What will change now is the process and manner of storytelling and engaging with the consumers through meaningful and out-of-the-box campaigns, says Sinha
As brands try to find a sign of semblance post a period of uncertainty, it has become more important than ever to understand and evolve as per changing consumer expectations. From selling goods online to incorporating consumer feedback are some of the ways brands are trying to remain relevant. Amar Sinha, chief operating officer, Radico Khaitan Ltd, talks about how brands and agencies can engage with their consumers–
On the playbook, brands and agencies need to adopt in the new normal
Digital marketing will play a crucial role in the new normal hence it is imperative for brands to adapt to the changing dynamics to make their presence felt. It is crucial for brands to tap the online platforms where most of their consumers and brand loyalists are spending time while understanding the kind of conversations they are showing interest towards. This will help brands target the consumers with the right kind of messaging while driving lasting impressions and building connect.
With the changing consumer behaviour and their increased inclination towards digital content, brands also have to come up with marketing strategies to attract consumers towards the brand. Companies have to change their narration about their brand so that consumers can feel more connected. Going forward, it cannot be all promotional posts focusing on sales but more meaningful content with an emotional connect.
On the gradual return of the business – how much of its restored and the new trends which can be spotted compared to pre-Covid times
Due to the pandemic and government-imposed restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, business was slow and there was a minor halt of operations for a short period of time. However, that was momentary and with a robust brand portfolio and strong distribution network, it did not take us time to bounce back. The entire nation suffered huge loss due to the lockdown and the reopening of liquor outlets post relaxation of rules brought huge relief in terms of revenue generation.
In the current scenario, social media has broken all barriers hence; in the new normal, the focus will undoubtedly be digital marketing. Social media became a lifeline for people since the lockdown and digital consumption skyrocketed. The momentum will go on, transcending all geographical barriers. Radico Khaitan foresaw the online marketing boom which has helped us stay relevant and connected. What companies will have to focus more is to understand the change consumer needs and adapt to the changing business scenario. What will change now is the process and manner of storytelling and engaging with the consumers through meaningful and out-of-the-box campaigns.
One of the most significant trends has been ‘at home consumption’, which witnessed a surge since lockdown. People have started to stock up their choice of spirit rather than venturing out for a drink or two. People, who already have the purchasing power, also switched to more premium liquor when home-bound as they save more when opting to buy an entire bottle as compared to consuming liquor in smaller quantities at pubs or restaurants. This led people to upgrade to better quality products without burning a hole in their pockets.
On how brands can create at-home meaningful experiences for consumers
The amount of time spent online by people of all age groups across the globe increased manifold while at home post lockdown. Online shows and games garnered more eyeballs in the form of the existing users and many new users who have started exploring the virtual medium after the pandemic. To keep the consumers engaged and cater to their needs, brands can curate interactive campaigns online.
Radico Khaitan remained loyal to its customers by constantly connecting with them to help them overcome lockdown blues. From organising online music concerts to creating awareness on Covid-19 and announcing contests on social media, we left no stone unturned to keep their customers’ spirit high. Magic Moments Music Studio – from the house of Radico Khaitan – partnered with one of the top music jockeys DJ Aqeel to host an online concert. The live musical show – on the official Instagram page of Magic Moments – saw three times the usual engagement that happens on the social media pages. Magic Moments Music Studio also associated with Sunburn Home Festival: Chapter 1 for a virtual music festival held in July 2020.
On the contribution of online versus offline outlets and how brands can make the most of the shift towards digital
The online delivery of alco-beverage started during the pandemic. Alcohol e-commerce was an effective way to comply with physical distancing norms and reduce the chances of virus transmission significantly. It’s also hassle-free and faster in these times while being able to cater to a large section geographically. However, it is a new concept for the industry and is still in the progress mode and has the potential to be at par with any existing e-commerce model. While it might take some time for the online mode to show effective results, it is expected to become a more preferable and time saving option for consumers in the times to come.
On how your category has evolved and the steps to be undertaken by brands to connect within tier 2, tier 3, tier 4 markets and beyond
Before the pandemic, it was not feasible for people in tier 2, 3 and 4 to participate in offline-ticketed events being organised in metros. However, with music festivals and other cultural events going virtual consumers from these cities also feel connected to the brand. With access to attend festivals like Sunburn – which hosted the first ever virtual festival during the pandemic – at the click of a button, what seemed like a distant dream for the people of these markets turned into reality. Radico Khaitan associated with Sunburn and we could provide people from the farthest corners a platform to experience it. Digital platforms have, hence, reduced the gap between the brands and their consumers in tier 2, tier 3, tier 4 markets and beyond.