The shift in consumer sentiments brought in by the ongoing pandemic has led to brands reassesing their marketing strategies. “There have been two major kinds of behaviour emerging– one is the survival behaviour and the other is sustenance behaviour, wherein questions such as ‘will I need this in the next few months’ are being thought of,” Anuja Mishra, vice president and head of marketing for personal care and hygiene – Godrej Consumer Products Limited, said. She was speaking at the inaugural edition of BrandWagon Conclave, held virtually. The session was moderated by Naresh Gupta, co-founder and chief strategy officer, Bang in the Middle.
According to Kashyap Vadapalli, chief marketing officer and business head, Pepperfry.com, brands’ focus has shifted on information sharing, education, reassurance, and possibilities. “As brands, we are in peoples’ lives to make them feel better so we have tried to paint a picture of hope,” he added. Moreover, several new categories have seen an uptake when compared to pre-covid such as disinfectants, fruits and vegetables wash, work-from-home based furnitures, laptops, among others. “Office chairs, desks used to contribute to 7-8% of our sales during pre-covid. Between May-June, the contribution of these categories were as high as 50%. Over the last six weeks, it’s settled at 22-23%, almost 3x of what it was pre-covid,” Vadapalli noted.
Going forward, brands should expect more behavioural changes as far as the consumer is concerned. For Alexander Lambrecht, head of marketing India and South East Asia, Anheuser-Busch InBev, people will start embracing more e-commerce, social commerce, digital as a means of discovering new products. “When people go back to their older habits, they will do it in a different way. For instance, one thing that we are seeing popping up in China is the whole contactless experience– be it in shopping, dining or others,” he added, pointing to the need of bringing about long-term changes in companies. Meanwhile, Amitabh Pande, marketing head, IKEA India, highlighted the need for going back to the basics of the brand. “In a fast evolving world, disruption is a way of life now. What stays and what will stay the same is who you are as a brand,” he stated.
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