Consumer sentiment is more hopeful & cautious this year: Rasika Prashant, Soulfull

The great Indian Festive season has started amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We all know what kind of a washout the first half of 2020 has been when it comes to businesses and even personal lives being completely disrupted. Given the strict Government directives on maintaining social distancing, the huge crowds of shoppers that usually throng the markets during this time might be a lot less this year.

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In normal circumstances, brands look at the festive season as an opportunity to gain maximum ROI, leveraging the consumer sentiments during this time. However, the unprecedented conditions have dampened the economy so far. While some are sceptical about businesses picking up during the rest of the year, we are also seeing a general mood of optimism.

Amid such a scenario, Adgully has reached out to marketers and publishers across India to gauge the sentiments during the festive season this year as part of our special series on ‘Festive Mood’. Over the next few weeks, we will be bringing the views and insights from various markets on how marketers and publishers are endeavouring to trigger a revival and give a boost to festive sentiments.

In this conversation with Adgully, Rasika Prashant, Co-Founder & CMO, Soulfull, Kottaram Agro Foods, shares her insights on the consumer sentiments this festive season.

How do you see the consumer sentiments across the nation this year? Which markets are seen as leading the rebound and how? What factors will drive growth this festive season? How much do you see festive sales getting impacted due to COVID-19 this year?

I feel the consumer sentiment is more hopeful and cautious this year. They are eager to celebrate, but the fear of safety will curb them from venturing out and going to public places. Consumer durables and white goods categories are seeing a rebound. Since in-home entertainment has gone up, people are investing in things that they can use at home and make it more special with their family. Also, as Work From Home and online schooling has been seen as the new normal, purchase of mobile phones and laptops will see an upward skew. E-commerce will see a surge for sure. In-home experiences and dining will see an uplift. Festive sales will not see a spike as they do every year since the footfall in stores have dropped and overall Food & Beverage and travel have been impacted. However, some categories will clock the same numbers as last year. I think there will be a few winners; however, for the overall economy it will not be as promising.

What kind of integrated marketing activities are you planning for the festive season? On which platforms will you be investing your ad spends more and Why? What kind of digital push are you looking at?

We are looking at digital-focussed marketing activities. We will be investing more on our own product innovations and offerings.

Do you see retail footfalls increasing during the festive season, given that people are still not venturing out for shopping in a big way? What alternate routes are you looking at to shore up sales – such as e-commerce, online purchases, D2C initiatives?

Retail footfalls will increase as compared to the last 5 months, however compared to last year, there will be a decline owing to social distancing as well. Since we are an essential brand and in the ‘better for your health’ category, we will be fortunate to ride our sales through e-commerce, D2C and GT channels.


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