Products with superstitious, religious and luxury overtones are the most appealing to Indonesian consumers, a marketing survey shows.
"Indonesians like simple and entertaining things rather than complicated things that make them think hard," said Handi Irawan, chairman of marketing and research firm Frontier Consulting.
Heavy television news doesn't attract the nation's citizens, who prefer "simple things like domestic soap operas or shows promoting superstitions", Handi said, adding that comedic endorser Tukul was a national favorite.
Based on hundreds of studies conducted since 2006, Frontier arrived at 10 traits of the Indonesian consumer, including impulsiveness, an attraction to groups, a love for anything foreign and a tendency to adapt slowly to technological advances.
One of the reasons the cell phone brand Nokia is successful here is because of the ease of use of its products, Handi said.
"People here like to buy the latest high-tech telecommunication products, but ironically many of them only use them for sending text messages and phoning," he said, adding that only 2 percent of cellular subscribers accessed the Internet through their phones.
Handi further said most consumers here tended to engage in "impulsive buying" of consumer goods because they were "basically relaxed and simple-minded, and not used to planning well in their life like Westerners.
"That's why the insurance sector contributed only 1.7 percent to the country's gross domestic product last year," he said.
The group's conclusions notwithstanding, he said, the case among different industries might prove different from one to another.
"Not all industries have similar customer behavior and not all behavior tendencies are applicable to all products," he said.
Thus, he said, there was a need for each sector to map its own customer behavior.
"Nevertheless, geographic conditions, cultural background and education also influence customer behavior. Therefore Indonesian customers tend to share similar characteristics with consumers in Asia," he said. (rff)
10 Indonesian consumers characteristics:
- Prefer immediate benefits
- Do not have long-term plans
- Like to spend time with friends and relatives
- Slow in adapting to technology
- Prefer context to content
- Like foreign brands
- Attracted to the religious and superstitious
- Like to show off
- Have strong subcultural influences
- Less aware of the environment