Rimo Bose is currently heading the PR & Communications department of TCL India. She has 6 + years of experience in the field of corporate communications. She joined TCL in the year 2020 and continues to be the lead for all PR and media-related activities. As the spokesperson of the company, Rimo believes that TCL brings an array of technologies that the Indian audience will highly appreciate. Her aim is to bring the brand communications closer to the audience via strategic PR techniques; she also believes that TCL as a product brand gives an open door to branding professionals to create wonders.
With a significant change in the market dynamics, customer preferences have also evolved. The new-age consumers, or millennials, make up around 34% of the total Indian market. Hence, for any brand, it is crucial to consider their preferences and requirements in their marketing communication processes. These consumers have a slightly different tendency towards the market as they prefer omnichannel experiences and expect a whole new level of customer service.
One of the targets of marketing and brand building exercises of companies from a conventional perspective was to ensure that a brand can have loyal followers. However, as per a Forbes report, today’s consumers are no longer loyal (as much as they were earlier), and it does not take them long to switch from one brand to the other, especially in the digital segment. Hence, excellent and prompt services are priorities for the consumers rather than being loyal to a given brand.
Consumer behaviour is evolved uniformly in all parts of the country
There has been a rapid shift in consumer behaviour in urban and rural parts of the country. Hence, brands need to take care of the proper communication channels and prompt customer service, irrespective of where they operate. Furthermore, regardless of the category in which a product or service falls, new-age consumers expect communication and customer support to be of the highest standards – another key aspect for brands to look upon.
Brand communication is no longer a one-way affair
The concept of brand communication has undergone a rather drastic change with the consumers joining in interactions and the level of engagement related to a brand and its portfolio increasing through digital sources. Earlier, brands used advertisement through different mediums such as TV and Radio commercials, newspaper ads and banners. This was a rather one-way communication wherein the companies were able to provide a detail of their offerings to the target customers without hearing anything from them. Hence, market surveys were required each time a business wanted to launch a new product or service or enter an entirely new market.
However, brand communication has evolved and the new-age consumers do not refrain themselves from posting both positive and negatives about a product, service or customer support they receive from a brand. In the age of social media and digitalisation, the word spreads quickly and hence overall engagement of customers rapidly increase. Therefore, whilst planning for campaigns and even using e-commerce as a marketplace, brands should be well-aware that anything they post would be subjected to scrutiny and analysis by the consumers.
Evolved Media Habits
Besides a change in consumer behaviour, there is a drastic change in media habits. As mentioned in the previous part, the companies should be well-aware about the importance of communicating actively with existing and potential customers. However, the brands should also have a specific strategy to interact with the customers through different mediums such as social media and digital marketplaces. For instance, a customer might skip traditional customer care mechanisms and might post a concern through Twitter. Until there is a well-devised social media management strategy, such issues might go unnoticed and hence the purpose of brand communication can be easily defeated.
More emphasis on the value and quality of products/services
Brands should recognise that modern consumers are not the ones who could be wooed through mega advertisement and promotional campaigns. They seek value and quality before consuming a product. Furthermore, these customers rely on feedback and reviews of other users before trying anything. Hence, they are more concerned about the real actions rather than the amount spent on marketing and publicity. The rise in the preference to CSR-friendly brands can be evidence about the changed consumer preference.
With the easy availability of information and the ability to express themselves freely through different digital means, the needs and aspirations of new-age customers have evolved drastically in the past few years. Even though brands position their marketing strategies according to new-age customers’ evolved needs, it is crucial to understand that conventional marketing tools might not work anymore. Hence, besides aiming for better products and services, brands should concentrate on improved and transparent communication with the customers along with making an attempt to provide them real value through their products and services.