How brands have altered strategies to match the New Normal

According to reports released by Facebook India and Boston Consulting Group, digital influence has grown up to 70% for mobiles, 55%-60% for apparel, and up to 20-25% for the non-food CPG categories 

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 25, 2020 10:30 AM

Brands have been tailoring strategies to tune in to the present context of the new normal. Marketers in the Consumer Product Goods (CPG), Appparel and Mobile categories are looking at activating impulse and involving digital platforms in their media mix in a new way that takes into consideration the behavioural changes of the consumers in the wake of the pandemic.

Facebook India and Boston Consulting Group have released three reports on the sectors that say digital influence has increased significantly among urban consumers. It has grown up to 70% for mobiles, 55%-60% for apparel, and up to 20-25% for the non-food CPG categories.

For mobiles, given consumer dependence on the category, it has had a more positive sentiment among consumers as compared to other electronics.

Brands are also adapting to changing preferences of their consumers.

According to Said Asim Warsi, Senior Vice President, Samsung India, the brand is all set to capitalize on the smart shopping trends. “The onus is on us as being one of the electronics major in India, to aid enable and bring out the new smart shopping realm that is going to be there out there. We are focusing on two aspects. One is communication. We've always been in touch with the consumers, but going forward, we're only going to be much more consumer centered as we go  deeper and richer  in our communication digitally and on the one side we will work on  building up for the new smart shopping experience.”

The pandemic has also led to mixed spending sentiments among consumers purchasing mobiles where 38% may increase in spends in the next 6 months and  29% may decrease spends in the next 6 months. Some micro-markets are likely to have a more positive spending outlook for the category.

With changing use cases, consumers will also be more features’ conscious wherein certain features like video streaming and video conferencing may become more important.


In this category, the report said near-term opportunities exist for apparel brands where mid to older, more affluent, metro-based consumers have a more positive outlook across apparel sub-categories.

 According to the report, shopping triggers will be more functional as opposed to being led by occasions.  Also, casualization of wardrobe is on the cards for the sector and higher demand for comfort with a more “stay-at-home” lifestyle is expected. Additionally, given the increasing focus on health and wellness, there will be higher demand for fitness wear.

Players in the category have already started positioning their offerings to suit the tides of the present times.

For instance, lifestyle introduced a WFH Journal to position collections across all categories as WFH on their own website.  Summer collection at Peter England is going with the tag line "Keep it stylish while working from home!"

Traditional brands are also dialling up their digital offerings.

 In Big Bazaar, for instance, as CEO Sadashiv Nayak said their utmost priority is consumers and their preferences and convenience in these difficult times. He talked about how the brand is trying out new offerings like showing products on WhatsApp, pre-booking check out slots in advance at Big Bazaar outlets and many other new aspects of shopping.

Many other brands like Myntra, Adidas, Nike opted for new strategies like personalization and virtual launches

Consumer goods

Coming to essentials like fresh food, staples and homecare all witnessed positive sentiment consistently. According to the report, personal care and packaged food saw mixed sentiment and pure discretionary spends like cosmetics witnessed cutbacks.

There is an immense opportunity to strengthen consumer engagement in the category said the report. There is scope to drive value by repeat purchase and consumer up-trades in the category which can be done by strategies like remarketing with customized offers for up-trade or repeat purchase, incentivizing social peer recommendation to create post-purchase advocacy , using click to messenger ads to share offers and connect with shoppers and driving engagement with retailer co-branded programme.

Brands like Godrej, HUL, Kiehl’s have been winning consumer trust by building social connect.

Godrej launched #ProtektIndiaMovement on Facebook which educates and give tips to audience on personal & home hygiene, cleanliness & how to stay healthy. HUL launched an online campaign “Break the Chain” to educate people about COVID on Social Media. Another example is that of Mondelez where Cadbury took to cause marketing and introduced a limited edition Cadbury Dairy Milk ‘thank you’ bar by giving up the Cadbury Dairy Milk logo on the pack, in recognition of the country’s unsung heroes.

Brand showcasing also changed in the period. Nykaa launched Nykaa Network, an online-only beauty forum to share beauty tips and strengthen brand persona. Flipkart has partnered with Spencer’s Retail for hyperlocal delivery of groceries and essentials. Brands also replicated in-person experiences where players like Sephora leveraged virtual makeup apps, where people try makeup and can directly buy products. These are, however, not isolated examples as a host of brands from the category repositioned themselves and re-strategized their offerings.

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