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Brand loyalty and long-term trust are myths now

29-November-2012
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Brand loyalty and long-term trust are myths now

In the past few months, tectonic shifts are reshaping India’s demand bedrock. A number of economic, demographic, social and lifestyle changes have altered the traditional demand curve dramatically. While there has been a rise in demand lately, marketers need to take a fresh and rather ‘uncommon’ approach to leverage this surge, said Ranjeet Laungani, Vice President, Nielsen India.

India witnessed plenty of demand at both, top and bottom of the pyramid this year. However, a paradigm shift was seen in the demand trends this year. For instance, FMCG sector saw a value growth of 18.7 per cent in small towns, 17.0 per cent in all over India, 16.1 per cent in villages and 15.9 per cent in metros, making small towns the best choice for marketers.

“There has been a huge growth in the young population and that is where the demand is coming from. How do you verbalise and take products and services to them is important, said Charulata Ravi Kumar, CEO, Product of The Year and Columnist, The Indian Express.

Consumers are now more educated and aware then we can imagine. Thus, it is important that brands do not simply supply, but focus at giving an experience. To connect with their consumers better, marketers should focus less on communication and more on conversation.

In the milieu of the paradigm shift seen in the demand curve in small towns, it is very important to stay focussed and prioritise markets and TG. Experts say that it is very important to follow the right markers when GDP growth is not productive for short-term demand.

“Concepts such as long-term trust and brand loyalty are myths now. Consumers now want to explore. Thus, marketers need to change their approach towards research. Target early adapters and get insights from them. Start looking at new and different parameters,” added Kumar in a bid to explain a few markers to prioritise markets.
 
Nandini Sethuraman, CMO, Walmart India is of the view that social media and technology are rapidly shaping demand now. She pointed out that social media is not merely a medium to spread knowledge about a brand through word-of-mouth; it is about how a brand can influence its target audience, thus making it a very important marker.

In the milieu of a constantly changing market in terms of consumers and the demand created by them, marketers and brands need to think two-three steps ahead to create realistic and practical plans.
Giving a few tips to modern marketers, Roosevelt D’Souza, Executive Director, RMS-Client Solutions, Nielsen India said, “Definition of value is not providing cheap goods, but giving consumers what they want. Thus, stay relevant and know more about what consumers want.”

With the increasing change in the demographics of demand, marketers need to challenge all norms to create way for innovation.

To help brands and marketers make the best out of the situation, Prakash Nedungadi, Head Consumer Insights and Brand Development, Aditya Birla Group of Companies said, “Leverage technology and take as many pictures as possible of all the places where you find your consumers and while making plans create a visual of your consumers. This will help a lot.”

The above mentioned industry gurus shared their views at Nielsen Consumer 360 India, held in Mumbai on November 28, 2012.

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