Shaziya Khan
Guest Article

Drenched with meaning: Leveraging monsoon opportunities

Our guest author delves into the monsoon's potential for brands to create unique promotions and incentives that resonate with consumers' seasonal moods.

No doubt, the monsoon is a marketing and sales bonanza, accounting for an upturn in sales across some categories. In categories where footfalls are likely to reduce, the monsoon is a season for crafting incentives, promotions, and festivals to help create a spike.

To many people, the monsoon means more than just rainfall. The blossoming of crops, the revival of nature, and the renewal of celebrations make the monsoon a ‘bringing to life again’ season. More than a season, it is a reason! Even our monsoon language effuses with optimism. Dew fresh with hope, we say. Rain washed with optimism. The monsoon is a meaning-drenched season, laden with social, cultural, and creative connotations.

Social meaning: As the rain pours, conversation with snacking soars

In tropical monsoon, with its snaking traffic and unreliable umbrellas, it is best to stay in. While the rain pours, the conversation soars. Who doesn’t love a healthy argument? Who hasn’t debated, discussed, or spent hours just talking? About what? It hardly matters to the argumentative Indian. This film or that. This writer or that. This anything or that. Mirroring the raindrops, the conversation flows.

The moody monsoon is widely believed to bring on a craving for spice. There is much good news around and many domestic announcements — culinary ones. An air of anticipation fills the hallways with new hope. Neighbours swap recipes. Children make special requests. Everyone indulges. In flavouring that is strong. And colours that hit the eye. Spice hits the gut; tears erupt in eyes. Yet you crave more.

Cultural meaning: We are spoilt silly in the department of monsoon music

Films have spoilt us silly in the department of monsoon music. Iconic rain songs have the hero and heroine dancing, walking, and romancing in the rain. They pose under the umbrella to the background of a beautiful verse as ominous thunder rolls. A turning point in the story is often dramatised by lightning. Restrained emotions are released in the magic of monsoon, which is about letting go and experiencing freedom.

Rich and refined classical musical traditions too elevate monsoon inspiration to new levels. Monsoon-associated verse, song, and dance are memorable, and the romance often spills over to real life. Treks, trails, picnics, walks, talks, camps, campfires, surprises, and celebrations all get planned during the monsoon. With group singing. And the occasional one-to-one serenade. Umm hmm.

Creative meaning: Monsoon is our collective muse

Above all, the monsoon is our collective muse. The creative soul shakes off dust and is awash again with new inspiration.

Early morning photographs of rain-drenched flowers. Late evening photographs of peach skies, black to grey vignette clouds. A slew of new recipes, colourful artworks, sketches of a garden in the monsoon, pensive poetry, bold fashion themes, innovative workshops, new-age book clubs, soulful musical recordings, global theatrical productions, and artisanal handicraft projects all happen in the monsoon. The list grows.

Prompts for brands:

The monsoon can potentially provide a rich canvas for brands to imagine fresh connections with consumers. How have brands been investing in the monsoon? By highlighting, in different degrees, one or all of these inter-related aspects: experimentation and expertise, socialisation, and participation.

  • Experimentation and expertise: Monsoon is a canvas for experimentation and expertise in products and services. Brands champion the hunger for ‘specialness’ not just literally in food, beverages, fashion, and monsoon gear but across mobility, safety, home care, personal care, exercise, travel, design, décor, hospitality, and more, flexing to address outdoors and indoors requirements.

  • Socialisation: Brands champion opportunities for special indoor and outdoor socialisation that the monsoon provides. Indoor socialisation around conversations, gatherings, and celebrations can be cosier despite practical constraints. Creatively visualised as more differentiated, more memorable from the usual gatherings; outdoor socialisation spurs a bolder embrace of adventure, sports, drives, rides, trips, taking on physical challenges, especially designed around the outdoors in the monsoon season.

  • Participation with flair: Monsoon can provide a means to participate in the demands of the season with flair. Anthropologists refer to a “this is going on culture” as events, occasions, and seasons that we all ‘consume’ or relate to in different ways. Participation in these can be a bridge of empathy, which is noticed and appreciated by consumers.

    Notes of inspiration, credible advice, enhanced services, thoughtful alerts, effective outreach to underserved needs, neighbourhood support, sponsorships, and artistic collaborations - choosing timely, consistent behaviours around these cues, small yet significant ways to build a direct connection with the buying public, rising to meet the opportunities the monsoon provides.

(Our guest author delves into the monsoon's potential for brands to create unique promotions and incentives that resonate with consumers' seasonal moods.)

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