Indian

Consumer
Trends

2011-12
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Backdrop

Change is an integral part of every society and no consumer is spared from the effect of the phenomenon of changing demographics and income levels, which leads to their new and revamped lifestyle. In the recent times, India has been facing a sea of alteration in every sphere. While the family structure is modifying and shrinking from joint to nuclear, income has heightened, leaving consumers with increased disposable income. Consequently, the wish list and aspirations of consumers is not inert but is ever changing. What they want to use and experience alters with progress in time since they always tend to seek novelty. Subsequent to which, there has been a drift in their consumption attitude and pattern as well as a difference in the way they buy, leading to a wide range of alterations in their standard of living. Thus, change in consumer trends is inevitable.

Change in Demographics, income, lifestyle

Change in Consumer Aspirations

Change in Consumption pattern and trends

Marketers to keep an eye on the changing consumer needs and develop/ design their products & services accordingly

In such an altering market condition with changing consumer mindset, mere introduction of newer products and services is not adequate. Marketers need to be alert and watchful of every minuscule movement that sways the consumer dynamics. They need to keep pace with the vicious change in “changing patterns”. Hence, in order to be competitive, marketers need to constantly keep looking for ways to join the dots which lead to alteration in consumer trends. The following pages detail out some short listed consumer trends which are expected to have an effect on the way consumers are likely to respond to products and services in the coming year. These will further serve as significant cues for the marketers who can better think to innovate, develop and design products accommodating with the varying needs and demands of the consumers.

Editorial Team Saloni Nangia, Senior Vice President I saloni.nangia@technopak.com Pratichee Kapoor, Associate Director I pratichee.kapoor@technopak.com Inderpreet Kaur, Principal Consultant I inderpreet.kaur@technopak.com Aparna Sharma, Associate Consultant I aparna.sharma@technopak.com Design & Development Bharat Kaushik, Design Manager I bharat.kaushik@technopak.com Arvind Sundriyal, Senior Designer I arvind.sundriyal@technopak.com

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innovation and quality. Taking inspiration Bajaj is also coming out with a low-cost car, thus making it possible for the middle class to afford the luxury of a car. Marketers of CDIT products like mobiles, refrigerators, AC’s have not failed either to charm the masses by bringing into the market an assortment of products that stand the test of quality and innovation and at the same time are monetarily appealing. Micromax, a mobile phone brand that was launched recently has quickly captured the market share and become the third largest mobile handset seller in the country. This is purely on account of an understanding that Indian consumer has unique preferences with respect to mobile handsets such as long battery life, dual GSM capability, low-cost QWERTY phones, universal remote control and gaming phones. Godrej Group’s battery operated refrigerator is a perfect solution for consumers who do not have access to electricity 24x7.Samsung also introduced a phone with a solar charger to address the same issue. The service sector is not far behind. The introduction of airbuses has made air travel for the masses very lucrative and further innovation by the sector will satisfy their aspiration. Telecom sector has leveraged on the trend by bringing attractive plans that appeals to the masses. To unlock the full potential of the Indian middle class as consumers and drivers of growth, the marketers must continue to address issues like limited disposable income. The middle class wants to enjoy a lifestyle that does not burn a hole in their pockets. The marketers need to bear this in mind while designing products and services.

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Indian consumer is now becoming more receptive to the goodwill of the society at large. Consumption is increasingly not just confined to mere personal gratification; but a beginning of “sensitive” about the social concerns as well. Consequently, giving, sharing and caring in the coming years are expected to be beat taking, leading to a close mingling between ‘empathy’ with ‘shopping’. With increased consciousness, consumers are positively responding to products and services which have a generous component; especially those, portions of which would be donated to a worthy cause. The ecological and social concerns which existed earlier, but were never manifested, would gain momentum. Increased awareness of consumers and at the same time, efforts by retailers, of connecting with consumers, through an element of embedded generosity in their products, would extend an emotional reason to buy. Following which, giving initiatives that make donating painless, if not automatic, will amplify. At the same time, preference for eco – friendly products will also enhance. Consumers have now begun to favor ethical and eco friendly products, starting from Ahimsa silk (alternative silk fabric where there is no killing or cruelty to animals involved); vegan (vegetarian) belts and footwear to environment friendly electronic goods such as LED bulbs by Philips etc. Procter & Gamble and UNICEF have joined forces for the fourth year running, in an effort to raise money for tetanus vaccines. Hindustan Unilever Limited has tied up Shiksha (an NGO supporting child education) and through its initiative; it encourages consumers to purchase its products, a portion of its spend is given to the NGO. Body shop, a premium cosmetic brand does its bit to promote generosity through its range of products; earnings of which

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With the improving economy the consumer is back on the lookout for better products and services. However after witnessing recession in full swing he/she is now even more value conscious. The mass segment is aspiring for products that their economically higher counterparts have but the only constraint is their limited or restrictive spending power. Tapping into this trend are products and services that are reverse-engineered copies of category leaders but at the same time cheaper. This does not mean that value is the only thing that resonates with the consumer, but the reason why such products are finding way into consumers’ house is they now promise innovation and quality. Departmental stores and supermarkets are satisfying the urge of the masses to own better products by offering a range of private labels. Private labels weren’t always taken so seriously; in the past, they were considered cheap, no-name substitutes for “real” brands -- cheap in terms of price as well as quality. However, now they promise innovation as well as quality and are found across a spectrum of products -from groceries and staples to apparel, consumer electronics and mobile handsets -- they are considered brands in their own right. The fundamental reason for the success of private labels is their price advantage, made possible by their nonexistent or very limited spending on product development and brand promotion. However, private labels are not the only benefiters’, brands are also following suit and introducing innovative products that may be cheaper but promise quality and freshness to the segment targeted. Tata nano is a perfect example of a product that satisfies the aspiration of the middle class to own a car but at the same time scores high on

is dedicated to an organization which fights against human trafficking. Puma has launched its range of pink shoes to promote the antibreast cancer initiative. Also, Lifestyle deducts Re.1 on the bill of the consumers who are willing to donate for a cause. A greater inclination is also seen to green products and consumers favor companies they consider green. To shed light on some facts, India has been rated as the most eco friendly nation by the Greendex 2010 Survey conducted by National Geographical Society. Making green choices is a high priority for around 60 per cent of Indian consumers. And 95 per cent of consumers who make green choices claim to do so to protect the environment. Indian consumers’ attitude towards green practices, products and services is mainly in three categories - energy, retail and transport. Increased awareness and consciousness of consumers encourages them to purchase products which have an eco friendly angle. Subsequently, companies are realizing the importance of environment friendly products on identifying increased preference of consumers towards such products. Wipro and HCL have emerged amongst the top five greenest electronics companies in the world, providing consumers with a wide range of “eco sensitive” products to choose from (For instance; Greenware range of desktops which are 100% recyclable and toxin free). Dell has introduced two new initiatives designed to promote a green approach towards technology adoption for consumers in India – discount coupons and Dell Go Green Challenge. Other CDIT companies such as Samsung, LG and Panasonic have also come up with their range of eco friendly products, addressing to the increasing demands of eco friendly consumer.

The mass segment is the catalyst of growth and ignoring this important segment will cost a lot. Companies by following a strategy focused on innovation, design and usage can develop products and services at affordable prices. Such products will satisfy the aspiration for better products and at the same time be cost effective.

With social/ ecological concern and awareness increasing, the present day time pressed consumers have a preference for an offer which enables them to buy the product and simultaneously facilitates them in donating a portion for a cause. Hence, companies can assist them with options which ensure they contribute while they shop and get involved directly in making a change. This leaves a wide array of innovative thinking for businesses across categories. An element of generosity, if implemented in a proper way, would provide a rich landscape for storytelling; enabling them in making profit while extending donations consecutively.

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Altering Status Symbols: from Tangible to Intangible Icons…
The brands consumer wears, eats, drives, uses or experiences are connected to his/her status. Consumers are finding increasingly diverse ways to acquire their status fix. For the consumer who values individuality, owning or experiencing something no one else has, is the ultimate status fix. Products and symbols which were seen as status enhancers previously have taken a back seat. And focus has now shifted to experiences and stories. Catering to the demands of consumers, various brands have tried to offer goods and services that help consumers to alleviate their anxieties about how they are perceived by others. However, with time, the way status enhancers are perceived amongst the changing consumer segments, is altering tremendously. There has been a gradual drift from owning the most expensive to experiencing the most unique.. Taking pride in sharing the experience of something exceptional is socially indulging and hence personally flattering. Take for instance; trip to a place not ventured by any one (or a few) gives them stories and experiences to share with their peers. Eco tourism is widely appealing to people and they are more likely to be drawn towards fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas. They will increasingly have to tell each other stories to achieve a status dividend from their experiences. As consumers slowly get away from an over dose of materialistic consumerism, importance of generosity has loomed large in the recent times. In such a scenario, contributing for a (social) cause and then letting everyone know about their donations and contributions (through social media like facebook and twitter etc.) leverages their respect among their friends. And to add on, while sustainability has been embraced by the society at large, green credentials are an endless source of status. Using products considered as “eco friendly” automatically heightens up their “social” image. One should also not negate the fact that unconsumption (the act of consuming less) elevates one’s “green status” since it hardly makes low or no impact on the environment. Another approach that consumers are adopting to have a cutting edge over others is mastering knowledge on “specific” grounds. They tend to attain status by “showcasing” their skills to an audience who is unaware (or less aware) of the same. One can consider the example of an inquisitive teenager “cool hunting” with the features of mobile phone. And closely associated is, acquiring some unique skills such as involvement in a distinct sport which also helps them flatter their expertise while they are in a social context. And not to forget the social media, which is truly an endless source of new status fixes. Status is associated here with the number of connections one has or the level of involvement in the networking site. Ultimately, it gives a sense of belongingness, which is personally satisfying and socially elevating one’s status. Ownership of virtual possessions such as Farmville, Fishville and Café World or acquiring online gaming skills on Facebook are definitive sources of bumping up one’s status instantly. The number of retweets on twitter and the number of views for a photo on Flickr or a video on YouTube are similar ways gaining a status fix. These are all symbols that are associated with one’s social status and that can be shared instantly and on a potentially large scale in the connectivity realm.

Old Wine in New Bottle
The present day consumer feels connected to the products and services that have a contemporary look and feel as it lends a familiarity in the modern environment. But at the same time he values the rich heritage of India and the traditional products and services associated with it. Resolving this conflict, brands are now showcasing a range of products that prove their relevance but at the same time look contemporary to meet the fresh challenges. This trend has fueled the comeback of spas, massages, ayurveda, health tourism, yoga, natural personal care products etc. in a new avatar. The comeback is not only on account of increased health consciousness; the Indian consumer was always well informed about the age old benefits of herbal and natural products, yoga and massages. What has given impetus to this comeback is the complete contemporary transformation. The revamped look and feel is now important as the urban consumer has become much more exposed and does not want to compromise on anything that is not alluring or does not comply with the international standards. Ayurveda and yoga, which were long relegated to the bygone realm of the ascetics are popular again. And a lot of credit for this goes to Baba Ramdev, who has revamped them in such a way that it assures consumer attention. Ayurveda is no longer limited to spas and some herbal treatments from Kerala but to a large array of products and services. Aloevera, Amla and Jojoba are being used in a large variety of products; from drinks and eatables to cosmetics and medicines. The same holds true for tea, which was always there but is now selling like hot cakes. With the rebranding and repackaging of variety of teas there is a sudden influx of herbal and flavored teas in the market. Holistic well being products and services are gaining prominence again as the consumer is not only extolling their virtues but also appreciating their contemporary look and feel. Spas and holistic wellness centers are now revamping the old medicinal remedies and personal care products and targeting various segments of the society. Tapping into this opportunity are various business groups; HLL’s Ayush targets the affluent consumers and Cholayil Group through Sanjeevanam targets the emerging middle class. The tourism sector is also following suit and engaging the urban consumer with various options like wellness retreats, inspired vacations for mind, body and spirit, yoga retreats, spiritual vacations and so on and so forth. Looking at India’s upbeat economy and sensing this shift, the marketers are proactively altering their offer. They are working closely on packaging, ingredients and publicity to try to make them more relevant today. The formulation of these products hasn’t changed but their positioning has changed considerably. The new look complies with premium, international standards of packaging breaking the clutter with better range and increased product shelf life. In short, brands of yore are working on a comeback. They are dusting the cobwebs off their brands, revamping their content and packaging to make them contemporary, and sending them back into the market for consumer rupees. Embracing the cultural and lifestyle changes will help marketers to combine the concept of modernity and tradition together. The present day consumer values culture and traditions but is not tied to it and thus the marketers have to constantly tantalize the consumer with new offerings, whether it is through packaging or publicity.

The extent to which consumers desire to be different and inimitable and at the same time envied after, is boundless. The status symbols might alter with time; however, the underlying “wish” to stand out from the crowd, will remain forever. While the status symbols are destined to change with time, it is crucial for the businesses/ brands to keep ogling at the changing trends of what constitutes status enhancers and accommodate consumers with innovative products and services accordingly. Moreover, their desire to demonstrate what they possess and what they have experienced will transcend beyond their closest group. Adding an element that helps build an image of the consumer by using that product or service would be a good trick for marketers. There is a need to figure out ways that can help consumers show off their new status symbols in the most impressive way.

Heritage or history is no protection for products and services today, therefore, marketers would need to innovatively revamp their product offering. If they have to survive the fierce competition and cash on the opportunities thrown across by companies, they have to creatively rebrand and repack the old wine in new bottle.

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Drift from Conventional to Bold and Expressive
The old order is changing and yielding place to new .The change is fast and for all to see. The new age liberal consumer in emerging economies like India is also positively responding to the change. Charmed by modernity in all its gritty and glory, today’s hyper consumer welcomes innovation, creativity and unconventionality. He is moving away from traditional, social and familial structures and feels that now its time to loosen up. The more experienced and outspoken consumer is appreciating brands that are enterprising, candid and even a bit more risqué. The broad spread of more liberal attitudes and increasing urbanization has given birth to savvy streetwise consumers who do not hesitate in trying products that push the boundaries. Consumption for them is a means of reflecting their personality and changing belief system. The very affluent urban consumer is increasingly looking for products and services which can give him the thrill and a sense of eccentricity. No wonder any product or service that reflects change to society’s cultural foundations and established rules, is catching the fancy of new age urbane consumer. Subsequently, brands are giving importance to innovative, bold and unusual ideas and concepts and branding their products accordingly. There has never been a bigger market for demanding, bold and unconventional offerings before. A growing number of brands have spotted this changing trend and are tapping it with great success. Reebok has grabbed women’s attention by promising “asstounding” booty-shaping results with its new EasyTone shoes. Levi’s has launched Curve ID, a line of jeans with three different cuts designed to address different body shapes of women. Kraken Opus, a luxury publishing company has sensationalized the publishing of the “800-page Tendulkar Opus” by mixing a pint of Tendulkar’s blood with the paper pulp. Barista Lavazza has also successfully leveraged on the same and has introduced liqueur coffees and desserts. Thus, brands are coming up with unconventional products that grab attention of the inquisitive consumer within seconds. The service sector is also following suit and engaging the new liberal and conscious consumer. The new age woman, who reflects the emerging independence and liberal outlook, has been the target of tour operators. With fancy packages, a travel company, “Women on Wanderlust” has succeeded in roping women groups to exotic destinations. In the process of loosening up, brands like Dell are targeting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) customers by building a number of new communication channels. Dell is one of the first brands in the country that has tried to capture this important market segment by working with various GLBT organizations and businesses - to advance important causes, purchase components or products, and attract good job candidates. Following the same are Indjapink, India’s first dedicated online gay travel boutique and Queer-INK, an e-store catering to the gay community. Therefore this ongoing collapse of the established beliefs, rituals and laws that society held close for years, is seen bringing into the market, products that are practical, expressive, cool, bold, unconventional and even naughty. Products are now in tune with the very dynamic culture and promise passion and excitement to the global consumer.

With escalating crime rates and increased threat of terrorist attacks there is enough reason for the modern day consumer to demand security services and products that are effective and comprehensive. One that leaves him feeling secure at all times and makes his house and external environment completely safe and secure. The far more vigilant and meticulous consumer now wants to invest liberally in the safety and security of his home, possessions, and most importantly, his loved ones. The transition from extended to nuclear families and women’s increased entry into the workplace have begun to redefine the roles of men and women in society and in turn has had substantial effect on family dynamics and existing social support systems. Reduced family support has made home unsafe for children and elders. To address these safety concerns, marketers are coming up with innovative security solutions like- the E-Neighbor system (which consists of wireless sensors programmed to detect unusual activity in a house), breakage alarms, door stop alarms, door and window jammers, motion detecting home security devices, smoke detectors, etc. Kidnap-and-ransom (K&R) insurance policies are also introduced to provide professional negotiation assistance in the event a crime does occur. The new age women are always on the go. However with the increasing number of crimes, their insecurities and fears are only going up. They feel insecure and vulnerable particularly in public places and at night. Companies like ForShe, Priyadarshini Private Cabs, Go For Pink are realizing the enormity of the problem and providing cab services exclusively for women. These cabs have women drivers

and are equipped with panic buttons in case of emergencies. Self defense training institutes that train women in personal safety and defense are also gaining popularity. Telecom sector is not far behind to address the issue and Idea has launched the zero balance schemes to facilitate communication in case of an emergency. Security issues are not restricted to people, crowded public places (e.g. shopping areas, office complexes, transport systems, sports and conference arenas) are also at high risk because of increasing threat of terrorism and cannot be subject to traditional security approaches such as searches and checkpoints. High-tech gadgets that help mitigate terrorist threats are and will be in great demand. Consequently, marketers are developing technology that provides effective vigilance for commercial properties. Professional security agencies are also reaping the benefits of this new trend and are coming up with a service mix to cater various requirements. Consumers now feel that “It is better to play safe, than be sorry”. They are upgrading the traditional options of security and opting for contemporary security devices like burglar alarm, spy camera, fire alarm, CCTV, wireless camera etc. Safety devices like GPS, route tracking system, central locking etc. in personal vehicles are also very popular. These are technologically advanced equipments and are proving their usefulness in every setting, be it home, office or factory. However there is a vast scope for innovation and higher technological precision. Futuristic security options that give the consumer a sense of security will help this niche market grow.

The array of security challenges -- some of them longstanding, some of them emerging – now coalescing have a deep impact on the products and services provided by marketers. The demand for well-connected security products and services has increased dramatically over the last decade and will continue to do so with the changing socioeconomic conditions. This will bring an influx of security products and services in the market, however only those that meet to changing needs of the consumer and economy will survive.

In their fast paced lifestyle, consumers have now begun to look beyond the given and functional benefits of a product and wish to look for more extended applications and services. Anything that delivers on their wants (and at times surprises them with some unexpected benefit) is ought to be appreciated by the consumers. Precisely, anything that instantly “supports” their needs, apart from merely providing them with the expected functions would definitely please them. Offering additional service has become anonymous with selling. Hence, offering relevant services to consumers is a win-win situation in any business. Cutting down on a number of traditional advertizing/ marketing activities to free some capital and giving priority to additional services is not a bad idea!
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Desire for Fringe Benefits
For consumers, time, convenience, control and independence are the new currencies. As the consumers become more pragmatic, more convenience seeking, as well as time pressed; they would require instant access to an ever-growing number of support services (both online and offline). While the modern day consumers juggle between their multiple and diverse roles, they seek out for products and services which could assist them in “making things easier and convenient”. They actively look out for products and services which provide them with “on the plate” benefits. Hence, any bit of information/ service that serves as an instant assistance to the consumers and help them to make the most of their daily lives, would pleasantly surprise them and consequently, is slated to be popular. Finding information on the catalogues, manuals, and brochures or from such similar sources is a thing of the past. The current mobile online revolution is shifting consumer expectations further into the always-on, instant gratification online arena. Consumers are now increasingly seeking an avalanche of relevant and timely information that is handy and could be accessed immediately anytime and anywhere, even while they are on the move. Information about major attractions of the city, hospitals, hotels and restaurants, pubs, nightlife, and entertainment options etc on their mobile phone are an instant source of customer delight. Another example is of Mastercard’s ATM hunter on iphone which allows users to find their nearest ATMs by entering their location or using built-in GPS functionality. To cite another example; Google has developed a feature which uses Google Maps to offer a variety of walking tours in cities around the world. Moreover, the web check in facility on the websites of various airways such as Jet airways and Kingfisher etc. is a sigh of relief for the travelers who wish to save on time and effort, which is otherwise wasted on long queues while collecting their boarding passes. The movie ticket vending machine which PVR and other cineplexes offer is another such example. Weather forecasts, cricket scores, bar code reader etc on mobile phone are some additional examples. Almost every mobile phone brand has realized the emerging desire of the consumers to socialize while they are on the move and has facilitated them with an array of applications such as facebook, orkut and twitter on the mobile phone. At the same time, the more aware and cautious consumers yearn for a degree of transparency from the products and service providers. The example of Dominos pizza tracker in the US could be referred here. This service allows US customers to follow the progress of their pizza order from preparation to delivery via a web interface. Consumers are always on the lookout for spaces and amenities which assist them in their search for comfort and problem-solving. One can look at the offline examples such as pop up mobile phone stores which help the consumers in getting an instant service like mobile and laptop kiosks at places such as malls/ airports/ office complexes, offering free internet access, charging facilities etc.

Eager to Experience Appealing Media
Presently, consumers are flooded with a variety of communication channels from various brands. This is one area where brands have been more than active in coming up with a range of creative and innovative mediums of connecting with their consumers. However, it is seen that consumers have a temporary association with the communication models and they always fetch for newer, innovative and more appealing mediums. Moreover, with their fast changing attitude and lifestyle, consumers tend to look for channels of communications which are direct, engaging and easy to comprehend. Hence, after a point of time it will be noticed that with an overdose of media engagement, the current channels/ mediums might become obsolete and uninteresting to them; which would lead them to hunt for more novel mediums. Consumers have become more demanding and assertive and at the same time want to be more “empowered”. Every consumer now thinks that he is a role model and companies having understood this fact, are looking for ways to bond with the consumer and make them feel “empowered”. For instance; Frito-Lay’s campaign for Lay’s “Give Us Your Delicious Flavor” gave consumers an opportunity to co-create the flavor they like for Lay’s. Similarly, the public voting system on the reality TV shows gives a sense of involvement to its viewers and helps to capture their interest in a greater way. Also, as the consumers become socially and ecologically conscious, the brands try out mediums which engage them in a cause and make them feel responsible and hence “empowered”. One can refer to “Save our tigers” initiative of Aircel and “Save the trees” advertisement by idea here. Brands are also adopting distinct and unique ways to attract and appeal its consumers. Vodafone tried an innovative way of pleasing its consumers by creating a sense of humor through its Zoozoo ads, which offers a variety of “short bites” and “crisp and direct” commercials. Yet another distinct technique was recently used by the German automobile company, Volkswagen with a “talking” advertisement in a mainstream newspaper during launch of its new Vento sedan. With consumers spending more time outside their homes and reducing their usage of traditional media, the larger than life impression and contextual nature of the digital out of home medium, allows advertisers the ability to trap themselves into the environment of their target audiences with effective ease. Through digital OOH media, advertisers are now better able to engage consumers in captive locations (such as theaters, retail, offices, entertainment hubs, transit, universities, road side) during their daily routines through video advertising networks, digital billboards and ambient ad platforms. The larger than life, swanky looking digital billboard definitely catches attention and leaves a long lasting impression on the on looker. Another distinctive form of outdoor initiative was by Subway where it used Subway graphics on the sides of radio cabs. Such medium was adopted to trigger consumers over an extended period of time and region. Given the short span/ temporary attachment of the ever changing consumer, “Pop–Uptailing” as a media concept is gradually gaining importance. Mobile retail displays, pop up art studios and shipping container bars; banking on exclusivity and surprise, are the latest ways to generate buzz and quickly place product in new markets. Moreover, the time pressed consumers now look out for more “immediate” engagements, since these are easy to comprehend and have a direct impact on them. Subsequent to which, the ongoing shift from words to pictures is expected to accelerate.

In their fast paced lifestyle, consumers have now begun to look beyond the given and functional benefits of a product and wish to look for more extended applications and services. Anything that delivers on their wants (and at times surprises them with some unexpected benefit) is ought to be appreciated by the consumers. Precisely, anything that instantly “supports” their needs, apart from merely providing them with the expected functions would definitely please them. Offering additional service has become anonymous with selling. Hence, offering relevant services to consumers is a win-win situation in any business. Cutting down on a number of traditional advertizing/ marketing activities to free some capital and giving priority to additional services is not a bad idea!

With the changes in consumers’ mindset, the traditional media has begun to stagger. And hence, the brands are developing newer communication strategies to reach out to its target consumers. Taking for instance; today’s time pressed consumer seeks out for convenience and easy and immediate “information”. Catering to which, brands can use large digital impressions, detailing the features of products. Moreover, digital kiosks can ease consumer’s concerns of seeking details of a product. Design thinking will continue to play a key role as a differentiator. Anything unique and distinct will capture greater audience and would prove to be more effective. Any medium that eases out consumers’ queries and at the same time is attractive enough to delight them, would gain popularity. It is important for the brands to keep an eye on consumers’ altering demands and revamp their communication strategy in line with consumers’ changing aspirations.
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Alternative Entertainment and Leisure Options
With changing external environment consumer behavior is also changing. The attention span of the new age consumer is reducing and he is always on the lookout for change. Consequently, the desire for alternate entertainment and leisure options has also become stronger. Consumer has moved beyond the conventional sources of entertainment to more involving channels as he now has the inclination as well as the ability to pay for innovative options. As a result the marketers are finding it difficult to satisfy them and capture a share of their time and money. What catches the fancy of modern day consumer are entertainment options that offer an exciting, creative way to spend leisure time with family and friends and at the same time bond with them. Cashing on this new trend is Colour Factory, a chain of “paint your own pottery” stores. Adventure sports like rafting, paragliding, skiing, and abseiling provide the exhilaration and excitements the consumer is looking for and are quite a craze. Sports are becoming the passion of many as it helps them to getaway from the hectic life. While erstwhile options like Multiplexes have mushrooming at every nook and corner they are realizing the increasing penchant for other leisure options. Cashing on this trend are restaurants, multiplexes and bars that host live screening of matches. Entertainment options like theatre, concerts and exhibitions are also catching up. Several multiplexes stage plays nowadays. Big players are now coming up with world-class lifestyle entertainment concepts to bridge the gap of higher aspirations vis-à-vis lack of organized entertainment experience. Multiplex operator PVR Cinemas recently launched a bowling alley called Blu-O, with a promise to bring fashion bowling to Indian consumers, who have long aspired for lifestyle entertainment. Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. and Apra Group of Companies together as GNIC have opened Kingdom of dreams, to serve the consumer a blend of India’s art, culture, heritage, craft, cuisine and performing art. Time deprived consumer is appreciating options that are convenient and allow him to spend fun time with friends and family. This has made in-house entertainment options equally popular. The scope of in-house entertainment now goes beyond gadgets such as television and personal computers. The search is for grander options, not ones that fit into a corner of the room and enjoyed alone but those that add freshness to the hectic life and enjoyed together with friends. Play stations, home theatre systems and virtual games are becoming trendy as they serve the purpose. Entertainment activities that refresh and rejuvenate, work as magic and thus the consumers’ appetite for leisure and entertainment is galloping. Marketers are closely following the trend and coming up with innovative options to satisfy the consumer. Competition for innovative options will prove to be an impetus for increased efficiencies and will force the more conventional formats to rethink their strategies.

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carefully scheduled, addressing the safety and health concerns of older travelers. With a lot of alteration in the family structure, there has been a gradual drift from joint to nucleus arrangement. And their children having shifted to other cities (or abroad), an increasing number of senior citizens have to live by themselves. Considering this, various lifestyle options have emerged to facilitate them with all comfort and convenience. For instance; senior citizens lifestyle apartments are cropping up in several cities, which have incorporated a host of safety and convenience features for them; ranging from wheel-chair friendly rooms to anti-skid floors to grab bars in bathrooms, and panic alarm buttons to wider passages. Moreover, such apartments are well equipped with grocery and departmental stores, an ATM and a chemist shop in close vicinity. And how can one overlook the health related concerns of this category of consumers! Health and medication is one area where they tend to spend the maximum and majority of their expense goes into diagnosis, prevention and cure of ailments. Consequently, a lot of brands have given a thought towards making their life easier, simpler and healthier. For instance; Dr. Scholl’s, uses podiatric medicine and research to design comfortable shoes and footwear for joints pain relief. With much alternation in their desires, they are showing lot of enthusiasm towards enjoying their life to the fullest and looking forward to a secured, comfortable and healthy lifestyle. Their economic independence along with the attitude of self reliance has further helped them in taking up the challenges of old age more confidently.

The current day older generation is fast emerging as an exceptional genre with new desires and anticipation and are increasingly showcasing “Life begins after retirement” attitude. As this generation is becoming more “economically stable” and largely “self reliant”, traditional retirement has gradually become a thing of the past. Even though the earlier phase of their life was rushed with bundle of responsibilities and life primarily revolved around tight deadlines at workplace, bringing up their children and various other pressures, they did not miss out on a meticulous plan to save up for a comfortable later life. And now, when they are free from the burden of numerous responsibilities, they look forward for ways to enjoy and “LIVE” their life without strings. Their considerations have expanded beyond the constraints of familial ties. As they become self reliant both emotionally and economically, they are now confident to face various challenges of “old age”. The long pending wishes which were close to their heart, but had taken a backseat, gain weight and they want to experience all their “unfulfilled desires”. Moreover, having saved life’s kitty in a smarter way has helped them to shake off their fear of uncertainties and suspicions about the later life that had somewhat gripped them earlier. Leading a hassle free life, without any worries and at the same time enjoying to the fullest has become their top most priority. This has been possible because of change in their attitude and a strong financial holding. Following which, they can now consider a long desired holiday trip which was postponed for long. Some of the tour and travel operators such as Cox and Kings, Thomas Cook and SOTC have exploited this opportunity to some extent and have tried to plan exclusive holiday tours, keeping in mind the distinct yet indispensable requirements of the senior travelers. Such tours are

There is a large gap in the market place for engaging entertainment and leisure options, with eating out, amusement parks and multiplexes being the primary options. Though as a result of growing demand, the entertainment and leisure sector has begun to witness the advent of a broader set of offerings which are aimed for specific segments but there is still a huge potential for innovation. Overall the entertainment industry is steaming ahead. The industry has the mettle to grow and diversify. However, the ability of the industry to exploit the opportunities with right business model will be critical to its success. Thus, higher demand and an increased investment would result in an expansion of the alternative entertainment industry in the years to come.

Various brands and retailers need to “customize” and innovate their products and services catering to the emerging needs of this category of consumers. More responsive mediums of providing “door step” conveniences such as diagnostics and pathological solutions as well as collection of mobile/ internet bills would be of great help to them. Any product or service which makes their life easier, gives away a sense of independence to them or elevates their delight (and makes them feel special) is a sure shot win in the market.

14 | Indian Consumer Trends 2011-12

Indian Consumer Trends 2011-12 | 15

For further dialogue, please contact: Sr. Vice President, Retail & Consumer Products saloni.nangia@technopak.com T: +91 98185 98626 Vice President, Retail & Consumer Products purnendu.kumar@technopak.com T: +91 98714 44110

Saloni Nangia

Purnendu Kumar

www.technopak.com
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