Premiumization, omnichannel trends, diversity to shape marketing in India: Kantar report

Premiumization, omnichannel trends, diversity to shape marketing in India: Kantar report

Over the next few years, both small and large Indian brands are set to revamp their marketing strategies to align with evolving consumer behaviour. According to a report by researcher Kantar, the focus will likely shift towards localized marketing, age-specific consumer segmentation — including Gen Z, Gen Alpha, and millennials — and infusing brands with a clear sense of purpose.

This pivot is in response to emerging consumer trends, including a growing preference for premium products, an upsurge in online shopping, and a shift towards gender-progressive advertising.

Moreover, the rise of diverse consumer demographics is urging brands to tailor their marketing to appeal particularly to the youth. With India home to approximately 116 million shoppers, and nearly 40% of urban consumers aged between 15 and 55 years belonging to Gen Z, these young people are redefining social media engagement and asserting their values around family and identity distinctly.
Yet, the diversity within these consumer groups calls for nuanced marketing strategies, Kantar said.
“GenZ and Millennials are estimated to comprise nearly half of India’s population by 2030. Are such large cohorts really that homogenous? However, the obsession with younger cohorts means that brands are potentially ignoring an increasingly affluent and willing to spend older target group,” the researcher said.
It added that aspirations and desires of young Indians in smaller towns and those in metropolitan areas vary significantly, and thus, “Targeting them with the same offer in the same way is unlikely to win them over”.
The report comes as brands and marketers explore innovative ways to connect with consumers. Moving beyond traditional advertising, there’s an accelerating shift towards e-commerce and digital marketing among large companies such as Nestle India, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), and Godrej Consumer Products Ltd, among others, prompting focus on product innovation and faster solutions for online commerce.
Kantar highlighted that increased affluence is driving higher consumer spending, particularly on luxury items, sparking demand in new categories like trending cosmetics and skincare products. Consumer demand for big ticket items is at an all-time high, per Kantar WorldPanel.
“Indians have more money than ever and the desire to spend it, but value consciousness remains and value is more than price. Contrary to popular perception ‘value for money’ is not equal to inexpensive or cheap but about the price worthiness of what the consumer is buying,” said Soumya Mohanty, managing director & chief client officer, Kantar.
In this evolving market, brands are recalibrating their consumer engagement strategies to resonate with shifting codes of consumer engagement.
In an interview with Mint, Harman Dhillon, executive director designate, beauty & wellbeing, HUL, said a different marketing model is emerging as Indians become more affluent and consumer needs diversify. This is especially true for categories such as beauty and personal care where social media is driving great influence on shopper behaviour. 
As a result, companies such as HUL are spending more on digital media activations, at least, for such categories.
Mohanty noted that advertising narratives are also shifting towards more balanced gender representations, moving away from traditional stereotypes for men and women.
Meanwhile, As per Kantar WorldPanel, omni-channel shopping has seen a significant increase in urban India, indicating a future where connected commerce and hybrid shopping experiences become the norm, allowing consumers to explore, compare, and purchase products across multiple platforms.

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Published: 12 Mar 2024, 05:43 PM IST

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