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Just beat it – Presenting the Festival Flavour

The festival of Lights is on!!! Let me begin this post by wishing all my lovely readers a very happy Diwali.
It is that time of the year again when homes are all decked up sparkling with colours and sheen, the markets too are all dazzling with discounts both online and offline, bursting with customers ready to spend every possible bit from their disposable income on almost every possible category. The Indomitable consumer spirit is commendable given the financial upheaval, GST and other taxation issues facing the country.

Online it seems like a routine affair. As expected it’s raining discounts and freebies on Amazon, Pepperfry, Limeroad, Ajio, NykaTata Cliq, Flipkart, Uber, Ola and almost every existing e-tailer or aggregator. The communication too reflects the spirit.

That reminds me the Indian Fashion market is currently at $70 billion, by 2020 $ 30 billion of this market is expected to be digitally influenced. Reliance is already there with AJIO, Tata Trent has gone phygital with Tata Cliq.

An interesting piece of news however is that global favourite Zara is all set to venture into the online shopping space after almost 7 long years. Yes, it’s a tad late for the brand, but let’s hope that the brand gets a festive boost and a foothold in the market as well. More power to the Gucci’s, Dior’s, Gaps and Versace’s in the ongoing Festival season.

While offline I’ve observed the traditional wedding, market is not in a very happy mode. The taxation laws are to be blamed for it.Like I heard this Jaipur based jeweller on a news channel complain that people used to flock in from all over the country to buy SAFAS(traditional wedding turbans)and Rajasthani Jewellery for the wedding season,also ahead of Diwali and Navratri, but if reports are to be believed there’s a 50% dip (a jump from 5% to 18% in Tax) and hence a slowdown not only in the traditional wedding wholesale and retail market but also intThe Festive jewellery sale in particular,thanks to GST (though only a marginal 3% on gold). That has to an extent muted the season.

Contrary to the above, there seems to be an increased acceptability a rising trend and hence readiness in online jewellery shopping as the female segment is opening up to the idea for making purchases online and through mobile apps.That’s keeping brands like Caratlane (a tanishque partnership) and bluestone grinning. While Kalyan Jewllers, PC jewellers and other mighty players are showing a brisk growth with an Omni channel presence. Brands like Zaveri pearls, Estelle and other mall based costume Jewellers are also making the most of this festive season. So much so that an affordable colourful design jewellery which used to be very popular and easily available at street shopping arcades like Crawford Market, FC Road, MG road etc. is making brisk business online through amazon and Flipkart in an all new packaged avatar.

So where does this leave those typical categories known to pep up their communication budget and pulsate around the Festive season. Have they finally disappeared from the scene? Well here I have observed something interesting.
Brands are at their creative best cracking away to glory and at times going berserk over the competition trying to grab their share of the consumer’s wallet.My sense says that No matter which category the brands belong to, they are all too busy competing with a space which is not their natural straight competition.
With due credit to Maggie Hot & Sweet – It’sdifferent.

Asian Paints is all out with Royale Atmos and if you have seen the commercial the brand claims to be the first of its kind to have an activated Carbon technology to reduce harmful pollutants from the air reduces foul smells make the air fresher and after all this your homes appear beautiful too. Is that hinting at the Air purifiers instead of the Nerolac’s and Dulux’s. Interesting.

With two wheelers it’s getting quirky this festival season. While every second vehicle talks about mileage, colors, Price etc Bajaj Platina bike boasts of 20 per cent lesser jerks than major rivals, positioning the bike with a tagline – Jhatka Mana Hai.

Volkswagen has launched an auto carnival and BMW does not mind shedding its exclusive tag with an easy EMI this celebratory season. Clear trip, Make my trip and Yatra are happy selling their money back challenges. So who are we competing with?

Oppo V3 selfie expert in the mobile segment seems happier to be targeting the Nikons and Canons rather than the Nokia’s and Samsung’s with an obvious

Faster than the fastest – “Your Best Diwali Gift” kind of positioning. Canon bounces back with a “Come Together for great moments with Happy reunion trips” getting into the space of connecting people.

Lenovo(# Gift them a future Lenovo yoga 720)and Nokia (This Diwali give the best gift you can ever give, Yourself, # united for love)are left with no choice but to go all out and compete in the gifting space which was so much of a Cadbury’s celebration, Philips or for that matter a Haldiram bastion.

Britannia this Diwali decides to go the social way hitting at the emotional chord. The brand takes its vow of spreading smiles on social media with its new campaign for the flagship Brand Good day and it’s called # wonderfulls.In doing so the brand believes that the world will be a better place. I am surely curious to know what the oral care brands are thinking about these smiles?

Several Brands like Titan are being missed grossly on communication platforms. But one Brand that continues its legacy of creating nostalgia and an eternal association with the Festival of lights most invariably is Moti soap hitting the TVC space all over again.

The Behavioural shift is quite obvious this Diwali. Content is surely driving Brands which in turn are translating ideas into something more actionable and concrete.Competition has become versatile and indirect and looking more beyond obvious categories. All is Fair in Love and competition. Just Beat it
May the best Brands win!!! May you have a blockbuster Diwali 2017!!!

-Dr. Tripti Dhote

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