Free Press Journal

Under The Skin of the Indian Consumer: Review


Title: Under The Skin of  The Indian Consumer

Author: David Abikzir

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Price: 499 Rs.


Most of the Readers when they take book in their hands they immediately turn to back cover. When I did this with book I read “With e-commerce, consumers have changed, evolved and mutated once again. This has been a process of natural evolution with respect to the transformation of the consumer society which we are at loss to understand, even we try to analyse their behavior and ways of thinking. Faced with this new behaviours, we do our marketing, our way of reaching out to them, interesting them, shocking them, cajoling them, but also delighting them, pleasing them and bringing them, in the end, what they ask for: an experience rich in emotions and socially rewarding.”

And here’s the essence of book written by David Abikzir in last two lines; “Let’s condition them to be what we want, that is to say, consumption machines!”

Well, if you are still interested carry on. Essentially this book is about consumer psychology applied in reference to e-commerce, but if you are looking for technical sides of it, this is not book for you. This book deals with dilemmas of entrepreneurs who operate in modern consumer society.

This book is written with such a lucidity, you sometimes wonder if you are reading a book on consumer psychology or philosophy? And format of book is also very interesting. It is in conversational form between young Bangalore based 27 years old girl Teju and her American mentor. When mentor wants to elaborate on particular concept he changes track to textbook form. So you are given enough breathing space to understand particular topic and then discussion goes to next topic.

Author says in opening line in acknowledgements “ Under the skin of Indian consumer is a synthesis of my experience in the Indian market for the past 7 years.” So this is not normally available marketing book where most of material is cut and paste to suit Indian marketing professional.

As an experienced guy he mentioned, “Today, he(consumer) has different choices to carry out his purchasing act. He can either go to the distribution network or find it online from his home or office using the internet on his computer or even his smartphone from wherever he is.

From this notion of perpetual movement is born a radical change, not only in his behavior and his relationship with companies but also with the products he purchased.

The new look on the consumer brings us to raise a question about the meaning of his purchasing act.“

This book is divided into three parts. In first part, author explained understanding the consumer in his purchasing act in a mutating market. In the second part, The identification of tools as basis for the new marketing model of influence and in third part he teaches how to building a successful marketing model of influence.

Those who are interested in how psychology is used in marketing they should read second part attentively, where author discussed the tool of modelling: the cognitive resources of the consumer, The tool of desire: the affective states of consumer and The tool of conditioning: the true perception of the consumer.

And in the last author tells entrepreneur, ”It is undeniable that the Indian consumer is changed, evolved and mutated. This is natural evolution in respect to the transformation of the consumer society. Today, the consumer has nothing in common with the one from yesterday and he will not look anything like the consumer of future. Screens are the new mirrors of his identity. Computers, tablets and smartphones, through them is played and replayed endlessly the staging of his/her identities and his/her differences, his/her impulses, his/her collective roots, idealizations and fantasies.”

In short author says, “ this consumer is already starting to look like the Hulk, a normal human being that is slightly modified by technology.”

Now it is up to you to decide how much you are modified by technology or not.