Never-ending aspirations and the growing needs of consumers have generated multiple opportunities for brands to target the enhanced buying tendencies of Indians. Rising disposable incomes and the influence of the digital medium have further contributed to increasing the consumption propensities. Be it a car, refrigerator, air-conditioner, TV or a mobile phone, consumer durable goods are no longer luxuries but are fast turning out to be basic necessities.
Several startups and ecommerce companies have benefitted because of this change in buying patterns. Buyers are spoilt for choice as they have a multitude of options to choose from. Apart from premium quality and superior offerings, consumers are now also looking for quality services and the best deals. This opens up a vast canvas for brand marketers to experiment with ways to reach out to target buyers and enable them to see the merits of their products.
Understanding Modern Consumers
Consumer durables are usually not purchased frequently because they are made to last for an extended period of time. This is why the purchase decisions are taken in a well-thought-out manner and impulse buying is usually not de rigeur in this segment.
Consumers today are better-informed thanks to ample availability of information on traditional media as well as the internet.They spend their time researching on the next air conditioner, fridge or washing machine that they intend to buy. In fact, a study by The Nielsen Company confirmed that nearly 60% of shoppers consult reviews prior to purchasing consumer electronics and 40% of shoppers would not even buy electronics without seeking reviews about the product online first.
The Birth of Hyperlocal Influencers
Reviewers, i.e. those who post their opinion on a variety of forums — bloggers, Instagram lovers, the Twitterati, therefore, all make up what is today popularly known as “hyperlocal influencers”.
The user-generated content created and posted by them plays a large part in the way the rest of their readers and followers perceive a variety of brands. These hyperlocal influencers have no direct link with the brand, but they act as valuable information providers, who can directly influence buying patterns. As consumer durable products are fast-moving in a country like India, positive feedback and reviews, good after-sale services are key points to satisfy a discerning consumer.
How To Digitally Woo Customers
In today’s highly digitised world, there are many ways that brands can choose to influence consumers.
One must factor in the right time, place and message to lure customers to purchase the product. For instance, if a brand plans to open a new store in a locality and give out attractive discounts for the first 100 buyers, the marketing team can launch a social media campaign or online contest with a hyperlocal stance to attract customers. When a host of followed pages, accounts and handles are talking about your brand, half the battle is already won as it has caught significant eyeballs among the target consumer audience.
One of the other best and most effective ways to capture consumer mindshare today is to create branded content with social media influencers.
An Instagram post by a highly favoured blogger on how a coffee machine has changed their morning routine completely can have a more resounding impact on your target audience than a newspaper ad. Today, customers like two-way exchanges. They like to have a conversation and not to be spoken at, which is what social media and engagement with social influencers allows. In this way, brands can not only reach out to a wider audience and amplify their messages, but also lure the right customers.
There are several online communities as well that brands can associate with through customised announcements. This helps them tap into a particular community through localised messages. For instance, if a retail outlet of a consumer electronics brand is about to launch in a satellite city of the NCR region, tying up with popular blogs or admins of Facebook pages for that area to announce the launch is a great idea.
Why A Hyperlocal Influencer-Focussed Strategy Carries Weight
Brands that can carry out out-of-the ordinary strategies, break free from traditional methods and connect to buyers on a local level seem to make the cut and create lasting relationships with consumers. Hyperlocal influencers carry a certain amount of credibility and trust that mainstream advertising may not always possess. When the brand endorsement comes from someone other than the brand, it has a deeper impact on consumer psyche.
Therefore, looking at a hyperlocal marketing strategy has become the need of the hour for brands of all natures and especially those in the realm of consumer durables. When one is investing a large amount of their money in a product that they assume will be with them for a long time to come, they look for approval of their decision from all possible fronts and hyperlocal influencers make up a large chunk of the sources of affirmation sought after.