In today’s fast paced, crowded marketplace, consumer demands for unique, technologically advanced products are rising. Marketing professionals and research teams are always on their toes to spot the next trend or risk becoming obsolete. Brands across the world chase similar well-defined metrics but only a few stand out in a teeming market place. What are these successful players doing right? The answer is disruption with innovation and best in class technology. 2018 has been the year of integration in the household appliances category. However, 2019 is set to be the year of ‘Consumer Centricity’ in India.
The government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative is turning heads as companies are investing in India-specific innovation and products. This shift will positively affect the future of home appliances in India as manufacturers now focus on India specific innovations. In 2019, these exceptional improvements to the ordinary will define trends in the industry.
The ‘Smart Home’ – a reality in urban households across India
In the household appliances industry, keeping up with current trends and reinventing old technologies to suit the consumer requirements of today are essential. In such a dynamic environment, all the players in the industry aim to offer the latest technological features packaged in a differentiated offering. 2018 revolutionized the home appliances industry with the introduction of innovations like smart appliances inclusive of energy saving tools, wireless, sensor-driven products, voice command for hand-free movement, digital features and mobile integration. However, 2019 is expected to be the year of acceptance of such technologies in urban metropolitan cities, making life uncomplicated for Indian homes.
Premiumization of Indian households
In the past decade, there has been an increase in spending capacities of urban Indians who are opting for products and services that act as a style statement or status symbol. Stemming from this insight, companies are working towards offering a section of premium goods and services, many of which cater to niche audiences. The mounting need to resonate with the products one uses has accelerated the demand for personalised appliances that compliments the overall theme of the house and suits the utilitarian requirements of the household. Basic household appliances like washing machines, refrigerators and mixer grinders that are found in every Indian household are also witnessing a high demand for the latest and advanced features. Interestingly, the demand for built-in appliances is gaining momentum due to the perfect amalgamation of cutting edge design language and high functionality.
Acceptance of the western culture
A few years ago, the traditional Indian kitchen’s dependency on technology was trifling. However, in today’s day and age, consumers are looking for the convenience in the form of household appliances. Formerly known as appliances of the west, products like the vacuum cleaner, slow juicers, hand blenders, washing machines, etc have made its way into authentic Indian kitchens. The common factor driving the demand for such appliances is the proposition of convenience, time reduction on daily chores. Predominantly known as ‘western’ appliances like wine coolers, chimneys, dishwashers, etc will trend in the household appliances industry in the coming year.
Indianisation/Localization of appliances
Since 2010, the market and the consumers have changed considerably. A rising upper middle class, aspiring millennials, growing working population and the ever-evolving consumer lifestyle are responsible to boost the home appliances industry in India. Keeping up with the same momentum, companies are rallying around products that are fit for the Indian lifestyle. The acceptance of premium or western technologies will be followed by localizing appliances that resolve pain points of a population in a particular geo.
Additionally, the ‘Make in India’ wave has taken over several manufacturing industries and especially the household appliances sector. For instance, Bosch is focused on introducing India-specific innovations in the country like mixer grinders with ‘Stone Pounding Technology’ or Dishwashers with the ‘Kadhai’ feature that are indispensable for Indian consumers. These features have come from local insights after deep understanding of the consumer needs.
Accessibility to smaller markets
The trend to tap into smaller markets has grown leaps and bounds. These untapped upcoming markets have high growth potential as consumers are continuously evolving in such geos. Due to the penetration of mobile phone and internet across smaller markets that sit on the periphery of huge metropolitans like Nagpur, Vizag, Ahmedabad, etc many of them are exposed to the culture of evolved urbanite counterparts. In such a dynamic marketplace like India, companies with a multi-brand portfolio are ahead of the curve and offer something to every consumer. Thus, 2019 may see a lot of companies targeting different segments of consumers across geos by expanding their product portfolios, localising offerings and diversification of their brands to suit the requirement of every Indian household.
The author is MD & CEO, BSH Household Appliances