Review 2007: Marketing trends : Fairer share of bargains

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The year gone by saw the rise of a new consumer group—women. It witnessed an emerging realisation about women as a consolidated consumer base. An increasing number of marketers started acknowledging the fact that today’s young women form a key consumer group of tomorrow. Hence the need to talk to them and keep them in the loop in advance.

Thanks to the economic independence coupled with the rising disposbale income in their hands, today’s woman has grown much more freer when it comes to taking big decisions or spending freely, and this  is causing a stir in the marketing strategies. Today’s woman consumer is also moving away from the traditional framework of society to a relatively modernized one. The advertising and marketing gurus are looking at the woman of today with a renewed interest, with the realisation that they are ready to spend lavishly on products and services they need.

The gone by year also saw a greater degree of interest among manufacturers also to roll out products of their inkling and making them available be it the apparel brands or scooter manufacturers or mobile or highend computer manufacturers. The trend was evident in many instances where the marketers were jostling to cater to this new found consumer group. As Max New York Life Insurance vice-president for marketing Anisha Motwani says, affluent women population is growing, because most of these working women are in the middle level managements. “This coming up of an all-new-customer base is bound to trigger off a new marketing revolution and this would emerge as a clear trend in the times to come,” adds Motwani, who till recently was the marketing head honcho at the auto major General Motors India.

The shift in the society can also be seen reflected in the commercials in which men are attending to the household chores that were earlier supposed to be solely the responsibility of women. They constitute 20 percent of the country’s workforce today and are being looked at with a renewed enthusiasm by the marketers. These women are no more merely the buyers of household goods like vegetable and groceries, but are ready to spend freely on those goods and services made exclusively for them.

Whether it is a mobile phone or a two-wheeler, things are now designed to capture the imagination of today’s woman. Two-wheeler majors like Hero Honda, TVS Motor or Kinetic Motors all have panned their focus on the fairer sex and the numbers suggest that this trend is going to go up in the coming year. The two-wheeler leader Hero Honda has already opened a number of ‘women only’ stores named as Just4her.

Another example of this can be seen in the launch of the country’s just for women radio station Meow FM by the India Today group.  The move exemplifies the importance that women as a section of the society are gaining attention in the marketing plans by marketing companies. Another attempt at wooing this emerging class of customers can be seen more evidently in the apparel category where many big names like Raymonds, more known for their menswear range, come out with dedicated range for women.

But, at this point, a question comes to the fore is about the strategy that marketers have been following for long. This ‘think pink strategy’ to reach out to the female customers has been increasingly visible in everything from laptops to cell phones. But, the question mark remains on whether it has worked?

Though this consumer segment is yet to mature in the country, it has started to come into reckoning and therefore it looks certain that marketers would take note of this development, and offer solutions and services to cater to this customer segment. For society, the changes in young woman’s outlook on life are revolutionary. For marketers, they offer interesting new opportunities to tap into.

About the author / 

Neeta Nair

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