Foreign apparel brands and the young Indian consumer: an exploration of the role of brand in the decision-making process

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Parvathi Padmanabhan (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Nancy Hodges

Abstract: This study examines how young Indian professionals make decisions about apparel products considering the myriad of options that are now available to them in the marketplace. Declared an emerging market by the US Department of Commerce in 1993 (Bandyopadhyay & Banerjee, 2003), and with projections of increases in urban per capita GDP of 6% every year until 2025, India has become an attractive market for many foreign companies. Considering its large population and emerging young professional middle class, many apparel brand companies have begun to compete for the Indian consumer's attention. However, little is known about what this consumer looks for when considering apparel brands. In this study, a qualitative approach was used to understand the role of brands in the decision-making process of young, urban Indian consumers. Multiple methods were employed to collect data, including focus groups, spousal dyad interviews and observation. Data collection took place in Bangalore, a large city in the South of India. Thirty-four males and females between the ages of 22 and 35 participated in the study. In addition, consumption behaviors of young consumers in three shopping malls in and around Bangalore were observed. Data analysis was conducted for commonalties and differences that surfaced in the participants' experiences which were then grouped together to form themes. These themes were used to structure four conceptual areas that help in understanding the decision-making process of young professionals in urban India: Brand Awareness, Brand Choice, Brand Meaning and Understanding the Young Urban Indian Consumer. Participants were segmented into groups by factors that surfaced as important to their decision-making, including brand consciousness, price consciousness, whether they were from the city or had migrated to the city, and whether they were married or single. Practical implications of the study for retailers and marketers are provided along with suggestions for further study.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Brand, Decision-Making, Indian consumer, Jugaadu
Consumers' preferences $z India
Brand choice $z India
Consumer behavior $z India
Fashion merchandising $z India

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