Business 2007 – an outlook

Indian consumers have never been so demanding! They are more mature, well traveled and well informed. The job scenario is good and they are empowered with a higher disposable income. If you dare offer them stale products, they will throw them back at you. Catering to this every demanding consumer has surely become a tough task for marketers, in the midst of changing lifestyles, technological up-gradations and a transforming retail environment.

As more Modern Retail stores open up across India, the shopping environment will continue to change and many more neighborhood shops will orient themselves to the self service format. Consumers will continue to be drawn towards shopping at high quality retail environments.

Shoppers will be spoilt by choices. Companies will be under pressure to constantly innovate. Both products and services will have a shorter life cycle and innovation will become the growth engine for every company.

Since consumers expectation of value will increase. One of the key challenges will be to comprehend how the shoppers define value and to get credit for the value they deliver

Consumers will associate with brands that reson with their point of view hence brands will need to sharpen their focus and express their point of view consistently across all consumer touch points.

It’s the value proposition what the products promise and deliver which will drive the modern shopper towards purchasing a particular product.

Food and clothes will enter the daily habits of people. Since most people don’t mind eating different cuisine, the eating out phenomenon will increase. People are getting more experimental with their food. Even the clothes they wear, like casual wear is going to be a significant part of their wardrobe. These nuances will be important to grab the consumer and ensure that he does not stray.

Consumers will be more beauty and fashion conscious

As beautification rises as a trend, more Indians will begin investing in cosmetic procedures and the use of products with beauty builder technologies which help enhance the beauty of both men and women.

Everyone wants to look and feel good and hence we see the football in gyms, yoga classes increasing. For marketers belonging to this category, which is already cluttered with many small and medium players, quality should definitely be the primary focus to lure this new age consumers.

In advertising, creativity will become more important. Standard practices are going to be challenged and clients will look for edgy work that does not a norm.

Te latest will become the operating word. This will put a lot of pressure on marketers and advertisers. People will not want an advertisement to run on for a long time. We will have to think of multiple version of the same idea. Just adding a celebrity will not make sense anymore. We will have to devise new means to grab viewers’ attention in a short time span.

The high will not be segregated to any one industry alone. Youngsters are experimenting with new things all the time. There will be different and newer ways of doing in 2007. These young minds don’t give a damn about the safety factor of jobs. All of this will influence their ability to look at newer opportunities.

With technology making rapid strides, there is an increased involvement of consumers in blogging, home entertainment, and so on. Blogs and social networking are gaining momentum day by day . This generation is going after the latest MP3 players, mobile handsets and the like. In 2007, we will see more of these happening. India is a big market for technology driven companies and we expect more and more players entering the market.

There is a boom in the real estate market, new mutual funds are opening up, and there are personal financial planners chasing you. Competition is fierce, with more foreign players consolidating their presence in the Indian market with world class service and infrastructure. Consumers are likely to benefit in the coming years with more cutting age customized financial services coming their way.

Competition and availability of choices at several process points have made the four wheelers’ penetration increase considerably in the country. With an array of new launches planned for the next few years by Maruti, GM and Hyundai among others, we expect to see stiff competition where ultimately the consumer will benefit and will have a good bargain.

Marketers will have to heed consumer’s call since each of us has a preference for certain materials, ones we are particularly fond of. Are you a wood, bamboo and reed person or maybe a glass, stone or steel type? Marketers will have to get to know their customers better. In order to coordinate products in a more targeted way.