Now every day is an occasion for the consumer

By Vishala Katta, afaqs!, | July 03, 2013
Vishala Katta

There was a time when brands would search for occasions to sell their products/services. Marketers would struggle and compete with each other for selected occasions like Diwali. And consumers would save up their well earn money for offers and promotions showered during this time. It looked like This was the one festival where consumers would spend thousands without a wink ; which wouldn't happen otherwise across the year.

But the last few years have changed the landscape completely. Consumers now , do not wait only for the biggish festivals like Diwali to spend on electronics and other items. Now there are many occasions panning into regional and local festivals like Pongal , Vishu , Raksha Bandhan , Womens' day and even valentines Day! Offers are raining across the year while the consumer is now spoilt for choice of what hed like to spend , when. The focus has now shifted from nationalism to regionalism where marketers are focusing on regional festivals to milk consumer buys.
Unlike previous times consumers are not only more confident but even more experimentative than before. India's consumer confidence is now at a whopping 129 only scheduled to increase further to 131.( Higher than developing countries ) This Number tracks spending intentions of Indians across urban and rural areas , only highlighting the growing consumerism.

Consumers are spending on Raksha Bandhan , Holi , Sankranti after Diwali and Dushera ( Recent research study from IMRB ) And this is good news for brands and companies.As a matter of fact Videcon sales from regional festivals have now increased by 10%* indicating how marketers should focus on further occasions to catch the elusive consumer!Another article showcased how Bigbazaar moved their marketing strategies to cater to loyal Muslim consumers by moving promotions pre Eid ; which suited both the consumer and the brand perfectly.

Adding to festivals , where its' almost a religions right to buy commodities , brands are also focussing on even more personal issues like birthdays , anniversaries and other personal details relevant to brands. Health Camps now send reminder SMS' es every 6 months for check ups , jewellery brands remind us to buy gold on birthdays and anniversaries , Hotels and restraunts catch spouses on Valentines day , Retail brands build offers around mass holidays like Christmas , Gandhi Jayanti , Diwali among others and financial institutions remind us of loans pretty much around the year!

Adding to these are strong referral promotions run by opticians and pretty much any retails that offer discounts on friends invites , discount basis your age and whole lot of loyalty programs to reward the consumer. The indian consumer is now so spoilt for choice , he expects an accolade after every buy , which a measure now every marketer must cater to.

A recent research also suggested that a whopping 96% look for coupons/rewards for every buy which shows how competitive it is to satiate and Indian consumer

In times like these Marketeers and brands are now getting more and more personal. The journey begins from a nationalistic view , goes into regional festival consumption ending in personal achievements and dates.
Its almost as if marketers are weaving offers and promotions for every single consumer rather than a mass burst ; which showcases how difficult it is to convert promotions to sales. This truly is the age of the consumer.

After all consumers needed a carrot at the end of the stick.