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BW Businessworld

“Men Shop A Lot More Secretly”

India being large country with different people of different income levels we see different changes in consumer behaviour. Conversations with the consumers is changing now and that gives us a lot of insight

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As Indian consumers look to upscale, premiumize and reach out for better options, how can marketers tap on the massive headroom for growth? This was answered by industry experts at BW Businessworld’s Marketing Whitebook Launch in Bengaluru.

The panel included Ankita Bajaj Shankar, Marketing Lead, VANS India; Paul Ruban, Head of GTM (Go-To- Market), Fossil India; Santhosh NS, Marketing Head, Fujitsu; and Srinivas Rao, Sr Vice President Marketing, Lifestyle. The panel discussion was moderated by Sunder Madakshira, Head-Marketing, Adobe India.

Madakshira in his opening remark said, “I think what goes in the mind of marketers is what is going in the mind of consumers. We are here to discuss the changing taste of Indian consumer, which was favourite topic years back and it will remain as one of the enigmatic topics in the field of marketing. It is very interesting and very vast topic.”

Madakshira started the panel discussion by asking the brands to talk about the biggest changes they have seen in their consumers.

Srinivas said, “I will allude to the BCG report called New Indian, it talks about how incomes are rapidly rising and how certain category consumption becomes non-linear after a certain point. The category which I represent, Lifestyle which involves fashion apparels, footwear, sunglasses, and watches. These belong to this category where beyond a point the consumption for these categories become non-linear.”

He continued, “Specific change we are witnessing contrary to common perception that women shop a lot, now men shop a lot more secretly.”

Bajaj said, “Here at Vans India , what we are seeing is that the consumer buying behavior is now closer to their global counterparts. Unisex is a global trend and that is catching up in our country as well. Lines are blurring between having product specifically for a certain gender, there is more and more demand for apparel or footwear which reflects a consumer’s personal style and preferences. We are moving towards having unisex products propositions for consumers in India too.”

Talking about the changes in the market Ruban said, “Shopping is being re-invented. The data we received from our partners my consumer profile is entirely different when we look into digital consumers. We as marketers are trying to connect to consumers."

"India being large country with different people of different income levels we see different changes in consumer behaviour. Conversations with the consumers is changing now and that gives us a lot of insight," said Santhosh.

Which brands have done exceptional job of understanding its consumers other than yours, asked Madakshira to the panellists.

Rao said, “Adidas. Whatever they have done in half decade, they have understood the pulse of the youth not just one country but across the globe. If you need to study marketing, follow brand Adidas, it is just like university.

According to Ruban, it was brand Puma.

Santhosh said, “Apple’s customer category was constant, they didn’t try to get other category of customers. Another brand is Cult, the way they have used digital media to reach to the people is commendable.”

Bajaj said, “Apart from Vans & with our Girl Skate India being THE GLOBAL Brand Campaign for Vans this year (we actually took an India story global), I would say Amazon. Their recent brand communication with taglines like #ApniDukaan , #AurDikhao , #AdjustNoMore are brilliant in terms of reaching the heart of the Indian consumer as they hit the nail on the CULTURE head.”

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Marketing White Book