Friday, December 23, 2011

Selling to new India: Bose gets it right


India is changing. If you have any doubt then go to a tier 2 or tier 3 city, visit a mall and see the number of people trying to ride the escalators with mixed feelings of fear and elation.

However, there is a sense of intimidation in all these shopping malls. This feeling is even more prominent in the smaller cities and towns of the country. Even with the burgeoning middle class pockets, the sight and smell of malls and high end shops seem inviting and uninviting both at the same time.

So, when I (a small town boy) went to Croma store, which didnt feel as 'posh' and where one was allowed to play around with the gizmos, I was bound to stumble across something interesting. I moved around in the store fiddling everything that could be fiddled with. Suddenly, I noticed this particular section of the store where all the Bose devices were kept. I had heard a lot about Bose (who hasn't), but had never used any of their products before. When I saw people trying out headphones and speakers at the Bose counter, I thought I should give it a try. I put on one of the headphones. Ecstacy.

What followed was akin to a guy stalking a girl. I would go to Croma store again and again to test the device to convince myself that the hefty price tag was worth every penny. Finally I decided to buy the thing.

However, when it came to buying the headphones, I decided to search for an exclusive store and was surprised to know that they had one in Forum Mall. On my previous visits to Forum, this showroom of Bose was nothing but invisible.

Premier Companies, take a cue. Keep the fancy showrooms in expensive malls, but your customers (the new ones) are not going to find you there if you don't 'open up'.Consumer electronics stores are seeing a transformation. Lets see where it goes from here.
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