July 2020 \ Business & Investment \ BUSINESS AND GOVERNANCE—ASIAN PAINTS
“People don’t really punish good brands”

In an interview with IANS, Amit Syngle, MD and CEO, Asian ...

By Sanjeev Sharma

What is your assessment about consumer behavior that will change post this epidemic and post this lockdown? What kind of consumer behavior patterns do you see?

Some large macro changes are expected. One is the entire consumer behavior from the digital point of view is going to change a lot. The digital economy is going to come up in a big way that would align customers to get onto e-commerce as they would love to have things delivered to them in the comfort of their homes rather than stepping out.

The second area is that the consumer is going to make choices between what is discretionary and what is essential. For the coming few months, spends on essential categories will go up and discretionary items will get deferred for some time. We also feel that people would down trade from premium to value-for-money brands to an extent. But they might not cross-trade by getting into another brand. But as I said earlier, within the same brand they would down trade which is normal when there is uncertainty around.

Another big trend which I think will happen is that service-led brands will gain. Service-led brands will come of age and customers would give a premium for services that a company or a brand is offering. The other thing, according to me, is that segmentation in brands is going to change a lot. I feel a lot of micro-segmentation would start happening which will give marketers a bit of a tough time because we will have to look at catering to certain micro-segments who would have a very different take in terms of what they want from a brand.

Therefore, the whole exercise of market segmentation would get a little bit tougher in terms of reaching the right customer in the right manner with the right marketing mix. So I think those are some critical trends which I see happening as we go ahead. But having said that, one category to watch out for and will come up in a big way is the health and hygiene sector. Health, hygiene, and well-being are the three areas where customers are going to spend a huge amount of money and therefore brands who can align in these areas would definitely benefit.

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