Consumerism and accessories

AK bought a new car and he was excited that he fitted in the car a hi-fi audio system as an accessory. AK’s example is just a peek into the highly diverse world of accessories in India, where consumerism is said to be feasting.

The accessories market is already huge internationally. Thanks to the growing consumerism, it is also making rapid strides in India, to the extent of proving the definition of ‘accessory’ in the Webster’s dictionary (‘a supplementary component’) wrong. This is because in some cases the accent is more on the accessory than on the main product.

Accessories could be of all kinds — car accessories, men’s accessories, women’s accessories, attire accessories, two wheeler accessories, home accessories, food accessories, computer accessories and even school accessories and mobile phone accessories.

Internationally, it has been proven that accessories can contribute as much as 25% of a brand’s turnover. Accessories have moved from being a low-involvement product to a high-involvement product for consumers. Consumers are getting more aware of international trends and are spending much more than ever before on personal grooming and fine accessories, which was not the case a few years back.

Another important reason is the advent of the “mall� phenomenon in metropolitan India. By virtue of the consumer walk-ins generated, enables a whole new raft of consumers to come into contact with newer and lifestyle oriented products, the most accessible of which, are definitely accessories.

This is the reason why exclusive branded stores for accessories have started to mushroom, like in the globally developed markets. Today, consumers are willing to pay the cost equal to that of a car for accessories. Be it alloy wheels for style and sturdiness, or a high end music system, the cost on car accessories can even go up to the cost of the car, says an auto expert.

Home buyers too are not settled by just buying a house. If you are getting a loan of up to 100% the cost of your house, you are also being offered a additional loan for doing it up. Whether it is tiles that suit the taste, French window, bathroom fittings or kitchen interiors, the consumers are including this as part of the overall expenditure today.

The consumer is not content with the icing on the cake he also wants the cherry on the icing. What used to be a luxury at one point, has now become a basic need for the consumer.

Sensing the growing phenomena of consumerism in accessories, be it an apparel company or a suitcase manufacturer, all are moving towards providing accessories in addition to the basic product range. This is because accessories contribute to the mother brands by way of being both “brand accelerators� as well as “value drivers�.

By virtue of specialized distribution for specialized categories such as footwear or eyewear sold through special footwear or eyewear stores there is a distinct advantage in that a whole new consumer comes into contact with the mother brand itself, thereby helping to “unlock� brand value.

Thus, a Mont Blanc pen shop provides a range of other accessories, and car companies are gearing up to meeting the accessory needs of consumers on their own.

The purchase of a computer too is accompanied by purchase of accessories like CD wallet, LCD cleaning kits, screen filters, laptop bags, table organizers, and so on.