Theme#5: Pride In Roots

With lockdown, many national, international brands were unable to supply stocks to the stores. Consumers had to depend on local bakeries & other regional brands. But having tried, consumers do not seem to be complaining.

In fact, they found it to be rather refreshing & authentic.

Secondly, with safety concerns around anything coming from far (as it increases the chances of contagion), international is definitely out of the question.

Thirdly, with local Kirana, vegetable vendor coming to our rescue at this time of crisis, creates a stronger bond compared to other online suppliers, who were missing in action at this hour of need (not to blame them, it was impossible for bigger chains to run logistics amid lockdown).

But consumer mind doesn’t read it like that. It reads it as “who came to my rescue, the local kirana & vendors.” Innumerable whats app messages on ‘using swadeshi’, ‘buying from local kirana & vendors’ even after lockdown has been lifted, is evidence of what consumers are feeling.

This brings us to our 5th theme, ‘Pride in Roots’.

We foresee this sentiment becoming stronger in the coming months.

It translates into,

  • Celebration of our culture, shared values & beliefs, our community. It will become a symbol of solidarity in these trying times.
  • Celebration of community will be one of the key manifestations of this sentiment.

The ongoing campaign saluting our ‘Corona Warriors’ is an evidence of this sentiment

The emotion of ‘Pride in Roots’ also creates a sense of belonging, hence bringing solace & comfort in vulnerable & uncertain times.

Theme#6. Spirituality. Need for Peace, Hope & Optimism

The time under lockdown gave us mind space to sit back & ponder on our life, our spiritual journey. This has been time for self reflection, contemplation and self realisation of sorts.

Spiritual leaders across the globe are calling this a ‘golden opportunity’ for us to find some quiet time & awaken to our mission. Life before lockdown was about outer world, materialistic distractions like shopping, socialising, eating & drinking out but post lockdown life is geared inwards.

Spirituality & God go hand in hand in India. Its not mutually exclusive. Worshiping God gives us inner peace which is ‘spirituality’ in its true essence.

So, spiritualism; in whichever way we practice, by chanting mantras, by meditating, doing yoga, practicing relaxation exercises, by singing divine songs, reading holy books etc. has been our rescue pad in these rough waters. It has helped us stay afloat without drowning in the deep waters of negative emotions.

“The best advice in the mental area is meditation and yoga, relaxation techniques and paying attention every day to finding not just relaxation but joy and comfort in your life. The virus makes the need for a positive psychological response more urgent, and the good news is that meditation and yoga are good for antistress, which is connected to a strong immune response.”- Dr. Deepak Chopra (Writer of multiple spiritual books)

Spiritual practices give us faith, hope, optimism that eventually we will survive this pandemic.

This ‘NEED’ for spirituality reflects the inner commotion in consumer minds.

For marketers & brands, it is important to recognise this ‘NEED’.

  • For media, it is a great opportunity to offer content that promises such emotions. Secondly, with social distancing & places of worship getting closed, can media create an oasis amid this barren land. It could be in the form of mythological shows, movies, Satsang, Dialogues with spiritual gurus etc.
    • This can also explain the huge success of ‘Ramayan’ on Doordarshan (please read our detailed article on it, in the blog list).
  • For FMCG, these emotions can reflect in their positioning, packaging, product experience, communication.

Its time to let our consumers know that they are not alone in this fight against Covid 19. There is no vaccine or medicine for this disease yet. Its only through faith, hope & optimism that we can beat the virus & emerge victorious.

In the next series of this blog, we will look at two more marketing themes: Conservations and Health [TO BE PUBLISHED ON 6 MAY 2020]