The intelligence community is used to a bleak view of the world, but a recent report from America’s National Intelligence Council, titled “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” actually paints a pretty picture of the not so distant future.
The usual warnings on rogue nations and nuclear war are still present—that much hasn’t changed—but the most notable bit of information from the report revolves around the rise of the middle class around the world. Whereas Britain took 150 years to double its income per head and America went through 30 years to pull off the same feat, emerging markets India and China have done the same in a fraction of the time, and most notably, on a much greater scale.
As a result, we now see a spike in the number of people who have the means to pay for middle-class luxuries, such as a home and good education for their children.
Catering to the Needs of an Empowered Middle Class
Not surprisingly, many global brands have tried their best to address the surge in demand for consumer goods. Many brands have already raked in the profits from emerging markets, while others, such as Apple, are still in the process of tapping into this growing market—the company plans to shift its priorities to China.
Catering to emerging markets so different from the West necessitates the use of new approaches to sales and marketing.
Michael Silverstein, author of the book, “The $10 Trillion Prize” writes that companies must adapt to local circumstances when dealing with emerging markets China and India. He notes that it’s not just about providing products, but selling it in a way that appeals to the local market.
For instance, PepsiCo has released a spicy snack for the Indian market called Kurkure, a modification to their crisps which the company feels may be too bland for Indians. Apparel and accessories manufacturer Hermès has also e an exclusive line of French-made Saris in india. Likewise, Kraft released new variants to its Oreo cookies specifically blended for the Chinese market, with exotic, more oriental flavours such as green tea.
We at Enform believe that the actions of these companies demonstrate the importance of not just offering products, but actually creating and marketing products according to the wants and needs of your target audience. It all boils down to giving consumers what they want, how they want it.