The New Conscious Consumer in India
Consumer culture as the term itself suggests is a culture that is focused on spending money to buy material goods.
It is often linked to the capitalist economy of the United States but is not limited to it. In the year 1900 -2000 market goods were dominating the American lifestyle and to clearly quote from history consumerism had no limit.
Consumer culture is the dominant culture of 20th century. The main focus of consumer culture is to target a large group of people who share similarities, like similar traits, choices, and cultural backgrounds.
The consumer is now alluded to be the economy’s supreme ruler. The focus of all market activity is on him. Producers work hard to ensure that their products are made with consumers’ wants in mind. Along with the consumer’s delight, producers also strive for the highest possible sales. Therefore, they make every effort to expand their sales.
Some strategies used to boost sales benefit both the manufacturers and the consumers. On the other hand, some of the strategies used to boost sales subserve the interests of producers while working against those of consumers. In other words, the customers are taken advantage of.
According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary the word consumer means A purchaser of goods or uses of services. And In Black’s Law Dictionary, it is explained to mean ‘one who consumes individuals, who consume, individuals who purchase, use, maintain, and dispose of products and services’.
Early in the 1990s, India‘s economy was opened to the world market, and numerous multinational firms raced in to target its 200 million or more middle-class consumers. However, they soon encountered low incomes, social and political conservatism, and reluctance to change. It came out that the Indian consumer was difficult to understand and appeal to.
The world is evolving. Although sentiments are still complicated, they have significantly changed in favour of consumerism, especially in the last ten years. Of course, the nation’s recent economic performance is a factor. The average yearly rate of GDP growth over the last three years has been close to 8%.
The demographic makeup of the population is also important; a fifth of all people under 20 in the globe are Indian. A young, ebullient generation that has grown up around prosperity is now joining the ranks of Indian customers.
Indians are frequently portrayed as being highly spiritual individuals who despise worldly values. According to aresearch, this stereotype is no longer accurate. For instance, by 1996, nearly 50% of India’s urban population had embraced the “work hard and get rich” mentality; by 2006, another 9% had.
Indians work long hours to achieve their goals because they are more driven than ever by personal ambition and a desire for material achievement. India is among the world’s hardest workers, with a workweek average of 50 hours, according to a recent Gallup survey of more than 30 countries.
We include the study of materialism in daily life. Advertising plays a major role in consumerism. The common patterns of conduct that one might anticipate to see in consumerism or commercialism are a second part of consumerism discourse. Branding, lifestyle, and fashion-related articles on consumers are becoming increasingly prevalent in India’s popular media. These topics are frequently covered in newspaper columns.
In the fields of advertising, business, and women’s fashion, a number of periodicals have emerged that frequently address these themes. The movie business and feature films directly influence a large portion of Indian consumerism.
The present and future of consumerism are greatly influenced by our purchasing habits. We buy tales instead of stuff as customers. We purchase items based on how they make us feel and what they reveal about who we are.
We purchase volcano water because it may give us a sense of security, and we purchase smartwatches because we might want to appear and feel fit. We purchase electric cars not simply to reduce our gasoline expenses but also because we care about the environment. Perhaps it’s time for us CMOs to rethink who we are, what we want, and how we comprehend those things. Perhaps we should redefine what a “good life” is and reflect on our objectives.
Consumption in the modern world involves not only wanting more things, but also wanting them quickly. In a recent piece of ours, we created the phrase “hyper lapse consumerism” to describe this need. We can now order things with a flick of our fingertips and have them delivered quickly thanks to the expansion of the internet, the use of smartphones, and e-commerce.
Food and grocery delivery services in India recently announced 10-minute deliveries. OTPs and delivery partners have replaced the sentimental kirana outlets.
The key is to be aware of our desires as well as the social, economic, and personal costs of contemporary consumerism—not that we should never give in to our desires.
Writer Agrita Chhibber is from Jammu
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