e4m Conclave–South: Brands need to listen to consumers, says expert panel

The conclave saw industry leaders take part in a panel discussion on ‘Challenges in Creating Experiences & Building Relationship with Consumers’

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Nov 23, 2019 4:34 PM
e4m Conclave-South

The exchange4media Conclave–South, held in Bangalore on Friday, saw industry experts come together to talk about “Challenges in Creating Experiences & Building Relationship with Consumers”.

The conclave saw was a panel discussion by industry leaders, including Anand Bhaskaran, Head, Digital Marketing, bigbasket; Kavita Chowkimane, VP - Marketing, Acko; Nandagopal Nair, VP & Head – Brand & Communications, V-Guard Industries; Naved Qureshi, SVP and Marketing Head, Jana Small Finance Bank; Sandeep KS, Head of Social Media, Xiaomi India, and Vaishali Verma, CEO, Initiative India.

While starting off the discussion, the session chair, Mohit Joshi, Managing Director-India, Havas Media Group, said India was full of contrasts. “While we are running on the path of digitalization, the traditional mediums like TV and print are still growing massively,” Joshi said. In such a scenario, effective communication becomes an important factor for brands.

“Consumers don't care unless you connect with them at a right time," Joshi said.

Stating data from Meaningful Brand Research, Havas, Joshi shared that "80% of brands could disappear tomorrow and consumers won't even care."

Seeing this contrasting consumer behaviour, Vaishali Verma, CEO, Initiative India, said this contrasting behaviour becomes quite challenging for brands. The biggest challenges are the low attention span and experimental behaviour of customers.

Verma feels that today, customers don't have a sense of loyalty, so it becomes a challenge for brands that how to connect deeper with them.
Sandeep KS, Head of Social Media, Xiaomi India, agreed with Verma that the low attention span is a big challenge for brands. But KS couldn't relate with Verma on what she said about the experimental behaviour of customers.

“At Xiaomi, we see a strong brand loyalty and level of retention,” he stated.

People tend to move from one device to another device but in the family itself and that's what helped Xiaomi to build a successful community and become the number one smartphone brand in India.

"Keeping the product a secret before its launch is quite a big challenge for us," he said.

Relating with Sandeep KS and Verma's thoughts, Nandagopal Nair, VP & Head – Brand & Communications, said that another big challenge for them is varied consumers.

On the contrary, Kavita Chowkimane, VP - Marketing, Acko, an online insurance brand, said that the challenges for them are to make people try them and to go hand in hand technology.

Naved Qureshi, SVP and Marketing Head, Jana Small Finance Bank, feels that the biggest challenge is to connect with customers in the changing market and technology.

While experts shared the biggest challenges of their industry, Anand Bhaskaran, Head, Digital Marketing, bigbasket, spoke about the challenges as well as some of the opportunities that those challenges bring.

According to Bhaskaran, the pace of the market is a big challenge for bigbasket which they used as an opportunity.

Brands need to be quick and connect with technology and on-going trends or causes, Joshi said. Citing the example of the ban on plastic, he said, if a brand is doing something to curb the usages of plastic, it will suddenly become popular among consumers.

Together the panel concluded that listening to the consumer is the biggest opportunity, but you have to try that opportunity in your advantage rather than your disadvantage.

The fact is that we need to listen to consumers and whenever brands listen to consumers it makes them more purposeful, meaningful and that's when the change happens, said Joshi in his closing comments.

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