Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Revolver, Affiliation and Aspiration

I found a movie ‘Revolver’, written and directed by Guy Ritchie starring Jason Statham of ‘The Transporter’ fame in the common network folder. The movie had some interesting lines which I later found out to be laced with Kabbalic philosophy like – ‘In every game and con there's always an opponent, and there's always a victim. The trick is to know when you're the latter, so you can become the former.’
But the following lines struck me the most –

‘There is something about yourself that you don't know. Something that you will deny even exists, until it's too late to do anything about it. It's the only reason you get up in the morning. The only reason you suffer the shitty puss, the blood, the sweat and the tears. This is because you want people to know how good, attractive, generous, funny, wild and clever you really are. Fear or revere me, but please, think I'm special. We share an addiction. We're approval junkies. We're all in it for the slap on the back and the gold watch. The hip-hip-hoo-fuckin' rah. Look at the clever boy with the badge, polishing his trophy. Shine on you crazy diamond, because we're just monkeys wrapped in suits, begging for the approval of others.’

Is it something familiar to all of us? Do we actually care so much for acceptance and recognition? Otherwise why would we be so concerned about sporting a pair of LeVI’S jeans or a branded shirt from Arrow! It irritates me every time my girlfriend buys a Loreal or a Wella product instead of a Lakme or a Garnier. Is there really a need to go to Bocha Grande (Koromangala) for breakfast or to Serengeti for lunch? How does it help to dine at Bon South (Koromangala)? Will I have six pack abs quicker if I work out in Chisel (Koromangala) instead of my local gym in Sampangiramnagar? Sometimes I can’t help questioning my own rationale! Isn’t it possible to be accepted if I kill my hunger with a plate of kushka (Rs.10 colored rice) and a leg piece kabab from Anekal. Anyway, I feel complete with a neatly ironed locally tailored shirt and a pair of black trousers. Will my girlfriend scowl at me? May be she will!

Mistri diagnosis:

All individuals are motivated to find and create a specific amount of social interactions. The Need for Affiliation describes a person's need to feel a sense of involvement and 'belonging' within a social group. Combine this with the concept of aspiration products. Consumption audience (who can afford) and aspirational audience (who wants to be known as a consumption audience) together form the aspirational product's target audience. The ratio of consumption audience to aspirational audience is generally calculated as 30%-60%. This 30% and 60% forms a large chunk of the bubbling Bangalore population. Weak aspirational brands have target audiences that are almost as large as their exposure audiences (e.g. mp3 player brands), and are therefore slowly becoming commodity brands, e.g. brands with consumption audiences that coincide with the exposure audience (and therefore, brands without an aspiring audience).
As a general rule, an aspirational brand and its products can command a price premium in the marketplace over a commodity brand. This ability can to a large extent be explained by the consumer's need for invidious consumption for which he is willing to pay a premium. The smaller the size of the product's target audience compared to the exposure audience, the more the product satisfies this need, and the higher the premium that such a consumer is prepared to pay.
May be this is why we are seeing a rise in the premium brand segment around.
Good news for marketers and business owners.
Bad news for us, the not-so-rich aspirational audience!

Guest Author: Ching

1 comment:

  1. A very nice write up Ching.....I like the way you connect a movie dialogue to human personalities and their behaviour...We sport a Levi's jeans or a Benetton tee to create a certain personality about ourselves and we think this helps us to fit within a group of people.....Brands only help create personality...

    Happy writing


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