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“Brands need to build omni-channel strategies that put consumer needs at the centre”

Shrugging off the disruptions of the year gone by, businesses and agencies are looking for a strong revival in 2021. Over the next few weeks, Adgully – as part of its annual TRENDING NOW endeavour – will be presenting the strategies and views of a cross-section of industry leaders as they go about reclaiming lost time and market opportunities and build for a stronger future, armed with the lessons of 2020.

Smita Murarka, Vice President - Marketing & E-commerce, Duroflex, is optimistic about revival in the new normal in 2021, where businesses will strategise to make up for the lost time in the pandemic-hit 2020. At the same time, she also feels that we are likely to live with the pandemic for a good part of 2021 as well.

Outlook for 2021

2021 is going to be a year of accepting the new normal, where we are likely to live with the pandemic for a good part of the year.

While 2020 was about staying at home mostly, 2021 will combine accepting moving around with precautions, while continuing increased consumption of social content, digital buying, prioritisation of health and hygiene. Retail, which is already showing signs of revival, will bounce back strongly, but in a safer environment and specialised brand stores would see better traction. 

Consumer behaviour trends

Many of the consumer behavioural changes that have happened in 2020 are here to stay. People have become far more invested in health, wellness and preventive health practices like hygiene and building immunity. Hygiene concerns have led to a lot of people opting for quality products from trusted brands, which has triggered a shift from unbranded to branded buying in many categories like ours.

Another key trend is the record number of first-time online buyers. The pandemic has been an opportunity for many consumers, who many have been previously apprehensive, to experience the convenience of online buying. We strongly feel that these audiences will continue to buy online while also indulging in the retail buying experience time to time. So building omni-channel strategies that put consumer needs at the centre will be a key trend that brand will need to adapt to.

Learnings from 2020

2020 has been a year of agility for us as a brand. When the nation was gripped with uncertainty and fear due to the pandemic and most brands and businesses struggled to stay afloat, we at Duroflex used agility and consumer connect as key driver to continue our hyper growth. We used the power of social media and content to stay connected, provide emotional solace and relevant information with our consumers. By staying abreast with consumer sentiments, we were able to identify the new emerging needs in the sleep solutions space triggered by the pandemic leading to the launch of Duro Safe, India’s first antiviral mattress protector which went on to become a category disruptor.

Few key learnings:

  1. Stay connected to your consumer and respond to their needs with empathy.
  2. Be agile and have the foresight to change your plan and expectation with the current times.
  3. Create contingency plans, stay informed, be responsive and never lose sight of the larger end goal.
  4. Be innovative, create disruptive models and don’t be afraid to experiment. We did not look at the pandemic as a limitation, but looked at it as an opportunity to unlearn, learn and grow.

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