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McCann study reveals ‘The Truth About Global Brands’

MUMBAI: India’s attitudes towards global brands were revealed in a worldwide survey of public sentiment – ‘The Truth About Global Brands’ – published by McCann Worldgroup in Delhi.

The study reveals that of the 30,000 people in 29 countries surveyed, people in India are the most proud of their national identity (94 per cent), compared to an average of 85 per cent globally.

In addition, the research revealed that India has a strong culture of creativity and risk as it relates to its citizens’ hopes for the future; just over half (53 per cent) of those interviewed said it’s more important to be creative and take risks than to be pragmatic and work towards personal security.

Reflecting the impact of technology as well as the rising strength of national movements, global marketing today is evolving into new patterns regarding surprising and complex global versus local consumer attitudes and behaviours. As uncovered in the new McCann Worldgroup consumer research on global brands, 68 per cent of people around the world believe with some concern that they have lost some of their country’s culture in recent years – and yet, as many as 85 per cent believe that global brands have the potential to make the world better.

People in India are also highly positive about the idea of a more connected world, with 95 per cent of those surveyed saying they feel positive about the idea of globalisation (when defined as a more culturally sensitive ‘globality’), compared to 88 per cent globally.

According to the survey, Indians see ‘globality’ as creating more jobs internationally for them personally and for future generations. Interestingly, people in India also rank at the top worldwide when it comes to some areas of family communications: they speak to their fathers an average of 32 times a month, the highest globally, and significantly ahead of Italians, who come in second at 20 times a month.

McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific chairman, McCann Worldgroup India CEO Prasoon Joshi said, “While people around the world are generally positive about global brands, there is a sticking point in that such brands can still be associated with a definition of ‘globalisation’ that describes a flattening of cultures. The immense pride we Indians take in our national identity, combined with our strong culture of creativity and risk-taking, is very important indeed. These are the critical attributes and behaviors that will help us to progress and succeed in the rapidly changing global marketplace.”

McCann global chief strategy officer Suzanne Powers said, “If more than four-fifths of the world’s population believes that global brands can make the world a better place – even more in India – then marketers have an important opportunity to earn their way into people’s lives in much deeper, more meaningful ways.

“But the specific ways they approach earning this privilege are critical in a world of massive transparency where everything local is global in a matter of clicks. As ‘The Truth About Global Brands’ study revealed, marketers today have to apply a globality approach that recognises the need to address local cultures with more reverence and nuance.”

The study’s findings uncovered that global brands continue to have major opportunities despite the resurgence of national pride, but their success depends on how they approach local markets.

In terms of “identification with local brands”, people in India are somewhat concerned about the effect of global brands on their own local brands. The majority of Indians (82 per cent) think that global brands are pushing out local brands, compared to 76 per cent globally. They largely mirror the global preference for local versus foreign brands, except in the automobile and health/ beauty categories, where they are slightly more inclined to buy local than the global average.

Global brands are seen to have tremendous potential. The findings of the study show that 90 per cent of Indian people agree that global brands have the power to make the world better, the second highest percentage after China. The global average is 85 per cent.

India’s greatest hope for the next generation in a more global world is that they will have the opportunity to work for international companies. Slightly over half of the people in India (51 per cent) cite this as the No. 1 hope for their children, compared to 41 per cent globally.