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Shoppers may be keen to sniff out mouthwatering deals at a time when a dampened economic sentiment is nudging them towards

being conservative with their purse strings. But the steady headway being made by modern trade coupled with the arrival of a confident, aware and fastevolving young consumer augurs well for smart marketers and retailers Amit Bapna

Focus groups typically throw up great findings, once the people in them have stopped being polite. At one such series of sessions initiated by HyperCITY across Thane, Bhopal and Hyderabad in end-2011 when the economic slowdown had well and truly set in consumers were liberal in their praise for the retailer's stores. They were happy with the product basket, store ambience and service standards. It was only towards the end of a conversation that, softly, and almost shyly, that more than a few let on that the store seems to be a bit expensive. While in many other categories and in better economic climes HyperCITY's premiumness could be worn like a crown, the sombre consumer mood coupled with his traditional sensitiveness to price at once became a steeplechase-like hurdle. "Hypermarkets have to be seen as providing value, and we are accordingly rejigging our strategy," informs Mark Ashman, CEO, HyperCITY Retail, "without compromising on our other core strengths." A recently released 'Shopper Trends Study' by Nielsen India which covers the top eight metros and six other cities with populations of over 20 lakh reinforces what the Indian shopper is looking for: deals. The proportion of shoppers actively seeking promotions has shot up from 54% from 39% a year ago. (See Theyve Come .... on Page 4) So, yes, saliva-inducing offers work like a charm in these times but they have to tie into the entire shopper experience. Says Suyash Chauhan, general manager, customer marketing, at Hindustan Unilever Ltd: "Deals and promotions are important elements in purchase decisions but not the only ones. Shoppers (also) derive value from the product offerings, ease of access to the brands and in-store shopping experience. Promotions add value if all these are taken care of." Adds Rob Cissell, CEO - value formats, Reliance Retail: "The 'body language' of the key deals needs to be strong; customers appreciate shopping in an exciting environment that changes with the seasons and gives them something new to experience. At Diwali you must be 'dressed for Diwali'." Deal-seeking is now combined with a growing preference for bulk packs to

neutralise the impact of rising prices. "People understand grammage better in times of recession," says a marketer on the condition of anonymity. According to Nielsen's findings, "35% of modern trade shoppers today cite buying bulk as their response to rising food prices." It's such shopper behaviour that is nudging retailers towards creating 'deal-weeks' as annual events that cater to a growing breed of bargain seekers throughout the year. Future group's hypermarket chain Big Bazaar and similar modern trade formats have transformed secular public holidays like the 15th of August and the 26th of January into giant sale occasions. India is a fabulous market for "upping the ante" quarter on quarter and year and year. Deals ultimately help retailers in selling more than shoppers would have otherwise intended to buy. Says Rahul Saigal, vice president - retail, OgilvyAction India, a brand activation agency: "Retailers and brands are constantly looking to create more occasions that incentivise shoppers to trade-up." Since retailers cannot sustain a 24/7 buying euphoria among shoppers, they create properties to stimulate large-scale buying. Example: Big Bazaar's Sabse Saste 5 Din, five days with Republic Day squeezed in between of "mega discounts and huge savings." Such shopping orgies are doubtless a great way to woo shoppers, but to stand out in the clutter of bargains on offer, marketers have to get their product and packaging mix right. Says Sumanta Datta, VP, customer & commercial for Coca-Cola India & South West Asia: "While pricing & promotions will continue to play a critical role in the context of the value-conscious Indian shopper, promoting the right brand, in the right package, in the right channel and targeting the right shopper will make all the difference to driving profitable sustainable growth." Slowdowns will come and, hopefully, this one will go too. And in a country where the young middle class shopper with disposable income in his pocket is coming into his own along with modern trade outlets like convenience stores and supermarkets, the question marketers are grappling with is: who is the quintessential Indian shopper anyway? Piyush Kumar Sinha, professor in retailing and marketing, and chairperson at IIM-A's Centre for Retailing, lists down some of his key characteristics: "He is younger, innovative and a risk-taker, is comfortable with technology, has a higher disposable income but a shorter attention span and a shortened and divided loyalty." Sinha believes the Indian shopper (and indeed shoppers in other developing markets) is undergoing an accelerated evolution, eager to embrace new formats and ideas. He seeks utilitarian as well as hedonistic value, making it a tough call for the brands selling to him.

The new-age shopper knows his brands and their attributes. "The newage shopper is well-informed and, thanks to the digital medium, brands can no more make claims that are not authentic", believes Satyaki Ghosh, director, consumer products division, L'Oreal. The brand currently reaches nearly 1.1 million outlets (combined across modern and traditional formats) and is looking at increasing its presence in the former. It has a threepronged strategy: a rise in the number of footfalls, ensuring there a better conversion rate and widening the basket size of the footfall. Generalisations of the Indian shopper in a diverse market where each region has its own quirks can be disastrous for marketers. Depending on where they are based, shoppers have their own preference for products, brands and stores. For instance, in the national capital region, online retail purchases score high. And the mall culture is more prevalent in the south and the west than in the east and the north. Economic sentiment matters more for people from some backgrounds than others. Vinay Bhatia, customer care associate and VP for marketing & loyalty at Shoppers Stop, delved deep into the database of the Shoppers Stop Loyalty Club to figure if the movements of the Sensex had had an impact on shopper behaviour. Sure enough, it did but the impact was higher on Gujarati shoppers across the country. When the Sensex a crucial stock market barometer of business confidence is up, they tend to be gung-ho shoppers; however, when the benchmark index is headed southward or is listless as it is now shopping activity is muted. The millions of mom-and-pop stores or kiranas that dot the landscape notwithstanding, Nielsen's study points towards a tipping point in modern trade. Whilst density of modern trade stores is still woefully low six stores as against 7,000 kiranas per million consumers organised retailers aren't losing sleep. Says HyperCITY's Ashman: "I have long gone past bothering to agree or not agree on how many million customers are there I know it's a big enough number. The challenge is how to turn that potential into an opportunity." Agrees Sameer Satpathy, executive vice president and head of marketing for consumer products at Marico India: "The Indian shopper has taken to modern trade like a duck to water he is seamlessly comfortable being in a crowded bazaar as also the air-conditioned supermarket." To be sure, Nielsen points to the arrival of the 'Crossover Shopper," one who is as much at ease in traditional formats as she is in modern ones. In calendar year 2011, modern trade grew 28% over a year ago and garnered a share of 9.2% a jump of a percentage point over a year ago. Says Adrian Terron, executive director, retailer and shopper, Nielsen India: "A stabilisation of shoppers

who spend a majority of their money within modern trade at this level indicates that this format is a part of the regular buying cycle for India's new breed of urban shoppers." Certain categories that were languishing by the way side have modern trade to thank for making it to the consideration set. Says Coke's Datta: "If you look at any emerging categories within beverages, modern trade plays a critical role in building trial for these new segments." Cases in point: the dairy, fruit juice, and energy drinks segments. So are there any magic recipes for the new age Indian shopper? IIM-A's Sinha recommends a re-jigging of the hoariest formula in the marketing book: "While the four Ps (Product, price, promotion and place) are just the tools that need to be manifested depending on the segment and market condition, retailers may do well to remember the other Ps perseverance, persistence, patient and profits."

All That Glitter Branded jewellery is an attempt to woo a goldobsessed nation with fresh designs and easy availability, a la an FMCG product. But as of today, diamonds stand a better chance of finding fastmoving consumers than gold does Preethi Chamikutty

First the good news: India consumed 125 tonnes of gold in pure jewellery form in the April to June quarter of 2012. That will be more than what the entire US market will consume this year, reckons David Lamb, managing director, jewellery, World Gold Council (WGC), an association of the worlds leading gold mining companies. That, in an increasingly brand-obsessed market like India, would spell a huge opportunity for organised players. Except for one hurdle: a yet-to-be-released study by WGC which recently launched a wedding jewellery collection called Azva reveals that over 80% of the 13,000 Indian women surveyed look at gold as a financial investment. Many of the women also pointed to the spiritual significance of the metal. Traditionally, Indians are comfortable buying their gold jewellery from family-owned brands that have been around for generations. The upshot: how do you sell a brand of jewellery in such a market where

rationalism prevails by a long way over aspiration and impulse? And in a market flooded with brands, how do you differentiate your product from the rest of the clutter? After all, as Kiran Dixit, group head for advertising & marketing at TBZ - The Original, points out: Jewellers who are active on the marketing front have hardly done any differentiation. If you hide the logo of any jewellery ad, its very difficult to identify which jewellers advertisement you are looking at. If brands both gold and diamond feel they have a chance, its with good reason. GenY is looking for contemporary designs, convenience and an enjoyable shopping experience. The Gitanjali group, which has some 20 gold and diamond brands in its portfolio, is boldly going forward with an FMCG mindset. The group works with 70 designers, is constantly introducing new designs and its brands are present at 3,000 of an estimated 500,000 jewellers in the country. Says Abhishek Gupta, head of strategy & investor relations at the Gitanjali group: We have learnt distribution techniques from the FMCG sector. We have national, regional and area level distributors. WGCs Lamb reckons that the shift being witnessed from the West to the East across a spectrum of global brands is extending itself to jewellery. We are seeing a dynamic shift in the consumption of gold jewellery from the mature markets; the balance of power is shifting to India and China. WGCs wedding jewellery collection Azva is targeted at modern Indian couples in the 23 to 30 age group. Lamb is particularly excited about the marketing strategy for Azva, which has BBH working on its communication, Landor on the brand identity, Maxus doing its media strategy and design consultancy Fitch taking care of the retail look. We are going to articulate the promises of Azva in all conventional media, particularly in print, but we will also have a strong digital component where we will invite people to explore the brands promises, explains Lamb, a former worldwide head of account planning at JWT where he spent over two decades. The reasons for building a brand in the jewellery market are quite similar to those in any other category. Shaziya Khan, executive planning director & VP, JWT says: Brand building helps a product carve its niche and demand a premium in the market. Local jewellers expanding nationally have also led to an increase to marketing spends in the industry, she adds.

On the flip side, Dixit of TBZ-The Original says: Everyone in the market wants to attract more and more customers and enjoy maximum market share. This has resulted in intensive price wars in terms of giving discounts on making charges or selling at cutthroat prices. Marketing, though, has also led to more awareness about purity of the metal, the importance of hallmarking and guarantee of quality among others in consumers. Thats what brands do: they go beyond the technical satisfactions of a product and make larger promises, says Lamb. Gitanjali has different promises for different segments of the population. In the diamonds space, for instance, Nakshatra has premium imagery because of its signature seven-cluster design while Asmi is for working women. Tanishq, a division of Titan Industries, is another brand that is working hard to push diamonds into the everyday mind space of consumers by launching affordable diamonds. To be sure, diamonds stand a better chance of making it as a lifestyle product, which explains why such outlets are conspicuous in malls and high-streets. Can gold go down the same road? Perhaps, if more people believe what Lamb does. Spending your money on jewellery is so much cleverer than clothing that you will throw away or get bored of. Most Indian brides already know that. The challenge is to convince them to pick up the branded stuff rather than ounces of it from their family-friendly neighbourhood store.

Phone, Camera, Action ! Will the splat the BlackBerry alert icon become the next swoosh? BlackBerry and its agency BBDO are trying their best to make this happen, starting with a brand new ad campaign Ravi Balakrishnan

In the glory days of BlackBerry all the advertising it seemed to need was the sent from my BlackBerry signature. It signalled that the sender was important, maybe even fabulously wealthy. Or at least an alpha geek. Well those times are long past and BlackBerry has gone from being the only phone for on-the-go email to one of the

many phones that do email among other things. The last few years have seen both mindspace and market share being lost to some of the sexier competition. And so after Black-Berry Boys seasons 1 and 2, in association with Vodafone, Research In Motion (RIM) has put together the first branded campaign for its flagship. The campaign focuses on the asterisk, called the splat (or the spark if you are talking to its fans from the website Crackberry.com), a design element that has been part of BlackBerry for years. Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer at BBDO who also owns an iPhone, claims to reach for his Black-Berry first thing in the morning and cottoned on to the fact that the splat worked as a call to action, giving notifications of messages, email etc. He explains, When we came up with this observation and the concept of making it the symbol for action, we were responding to an Indian situation. But Sunil Dutt (managing director, RIM) believed it was not just about this country but a more u n ive r s a l thought. Dutt shared the idea and got a buy in, resulting in the first commercial being developed simultaneously for India and some other markets in the Asia Pacific region. Says Paul, It was obvious but no one had given it (the splat) meaning. The moment that happened, it was very epiphanic. Sometimes you know youve cracked something that is a life statement. However, if all youve seen so far is the TV commercial, you may come away just a little underwhelmed. Its a montage ad; films which usually feature happy grandparents, simpering children, suave executives, teens in love and sometimes even the family pooch, all rendered ecstatic by the brand. Considering the sheer number of montages that roll out every year, they obviously get greenlit quite easily by marketers even as they evoke groans from the more ad saturated parts of the audience. We just knewAction Starts Here was going to feature at least one lisping moppet and one youthhangout moment we stopped counting after two of the latter. We were pleasantly surprised that the sagacious elder didnt put in an appearance. But to give credit where its due, BlackBerry and BBDO do throw in at least a few curveballs. One of them was the man who breaks off from the jingle to throw himself out of a plane for a spot of skydiving (at least we hope it was skydiving!) Occasional whiffs of dj vu notwithstanding, the Action Starts Here film is bang on strategy, according to RIM. As it moved from being a pure enterprise device to thewider consumer market, BlackBerry has started to cover a large demographic swathe. And

so, according to Krishnadeep Baruah, director marketing, RIM India, The campaign focuses on people who are passionate about certain things in their life which do not just remain dreams but are translated into action; and how BlackBerry enables them. Dheeraj Sinha, chief strategy officer south and south east Asia, Grey is a fan of the strategy behind the campaign: Its a clever move to appropriate the BlackBerry alert icon and link it to the idea of action. It gives the brand a clear identifier. 'Actionstarts here' takes me to the world of immediacy and fervour a world where you make things happen. The theme and execution are consistent with BlackBerry's attempt to connect with the younger franchise. However hes not too sold on the way it has been developed. He adds, My action is to take a break/our action is to stay together dilutes the meaning. Having chosen a sharp platform, thebrand has tried to make it stand for everything and anything that you want to do. This wide interpretation somewhat erodes its power. BlackBerry has already taken the action beyond print, outdoor and TV. Its Facebook page with 1,216,093 likes launched the India Action Challenge on the 15th of August, scheduled to be a month and a half long programme. It invites people to pledge to change something (either in their personal lives or for the larger community), share this with their friends, and then return with photos that provide proof. People who successfully complete their pledges stand a chance to win prizes from Black-Berry should they secure enough votes. At the time of going to print, there were 902 pledges made with none completed. There may be more action, as the campaign moves into its next phase. It helps that Action Stars Here has begun around the time that a 4G enabled version of the BlackBerry Playbook is imminent and with rumours indicating that the new set of phones powered by a superior operating system, should hit the market before the year is through. BlackBerry is betting at least some of the action over the next few months will involve people buying boxes off the shelves.

heyve Come A Long Way, Baby Indias new breed of shoppers are not only gravitating toward modern retail but also shopping for bigger and better deals

Nielsens Shopper Trends Study sheds light on the evolution of the Indian shopper over the last seven years. The annual study takes place across 52 countries to understand shopper attitudes and behaviour. In India, Shopper Trends is conducted in 14 cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Banagalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune. Respondents include household influencers between the ages 18 and 65 in SEC A, B and C. Over 3,300 respondents were interviewed for the 2012 Shopper Trends Study. Excerpts. A closer look at the 14 key markets that accountfor 3/4th of Indias modern trade sales, each citys modern trade network has been witnessing high double-digit growth rate with the contribution of such formats to sales exceeding a fifth of total sales on an average.These markets are an interesting laboratory to observe the continued rise of the modern trade shopper.