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BW Businessworld

The Covid-19 Influence

As the new normal continues to be altered, brands are constantly innovating and adapting to the digital trends to instill excitement in the market

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Difficult and unprecedented circumstances have two sides to them— looming challenges and potential opportunities. The choice rests in our hands as to which option do we focus and build on. It has been a tough ride for the automobile sector in India since the start of 2019. Changes in emission norms, liquidity crisis and declining sales were some of the challenges the industry was dealing with, something all players in the market faced with perseverance and hope that 2020 will be the year when they can look at reviving demand and growth. 

But the outbreak of the pandemic did not just put a grinding halt, but also set up damages that no one anticipated. The economy is on the back foot again and the current times demand that we rethink our ways of living and doing business in this new normal. The pandemic led to many organisations reinventing the wheel, getting innovative and carving an opportunity to create meaningful relationships with their consumers. From digital strategies to virtual parties, brands found multiple playgrounds to keep their consumers engaged with valuable content. 

As the new normal continues to be altered, it is imperative for brands to constantly innovate instilling excitement in the market and giving them reasons to engage and interact with us. Approaches that combine both physical and digital aspects of doing business have to be put in place to adapt and leverage the current circumstances. The ideas should encapsulate each process starting from manufacturing a product to selling and purchasing it. 

With an aim to constantly innovate and create touchpoints for consumers, we at Triumph Motorcycles also adapted to the digital trend and launched our new range of motorcycles virtually in the Indian market. Being the first ones to start the trend in the motorcycle segment, Triumph Motorcycles has until today launched eight motorcycles via its social media platforms since the outbreak, tapping its audience which is consuming virtual media at a fast pace. This approach allowed us to not just create excitement in the market at a time when things were looking glum, but also support our dealers with bookings and enquiries which were leveraged with the restrictions being lifted. Today we can boast of one of the largest range of BS-VI compliant motorcycles in the premium segment in India.

This adaptive and positive outlook helped us match our June- August numbers with those of 2019. Moving ahead, with our strategies in place  and the new products introduced in the market, we anticipate a growth of 20 per cent in the current fiscal (July 2020 – June 2021). 

The pandemic era has further established that as much as brick and mortar stores matter, having a digital presence is equally paramount, which we may call a phygital approach. Our initiative of setting up a Facebook shop is an ideal example of a phygital approach - where we conducted our EOSS sales via the dealership FB pages amidst key lockdown and the response has been nothing short of phenomenal. Selling via the social media channel enabled us to clock our highest ever sales! The phygital way of doing business is the most pragmatic approach in the new normal. While we cannot predict how long will the pandemic loom over us, most brands have adapted to the digital medium, beyond the regular social media posts by revising their strategies with a phygital approach.

Today’s consumer has a very short attention span and the number of competitors in the market vying for that attention, makes the task even more challenging; the need for constant innovation is now a necessity. The future ahead is digital; with progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), the potential to create a brand ecosystem where consumers can get a wholesome experience and have every need catered without having to click too many buttons will soon be essential than an option. At the end of it all, being able to tap into upcoming trends which are right for your brand and having a foresight along with being adaptable will be the key to sail through these tough times. Looking at the bright side, the pandemic has taught us a lesson that already exists in nature – adaptability is the key to surviving – be a brand or a living being.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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magazine issue 7 Oct 2020 luxury special Phygital

Shoeb Farooq

Shoeb Farooq, Business Head, Triumph Motorcycles India

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