One Big Idea by Mrinmoy Mukherjee: The future will be a complex mix of digital and real

09 Apr,2013

By Mrinmoy Mukherjee, Director, Marketing & Business Development, Retail, Raymond Limited

 

The fashion and apparel sectors are among the fastest growing industries in the world today. The Indian fashion industry is seen in global circles as dynamic and with great potential. Over the past few decades, the fashion industry in India has evolved considerably on account of the increasing fashion consciousness among Indians. Indian youth have developed a distinct fashion sense – thanks to the democratization of information because of the digital age. By 2020 India will become the youngest nation in the world with an average age of 29. It is believed that it is the massive Indian fashion consuming class that will set trends in the global fashion industry in the future. With such fast-evolving consumers in the apparel sector, brands need to be abreast of the needs of their audiences, while being agile enough to adopt to their changing tastes.

 

In this context, it will be of primary importance to comprehend consumer tastes. Digital media, especially social media is a key tool that will help feel the pulse of fashion trends. Even as retail sales are still primarily being dominated by large format multi brand stores and exclusive brand stores, the influence of social media and Internet on offline purchasing is becoming increasingly important, acting as a complete ‘game changer’. Though this is just the beginning, retailers in India have started taking to social media. However, there is still considerable untapped opportunity. In the backdrop of changing lifestyles, increased incomes, demographic variability, and a vibrant democracy a sharp rise in social media usage in India can be expected. Brands can get meaningful insights and use them for decision-making in launching new campaigns, CRM programmes etc. It is interesting to see how marketers can take advantage of that. This is the platform where consumers talk free. Social media can get brands the exact sentiment of customers and what they want, as they are a direct and interactive communication tool.

 

Brand owners and media planners who can comprehend the complexity of the consuming consumer not only from a product and brand perspective but from her/his proximity to digital media platforms and can predict going forward how the two will complement each other will be the winners of the future marketplace. The future marketplace will be a complex mix of digital and real…the new reality!

 

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