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India is a great country, which is growing rapidly in this modern new world. It is a wonderful blend and mix of tradition and modernity. In some cases, parents are traditional in outerwear and children are modern in outerwear. However, the same children have not left traditional values and follow customs as well as respect elders. Similarly parents have adopted modern trends whether in the form of usage of technology or in the form of modern trends in education.

Parents are very keen to make sure that they don’t get left behind in this modern new world and want to keep pace with their children. Many a time, you can observe the father taking his young daughter to a mall and selecting her preference for modern clothing, while he is content with traditional attire. It is also seen that tradition and modernity are able to live comfortably with one another without any sense of discomfort.

There is a very healthy trend and blend of Tangible Tradition and Tangible Modernity and Intangible Tradition and Intangible Modernity.

Tangible Tradition means the way we dress up, the way we carry ourselves and the kind of external appearances we have.

Intangible Tradition is the way we have our beliefs and our values. For example – our sense of respect for elders and our aspect of making sure that the head of the family is someone whose opinion is always sought.

Tangible Modernity is the western clothing we wear. For example wearing a tie or pair of jeans and the kind of the equipment we have, which is western oriented.

Intangible Modernity is the aspect related to modern thinking not getting bound by age old rigidity and taking care of human beings to have a better quality of life.

Today traditional parents co-exist very comfortably with modern children.

Elders going to a multiplex and teenagers having traditional values co-exist. Teenagers going to a place of worship, young adults not smoking in front of elders, keep the traditional values alive. This trend of Tradition and Modernity Blend has to be studied, observed and listened to and then it will continue to grow. If brand marketeers constantly understand this they will make their brands grow.

If there is a boy who is wearing “Wrangler” jeans and is wearing “Lacoste” T-Shirt and “Nike” shoes and “Rayban” glasses does not mean that he does not have traditional values. He may be wearing modern clothes but may have traditional values inside his heart. This is the new India, a mix of tradition and modernity, which has to be understood to make the brands grow. Just because you wear a dhoti does not mean that your thoughts are rigid. You may have progressive thoughts.

Brands are able to grow if they are able to use and respect the Indian consumer behaviour. Infact, there is a great opportunity for companies to make sure that consumers are catered to, without making them uncomfortable. The brands must adapt their offerings to the consumers’ behaviour and not expect the consumer to change his behaviour because of a new brand.

Anything which improves the quality of life of the consumer is progressive and should be encouraged. Anything which causes tension and discomfort to the consumer should be avoided. It is important to realise that the consumer has an aspiration to improve the standard of living and quality of life.

Even, while traveling internationally, airlines, are able to be sensitive and appreciate consumer behaviour whether it be the language used or Indian vegetarian food served or the kind of music or films the Indian consumer would enjoy. It is not traditional or modern to like particular products or services, but a sense of comfort to live in an environment and behave in a manner which may be considered traditional by others, but modern and comfortable by the Indian consumer. The consumer comes first and therefore their lifestyle should be respected and addressed well.

A blend of tradition and modernity is the new trend.

In the new format, Indian and multinational restaurants are wooing the Indian consumer. Separate kitchens for vegetarian or non-vegetarian consumers are being implemented and highlighted. The Indian consumer is comfortable with the elder parents having vegetarian food along with their children having non-vegetarian food on the same table. There are specific separate dishes, though the table is the same. It is a choice, which is being respected by the parents and children, without forcing their opinions on each other. The comfort of tradition with modernity living side by side, is a great brand opportunity to be different and still be together.

It would be very important to note that in certain modern trends, like use of the internet, grandchildren are educating their grandparents. Parallelly the grandparents are instilling traditional values in their grandchildren and educating them. The recent “Hanuman” success is a wonderful testimony to the fact that in the year 2006, India is a wonderful blend of tradition and modernity and that mix is going to continue being the trend.

The author is Brand Guru Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy
Pvt. Ltd. Tel: 022 28597700/7701
Fax: 28597699
E-mail: jkapoor@samsika.com
Copyright © 2007 All rights reserved with Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants Pvt. Ltd. No Part of this document may be modified, reproduced, stored, deleted or introduced in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means (Electronic, Mechanical, Photocopying, Recording or Otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner of the document.