Mars to Venus – the journey has begun!
Day 1 In-Store Asia convention, Hetal Kotak, COO ColorPlus Fashions Ltd, had us believe that the adage ‘Men are from Mars and women are from Venus’ is actually passé as he shared from his vast experience the definition of a stereotypical male. He then talked about the 10 commandments of the changing and stereotype-defying Indian male shopper; and concluded with a case of his own brand ColourPlus as part of his session on ‘Retailing to the Indian male shopper in the premium category’.
achievement oriented – look to return home with an item. While the Venusians, he compared, tend to shop socially, evaluate the store fully, they are skillful shoppers – browsing, examining, and paying more attention to detail and they get pleasure out of looking and are happy buying nothing. Yes, they may end up not buying anything, but, ask any retailer and he will tell you that he prefers them as supposed to the grab and go types! Then came what may be called as music to the retailers ears. Hetal said, “While the fundamentals and stereotypes stay true, men however are changing”. According to him, the economic liberalization set this ball rolling and economics changed the beliefs of the society. A new set of millionaires were born, consumption is not considered bad, credit money is not looked down, display of wealth to show individuals success is the trend and the most important factor- the new consumer is young and has grown up in the post-liberalization era; so he doesn’t shy away from spending. He then precisely defined the new Indian male shopper as the one who “sees himself as Indian and Global; extremely optimistic about possibilities and opportunities that life offers; aspires to be seen as successful, as achievers and as “fitting in with their peers”. He added that this new male shopper “consumes brands so as to be recognized within his peers and he is more open to expressing his emotions in public as compared to his earlier generations” It was then time for the 10 commandments of the Indian male shopper that interestingly captured the changing behaviour and some stereotypes that still exist:
I shall buy – From Gandhism to consumerism, the traditional ‘save for the rainy day’ dictum no more exists. With increases in income, customers often step jump and start purchasing in premium categories.
I have no time - Increasing time poverty. The consumer today spends more time in office, travelling, watching TV etc with limited time for shopping. There is an increasing emphasis on reducing stress and maximizing time with families and friends, so convenience is key for consumers.
Luxury not equal to premium – When moving up in life many jump segments, not moving step by step and value is no longer only about price – it is very clearly price plus.
Going beyond functionality –The consumer today pays more attention to aesthetics -- color, feel, and overall design of products than earlier. The coffee ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 200 is a case in point.
Spends moving from ‘Products’ to ‘Experiences’ - More money is now going to the experience – what you eat, where you travel, how you kill time, how you take care of yourself.
Willing to pay extra for an experience – Consumers today prefer buying/ consuming in a better environment. For instance notice the move from the multiplex to the multiplex gold class.
Hetal Kotak, COO, ColorPlus Fashions Ltd