Indian consumers enjoy product information overload: Study

Friends and families heavily influence consumer's product decisions, according to the 'New Realities' study by Cogito Consulting and IPG's Terry Peigh

BestMediaInfo Bureau
New Update
Indian consumers enjoy product information overload: Study

Indian consumers enjoy product information overload: Study

Friends and families heavily influence consumer's product decisions, according to the 'New Realities' study by Cogito Consulting and IPG's Terry Peigh

Sarmistha Neogy | Mumbai | May 8, 2014


FCB Ulka's Cogito Consulting, along with The Interpublic Group's Senior VP and Managing Director, Terry Peigh, has come out with the 'New Realities' study that provides a unique window into how the Indian consumer is coping with the information overload and decision-making. For the study, it conducted about 600 online interviews across six countries, namely, India, China, Brazil, USA, Russia and the UK.

Cogito Consulting is the independent brand consulting division of FCB Ulka Group, part of The Interpublic Group (IPG). Cogito is known for bringing in knowledge and new thinking in the space of marketing and branding and constantly tracks the evolving Indian consumer. Cogito has partnered with IPG to do the India leg of the interviews from the time India has been incorporated in the study. Additionally, Cogito has a long-term commitment with IPG to understand the Indian consumer for all the future 'New Realities' global studies.

Some of the very interesting insights of this report are that consumers are fed with lots of information from everywhere because of their growing inclination to learn about products. However, it has been found that in spite of an 'information overload', Indian consumers are less frustrated and confused, with 7.5 out of 10 people feeling that information has made them smarter against a ratio of 7 out of 10 in China.

The study has also revealed that around 55 per cent of Indians believe in the power of information and 60 per cent believe that information availability has made them confident in their brand choices. However, it goes without saying that too much information is not necessarily better.

Another interesting insight from the study is the value of trust. It is of utmost importance for brands to create a level of trust so that consumers can take their product decisions wisely. Fifty-seven per cent of Indians believe that they always seek out trusted sources of information on brands. People in the age bracket of 43-62 years rely more on brands which have been built around trust.

Terry Peigh (center) with Nagesh Alai and Mahuya Chaturvedi. Terry Peigh (center) with Nagesh Alai and Mahuya Chaturvedi.

“We all know that trust can't be built in a day; it is over years that a brand manages to create goodwill among its consumers. I suggest newer brands to create an emotional and humane bonding with its consumers to climb the trust ladder quickly,” said Peigh.

Goodwill can only be created if there is transparency and if the manufacturer is willing to hear consumers' complaints. The study states that only 6 per cent of all online complaints are responded to by manufacturers, leaving the rest 94 per cent unanswered. Peigh said, “Being trusted means you recognise your brand's weakness, admit failures, correct them...and have the conversation.”

It has been found that the most valued channel in terms of product decisions in India is the power of friends and families, and product reviews. The study has also revealed that consumers of China (49%) and India (44%) believe that social networking sites are a good source of word-of-mouth information on brand experience. “Social media is much more than likes and shares and brands should make an effort to engage the consumers in the real sense,” said Peigh.

Fifty-three per cent Indians strongly agree to the view that brand names and brand reputation matter more these days than before. Fifty-one per cent Indians take pride in their product knowledge; around 57 per cent feel that they enjoy researching the information for buying decisions; 53 per cent feel that finding information on brands is fulfilling; 73 per cent and 61 per cent Indians like to help people by spreading their product knowledge and enjoy being seen as knowledgeable; and 49 per cent feel that if they feel strongly about a certain brand, or brands, then they become an active advocate for them.

Therefore, marketers need to find these information-hungry consumers and feed them and reward them for their time and loyalty. They should keep a sharp eye on these consumers who can be spotted easily on blogs, social media channels and company websites.

Peigh ended the presentation saying that the research has also identified five types of consumers – information obsessed, information selective, information functional, information passive and information haters. These groups view information differently, so it is very important not to throw all the information at everyone. It is all about presenting the right information in the right way at the right time, for each consumer type.

The study: