The state of the Indian consumer
has been the subject of attention of a number of agencies in recent weeks. And almost all have reported frayed nerves over health and finances. The Deloitte tracker traces the way this apprehension manifests in consumption behaviour (stocking up of groceries, trading down to follow a frugal lifestyle and a nervousness about the future when markets open up).
The shift in behaviour will force them to stitch together a completely new plan for engagement and recall, points out Talreja. “This will steer consumer product companies
to build new strategies around sales and marketing. Building value for brands virtually is going to be another task that companies
would need to focus in the future,” he added.
One way brands can navigate their way through the crisis is by keeping the communication simple, functional and direct, according to Talreja. Brands have already done that in some cases, having shelved their old pitches and promotional tactics to adapt to the new state of the customer.
For instance, PepsiCo
India recently announced its association with a small pick-up and delivery start-up Dunzo. In its official note, the global beverage brand stated that it was launching an e-store on the app as part of its direct-to-customer initiative, the tone and pitch a far cry from its routine marketing themes of youth, insouciance and taste.
On a similar note, a newly released ad for L’Oreal India, the French personal care company is a support guide for salons. No celebrity endorser talking about the efficacy of the product, only a reaffirmation of the core principles of safety and care. In the coming months, this could well be the advertising
mantra for many more brands.