As brands try to find a sign of semblance post a period of uncertainty, it has become more important than ever to understand and evolve as per changing consumer expectations. From selling goods online to incorporating consumer feedback are some of the ways brands are trying to remain relevant. Khatija Lokhandwala, head of marketing, Zivame, talks about how brands and agencies can engage with their consumers–
On the playbook, brands and agencies need to adopt in the new normal
In an era shaped by the pandemic, evolving consumer behaviour requires marketers to predict what consumers will think and feel in the next normal and modify and build strategies to stay relevant.
Adoption to digital in large numbers especially among smaller cities and towns forces marketers to predict consumer preferences and make it easy and convenient for first time shoppers to browse and shop. Demand influx in tier 2/3 markets also requires localised marketing efforts to make the brand resonate better with consumers.
In the current times, consumers have become a lot more demanding and require communication that is honest and straightforward without the fluff. Communication needs to clearly highlight the value that the brand adds to the consumer’s lives both on a functional as well as an emotional level. In these trying times, brand trust is an important factor that ensures consumer loyalty and stickiness.
While value has taken prerogative given the underlying economic conditions, consumers are willing to pay for products that add real value to their lives and thus it’s imperative that brands deliver on tangible benefits rather than make superficial promises.
On the gradual return of the business – how much of its restored and the new trends which can be spotted compared to pre-Covid times
The ongoing pandemic has led to a drastic change in lifestyles from WFH, socialising limited to smaller groups or moving to the virtual space, to people spending a large amount of time indoors. On account of these lifestyle changes, the intimate wear needs of consumers have also evolved. Comfort is the most sought after benefit leading to increased demand for lingerie styles that deliver high on comfort.
With the increased focus on health and wellness, consumers are also seeking the right activewear gear that aids and supports one’s workout activities.
We have also seen a surge in demand for our sleepwear and loungewear which offers consumers comfortable fabrics and fits coupled with stylish prints and colours so that one can go from video meetings in the day to relaxing and unwinding in the evening.
On how brands can create at-home meaningful experiences for consumers
With majority of consumers spending a large amount of time indoors, brands have the opportunity to align at home experiences with organic consumption occasions at home. And social media has given brands an easy platform to create virtual events and interactions.
We have collaborated with influencers and conducted live events for a range of topics from styling tips, pairing the right intimate wear with outerwear, lingerie care to home work-outs that enables us to make the everyday a little more exciting.
There are also consumers who inherently prefer a guided shopping experience that a retail store enables. For this segment, we had our retail store staff guide and help consumers shop through Whatsapp, with the delivery of products to their doorsteps.
On the contribution of online versus offline outlets and how brands can make the most of the shift towards digital
Zivame is a digital native brand with 90% of our business coming in from the digital platform. Given our digital DNA, we leverage technology to deliver a seamless shopping experience to our consumers.
Our proprietary tool Fitcode enables one to find their right fit for their body profile from the safety and privacy of their homes, our platform is geared to recommend styles suitable for her and we have features like one-step check-out, one-click repeat and convenient payment and delivery options that enhances the consumer experience.
On how your category has evolved and the steps to be undertaken by brands to connect within tier 2, 3, 4 markets and beyond
Use of data analytics has helped identify trends and purchase patterns at state city/level and helped us customise our communication to make it more relevant and relatable.
Data science also helps us to study how different consumer cohorts behave- new users and repeat users at a regional level and tailor our offering to their specific needs and preferences.