This is the third article in a 3-part series on the growing phenomenon of baseball in India, as an introduction to BRIC media consumption habits, and media’s influence on consumer preferences in India. By Dah-un Hau of Criterion Global (email@example.com).
Baseball, of course, is just one example of Western culture being marketed to Indian consumers. Multinational brands see India as a prime market, given its 1.1B population, rising middle class, and near-exponential economic growth: since the economic reforms of 1991, India’s GDP has grown dramatically by about 8 percent annually.
India has an emerging consumer culture, and its consumers have been deemed “Global Multipliers”. Global Multipliers consume more goods than the average global consumer, keep updated on the latest trends, and are known to influence the behavior of other consumers. Global Multipliers make an average of 16 recommendations to nine people per week, while average consumers make only 10 recommendations to six people. In India, social media is one of the top sources of information, and a platform which allows the spread of brand recommendations.
Along with TV, social media is another medium prime for brands to leverage in marketing to the Indian consumer. A 2009 study by MTV Networks International shows that 87% of youth in India research purchases before they buy, and website reviews are the fourth most important factor for movie decisions (behind friends, TV and cinema ads).
Perhaps the most appealing characteristic of the Indian market is its remarkable receptiveness to new brands. Consumers in India, like other BRIC nations, value being the first to try something new (72% versus 43% of consumers in established economies), and are more likely to enjoy trying new products even if they are unfamiliar with the brand (81% vs. 58%).
To conclude this 3-part series, bringing baseball to India may be an uphill battle for MLB and its advocates, but given the population, economic power, and receptiveness of this market, MLB will reap great rewards if, in fact, the sport does catch on.
As for other multinational consumer brands, time and a careful understanding of media consumption habits in India can ease a brand’s transition into this ripe market, and also bring great rewards for those who are successful. For more information on international media buying, or consumer trends in BRIC markets, contact Criterion Global today.