Research reveals that nearly 8 out of 10 Indian consumers see an opportunity for business to provide stability

India — September 29, 2017 — WE Communication’s (WE) inaugural Brands in Motion study conducted across six markets revealed four realities that brands can leverage to help navigate today’s accelerated business environment. WE and YouGov also released today, findings on consumer perceptions in India specific to the technology industry.

“We live in a world that is increasingly accelerated,” said Alan VanderMolen, President, International, WE Communications “For brands to compete, they must understand the forces propelling them forward, build strong emotional and rational connections with consumers, and embrace, not fear, the motion around them.”

Unlike brand positioning, which assumes a static view of consumer perceptions, brand motion takes into account the influence of broader environmental factors and underlying consumer expectations. WE’s study exposes four realities that businesses, regardless of market and category, can harness for the mutual benefit of brands and stakeholders.

THE NEW REALITIES

A set of realities emerged from the body of research that applies to every geography, every category and every brand surveyed, including India. They are:

REALITY 1: STABILITY IS AN ELEMENT OF MOTION. Despite the rapid change facing consumers today, a high number of them believe brands are capable of providing stability in uncertain times: 79 percent of respondents in India said they believed brands can provide stability, with a staggering 94% of Indian consumers surveyed citing technology B2B brands specifically as having the ability to serve this role. This presents a significant opportunity for brands in India to step up and lead.

REALITY 2: CUTTING EDGE IS TRANSCENDENT. The WE study also found that anything viewed as “cutting edge” tends to be more loved than hated, viewed as a pleasure versus a misery to do business with, and a benefit versus harm to society. Conversely, the data shows that anything viewed as being “stuck in the stone age” also has a higher chance of being “hated”, “a misery” and being viewed as doing harm to society. The research suggests that brands that can lean into their innovation story will get a lift in other areas of their business.

REALITY 3: THE UNILEVER EFFECT. In India, nearly half of surveyed consumers (48 percent) said they placed a balance on brands delivering not only highly effective, high-functional benefit products and services but also taking an active position on issues that provide long-term social value. Consumers increasingly expect brands to take a stand on important issues, and are not only looking for brands that provide a great product, but one that they feel aligns with their values.

REALITY 4: LOVE YOU TODAY, SHAME YOU TOMORROW? Across all markets surveyed, there is evidence of low customer loyalty, where an average of 54 percent of respondents say they “love” versus “hate” a category, yet when asked if they would “shame” or “defend” a brand in this category if they step
out of line, a staggering 98 percent would shame them. Higher than average defense of technology brands is present in India and China versus other markets surveyed.

POSITIVE CLIMATE FOR TECH
Additional data was gathered in India that looked specifically at consumer perceptions of the technology B2B category. 93 percent of Indian respondents said they generally love (versus hate) companies operating in this space, and 94 percent view them as cutting edge versus stuck in the stone age.

“What we’re seeing in India is a positive climate for brands operating in the technology category,” said Carolyn Camoens, Senior Vice President, WE Communications India. “This gives these brands, whether local companies or global brands operating in India, a wide berth to take more risk knowing they have strong support from consumers for what they are doing.”

India also shows a positive climate for technology progress with over half of respondents agreeing that the policies, lawmakers and regulations of this market reinforce innovation. 7 out of 10 Indian consumers surveyed also agree that technological advancement in information sharing has contributed to improvements throughout India.

ABOUT BRANDS IN MOTION

WE partnered with YouGov to field the Brands in Motion survey in six countries among general public and B2B decision-makers. The benchmark was conducted in two waves: first in April 2017 in the U.S., U.K. and China, and second in July 2017 in Australia, Germany, and South Africa. It was designed to target a minimum of 3,000 consumer interviews and 1,000 B2B decision-makers per country with an average of 300 ratings per brand. It looked across eight categories and 30 brands within each geography. Not all categories were surveyed in smaller markets.

A third wave was conducted on a smaller scale for India that looked at consumer views on stability, purpose vs function and Tech B2B perceptions. All of the research captured key demographic data to be able to plot the results against, including generation, gender, education, income, parent/nonparent, region, employment status, marital status and race/ethnicity.

The eight industry categories included Computing Devices, Smart Home, Automotive, Finance, Health & Wellness, and Alcoholic Beverages. The last two were among the B2B audiences: Technology Solutions for Business and Healthcare Solutions Providers.

The research complements the agency’s Stories in Motion pilot study released in November 2016. For more information, visit www.we-worldwide.com.

About WE

WE works with some of the most innovative companies on the planet — those focused on delivering the next big thing. With a media landscape that is moving, pulsing and constantly evolving, brands must navigate everything from industry disruption and technology shifts to stakeholder mandates and political headwinds. In turn, brand stories have to move with new velocity and sync across every device and platform. Using our Momentum methodology, we partner with clients to create transformative communications that are rooted in insight and drive big impact. Our fiercely independent mindset allows us the freedom to bring together the best talent, ideas and partners, through our revolutionary partnership approach, The PLUS Network, to create powerful, persuasive campaigns. Shiny accolades like Cannes Lions, SABREs, Best APAC Medium Agency and PRWeek Award for Best Use of Social Media/Digital adorn our offices. We’re global, speak 37 languages and we’re not much for standing still. But it’s not about us, it’s about our clients, their customers and setting their brands in motion. Time to move. http://www.we-worldwide.com