I missed the beginning of Tamar Kasriel’s presentation since I was searching for HCL’s Ajai Chowdhry to ask him about his plans for the IPTV LCD screen monitor. When I returned to the conference, Tamar was talking about urban society, and needs and wants. From a purely economics perspective – very interesting. Unfortunately, it seems not many people know about the difference between needs and wants, as we found out later during Q&A.
Tamar said that in an urban sample, most needs are largely met. That’s something that is happening in urban India as well – wants are driving indian economy, with most needs met. Hence, this is the desire economy. On example of the desire economy is the desire to buy candles. Where there is electricity, where’s the need for candles? Yet, in the UK and Europe, candles are in great demand. There are shops full of candles. She gave the example of a particular candle that is very exclusive, and people are still lapping it up, even though it is just a (scented) candle!
India, she said, is very brand conscious, but how long will this last? She showed a diagram that explained that a population becomes more and more brand conscious with time, as there an increase in the level of developement of the society. Then, it brand consciousness starts decreasing as people become more individualistic, and perhaps expect more for less. With development, peoples focus shifts from money to time and to energy. Earlier they were okay with seeming busy and that made them seem important. Now they want to show that they’re able to manage their time.
We’re all consumers now. I shop therefore I am. Shopping is a need…even a political statement, and with development, ethics will become important. She showed examples from india – Surf ad with Shabana Azmi about water conservation by using a detergent that uses less water. Ethics is a hygiene factor, and in india it remains to be seen if ethics are adopted or implemented by the government. One great example of segmentation by ethics in the UK is that people prefer to buy dolphin friendly tuna, because it is a political statement.
An interesting presentation, and among the more focused of the lot.