equity by continuously connecting with and delighting consumers. So, how was this achieved and what can other Indian brands learn from the experience as they set about to gain scale in different markets? Lets take the case of Cadbury Dairy Milk (CDM) in India.
Though the brand was available in India for a long time, its franchise was fairly limited till the 1990s. It was in the 90s that the brand gained scale and in the last fifteen years or so, has expanded its franchise to become not only Indias favorite meetha but also amongst its most trusted.
The mainstay of the strategy that has built the CDM brand to what it is today are its understanding of the Indian consumer as well as the retail environment, its consistent brand promise and the ability to forge an enduring emotional connection with consumers in India.
It will be the same for Indian brands venturing abroad. Let me illustrate with a cricketing analogy. For years, the Indian cricket team was a champion in home conditions but barely competitive in foreign locales. However, in recent years this has changed a great deal.
So what exactly has changed? Did the team (product) change, did the conditions abroad (new market) change, did the players learn new skills? Not really. What essentially changed was their preparation, an understanding that they needed to adapt to different conditions, some sensible choices in team composition and most importantly their resolve and determination to succeed.