India's economy has been growing remarkably since the early 1990's. With more than 1.2 billion people, India's population is diverse including different cultures, languages, traditions, habits, and social cultural behavior. A growing middle class with disposable income are generating very high demand. India's market has expanded exponentially with local produce competing against foreign brands. From a market that used to be monopolistic; the market in India has been transformed with a variety of choices such that companies have to consider the importance of branding.
Until recently, manufacturers in India related film stars and sport celebrities with advertising promotions; with the increase of competition from foreign brands, Indian manufacturers are beginning to understand the notion of brand promotion as a factor determining the loyalty that consumers acquires from the perception relayed through quality of product, motivation, and confidence by the manufacturer. More and more, businesses are becoming brand savvy. International brands have an impact on homegrown products in a manner that when exposed to competition, homegrown brands have tendency of being price sensitive and lose value. Indian manufacturers are using branding to fight back the competition.
The majority of international products that perform well in India's market are knowledge driven, hedonistic or luxury goods. Being a successful business in India means being able to understand the sociological, psychological, and historical context of the population which is the reason why many international goods still cannot penetrate the market. Successful businesses such as Jet airways, Titan, or Reliance have used brand equity to mark their presence instead of considering branding as a method of advertising.
The cultural diversity in India and the vast population means that brand consulting implies being able to cater for the vast geographical differences both rural and urban. Value and price are the main factors driving consumer demand in rural areas while there is a higher tendency for prestige in urban areas. Nevertheless, there seems to be a gradual convergence of mental coherency between rural and urban areas. More people from rural area are having access to television and traveling to urban cities frequently. Consumers are increasingly becoming a lot more aware of quality and able to satisfy demand. International and local companies have no alternatives but to adapt branding according to the growing population expectation.
India's market is also becoming very influential globally. By 2020, the GDP of India will be expected to be over US $ 5 trillion and the economic one of the fastest growing in the world. India is infiltrating the worlds market mostly in IT and knowledge based industry. Indian products are also increasingly being exported global such that the need for increasing quality is evident by local companies to cater for the large global competition. Companies in India are therefore acquiring a better understanding of branding and responding to the changing consumer requirements by adopting brand equity which enables them to cater for the population both rural and urban as well as integrate gradually the international market.