Written by: Ashok Jaiswar
About the author: Group Head Marketing & Corporate Communications – Greaves Cotton Limited & Ampere Electric
The daily life has been almost dysfunctional in the last 6 months & higher impetus to products that can restore wellness & health has been on a spike. Immunity boosters, comfort foods, essential groceries, health drinks, fitness products all have gained massive significance over conventional purchases. Consumers have been consciously choosing livelihood products in small pack sizes especially in small towns & rural hinterland with a clear view to save that necessary cash for the tougher days. While a lot is still unknown, it’s clear that some lifestyle changes and shifts in spending patterns are going to outlast social distancing measures. In these stressed times where trust & confidence is shaken, the consumers aren’t going back to newer brands but find assurance & comfort in spending with those brands they have been knowing from years. It’s critical for marketers to be cognizant of these significant shifts in the marketplace, build the trust pool, get attached more emotionally & deliver both in terms of what they want & how they will consume.
The social media space is always evolving, and this year, it’s seen significant growth due to our in-person social interactions being restricted, and people seeking alternative ways to stay in touch with the wider world.
That’s accelerated our reliance on social media and messaging apps experiencing a new shift in today’s economy.
What are these shifts & why it’s critical to know this as we plan ahead?
There has been a radical shift, the way in which consumer experience has changed across OmniChannel mediums in this new normal. What has been in last fiscal with consumers visiting brick and mortar clubbed with some digital discovery of products is now more or less shifted to online in urban centres and phygital to certain extent in rural hinterlands. Yes, the online commerce is clearly leading the way & brands venturing with social innovation have long way to go.
This shift is carefully designed and curated for both brick-and-mortar store & digital screens & primarily led by smart phones.
This shift dwells more on the mobile 1st approach of communication and targeting the restless but comfy-in-my-home buyers.
It’s heartening to see significant investments going to nurture this dawn of social commerce and brand marketeers have been learning online newer ways to reach their target audiences, in much more affordable way.
The ostentatious shoppers have become more conscious than ever, rather become more responsible in buying only what they need now for them or their families. ‘Let me also try or buy led impulsive mindset’ has taken backseat. ‘Let me only buy what I need the most now’ has kicked in and by far been the trend since last 7 months and that’s a significant shift in ownership and shopping pattern.
Knowing this shift in buying pattern all the consumer obsessed brands have taken larger control of their sales process, inventory norms and refined product pipeline to suit the market need.
This shift in buy-o-logy brings in more of customised offerings with relaxed payment schemes like leasing, pay-as-per-use, book now pay later or buy now and pay later. Small packs with flexible payment options rule the roost and would be there till we see another wirtschaftswunder,” or economic miracle. Small is the new big and it’s here to stay for a while.
After two decades of steady growth, the trajectory of digital consumerism went into hyper drive when the pandemic changed everything—giving us ‘Generation N or Generation Novel’.
Gen-N is a growing cross-generational psychographic of digital-first consumers stimulated by the disruptive effects of COVID-19.
With all above shifts the conventional mapping of consumer journey maps is fast undergoing a change. Marketers and product designers have been re-visiting their blueprints and considering innovative ways to reach out to their audiences smartly with optimum packages and outwitting their competition. The small size has almost been the new norm for Gen-N and hence a good case for budding brands to bring this in their new product charters.
Will this further get redefined?
That the future will decide, but for now it’s time we rejig the marketing mix and start preparing to win the game.