6 Loyalty Programs That Pack A Dozen For Customers In Saudi Arabia

6 Loyalty Programs That Pack A Dozen For Customers In Saudi Arabia

It has been nearly 2 years since the pandemic struck and world economies have settled in for the new normal, let alone Saudi Arabia. Consumers from the kingdom are warming up to get back to normal spending levels, to make consumption choices based on aspirations rather than necessity. But amidst this new normal, do brands have the right strategies to reach out to these newly conscious consumers?

Customer retention has become more important than ever before. And while marketers are strategizing best practices, customer loyalty has become an integral part for them. Indeed, loyalty is the best way as it enables brands to win the customers’ hearts and improve the conscious consumer’s confidence in the retail landscape. However, in Saudi Arabia, loyalty is still an emerging concept, probably due to the recent and gradual social liberalization taking place in the kingdom.

While the Saudi businesses are comprehending over the importance of loyalty in their marketing strategies, here are some brands from the kingdom that have been very successful in providing loyalty programs with a wide array of rewards, discounts and other personalized offers.

1) Nuhdeek program by Nahdi Medical Company

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Nahdi Medical Company is a leading chain of Saudi retail pharmacy, and its ‘Nuhdeek’ loyalty program fits all its goodness in a one-stop mobile application. Customers can register on to the loyalty program and experience a seamless purchase journey, beginning from an advanced pharmacy locator that helps customers locate the nearest store, upto a variety of convenient digital payment options. After offline store purchases, customers can easily upload a picture of their prescription to earn points. Customers can get 1 point for each 1 SAR spent, and after collecting 1000 points, they can be redeemed at any Nahdi pharmacy. The app also provides general medical information that customers are keen to know.

2) Iktissab loyalty program by Othaim market

Abdullah Al-Othaim markets have over 200 supermarkets, hypermarkets, wholesale outlets and convenient stores across the kingdom. The company’s Iktissab loyalty program aims to provide the best shopping services to customers, by rewarding discounts and offers by Othaim markets and other third-party rewards. Special offers and discounts can go upto 50% on products like smart phones, computers, food and bakeries. The best part about Iktissab card is that it can also be used with other partner brands, restaurants, international brand stores, and Saffori Land. Loyal customers enjoy special benefits during festival seasons.

3) Al Fursan program by Saudi airlines

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Members of the AL Fursan program by Saudi Airlines get access to a world of benefits including free tickets, upgrades, global lounge access, additional luggage allowance and more. Apart from these premium rewards, customers can also earn and redeem miles on a network of other global airlines. They can also get offers on banks, hotels, car rentals and telecommunication brands that have partnered with Saudi Airlines. Their three tiered loyalty program namely – Alfursan Blue, Silver and Gold offers varied benefits across different tiers.

Interestingly, Saudi Airlines also has an exclusive family membership program that enables customers to earn more rewards by nominating upto 8 family members. Members can be the customer’s spouse, children of age 2 and above, parents, adopted children and home workers. Each of them will get a separate membership ID through which families can together enjoy the benefits of the program.

4) Jarir discount card by Jarir bookstore

In an age where buying books has slowed down across the world as online reading has picked up drastically, Jarir bookstore’s loyalty program has pushed more people to buy books and stationery. The Jarir Discount Card guarantees a 10% instant discount on all school and office supplies, arts and crafts supplies, books and computer bags. The brand also offers great deals on other product range including their smartphone, laptop and tablet accessories collection. Offering convenience for customers, the card can be used both at the offline store and on their ecommerce platform.

5) Qitaf loyalty program by STC

STC’s Qitaf loyalty program aims to show gratitude to loyal customers, opening doors to a variety of exclusive and high-end personalized services. Customers can easily enroll through the mystc app and begin collecting points by paying the mobile bills through the app. STC has partnered with several restaurants, electronic stores, fashion and cosmetic stores, sports stores, travel and transportation services, petrol services, charity organizations and more to offer a wide range of benefits for their customers.

There are 4 tiers in this loyalty program namely Qitaf Classic, Tamayouz Gold, Tamayouz Platinum and Tamayouz Diamond. Differential benefits are provided based on the customer’s tier entitlement.

6) Tawasul program by Arabian Oud

saudi-loyalty-program-tawasul

While spreading sweet, timeless fragrances across the globe, the popular perfume brand Arabian Oud has a tiered loyalty program called the Tawasul program. Based on the customer’s annual purchase value, it categorizes customers into four tiers – bronze, silver, golden and diamond. With a simple registration gateway, Arabian Oud offers reward and discount points that can be redeemed at any of their offline stores. Loyal customers are also privileged to get early access to offers, discounts and other information before other customers.

What’s next in the Kingdom’s loyalty space?

From a basic earn and burn model to physical loyalty cards, Saudi Arabian brands have evidently evolved towards reward-rich digital programs. Brands are gradually maturing in the loyalty space, increasingly adopting advanced technologies to power their marketing strategies. But there’s more opportunities in the horizon – capturing the customer data. In the coming years, we may see a transformed Saudi Arabian retail landscape, where customer data will be at the center of marketing and brands will catapult accurate and comprehensive data and begin to unlock its true potential.

Looking to gear up for the untapped potential market of Saudi Arabia? Connect with our expert team today to find out more.

How Loyalty Is Booming In The Middle Eastern Fuel Retail Market

How Loyalty Is Booming In The Middle Eastern Fuel Retail Market

64% of the world’s oil reserves come from the Middle Eastern region! Ironically, when it comes to the forecourts businesses, each GCC country has a different pace. While UAE and Qatar are at par with US and European fuel stations, Saudi Arabia is lagging behind. This is especially unbelievable given that Saudi Arabia has the largest reserves in the GCC countries with more than 260 billion barrels.

This is owing to the change in Saudi Arabian consumer trends, as the kingdom has recently changed their laws allowing female drivers, and with large players like ADNOC and Saudi Aramco come into the foray. On the other hand, UAE and Qatar have more advanced fuel forecourts due to their consumers’ love for automobiles.

But, petrol stations have and will become more than just a place to fuel up cars. They would become centers of wider retail offerings, personal services, delivery pick-up points, and much more. Amid this evolution, loyalty programs have become an important part of this brand new fuel experience. Keeping in mind that the fuel brands need to build their loyalty strategies based on consumer expectations and needs, let’s look at some of the trends and how brands can incorporate them in loyalty programs.

1. Mobile apps

In this age, fuel retailers can digitize the entire customer journey via mobile app. With a single sign-up, customers can find the nearest station with the geolocator, use a variety of digital payment options, explore multiple discount offers, access the ancillary stores and services, rate the experience and finally win points and rewards for the transactions. Setting up a fuel loyalty app is essential, as brands can reach out to the 174 million Middle Eastern mobile users, who are gradually warming up to digital payments and mobile wallets.

2. EV and sustainability

The global buzz on electronic vehicles and hope for a sustainable future has spread to the Middle East too. It may seem counterintuitive that consumers from oil-rich countries are moving towards EV, but there is an increasing need for this shift in a world where resources are waning and pollution is increasing. While Middle Eastern governments have already started their search for alternative fuels, brands must also participate in this change. Apart from establishing charging stations for EVs, they can also promise a clean forecourt with proper recycling, constructing stations with environmental-friendly material to create a transparent platform via mobile app to interact with customers about sustainability.

Conversations about the future are particularly important at a time when countries are planning towards net zero carbon emissions based on the Paris Climate Agreement and global discussions at the COP26 summit.

3. Non-Fuel Retail Category

Imagine your customer is off on a long trip. At some point along the way, they are bound to stop for refreshments and refill their vehicle’s fuel at one place. This is not a new concept for fuel brands to partner with QSR joints or convenient stores. However, relevant offers can closely tie the two products together and create more customer touchpoints. For example, a customer can get discounts on certain packaged foods based on fuel transactions and vice versa.

With the boom of the electric vehicles market, fuel retailers need to diversify into providing innovative non-fuel offerings and services. In a recent survey by Deloitte, around 60% of the respondents said that they buy food, groceries, fast-food meals and other non-food items apart from filling petrol at a forecourt. In terms of ancillary services, fuel retailers can offer a variety of vehicle-related checkups and cleaning, act as a pick-up point for deliveries, laundry services, bill payments and so on.

4. Fuel delivery

Contactless experiences have taken center stage since the COVID-19 pandemic. In this light, home deliveries have been extremely prominent in all sectors, and recently, the trend has hit fuel retail as well. This service is especially helpful when the customer finds their tank empty and would need petrol in an emergency situation. Several players especially in the UAE have revolutionized this trend. Apart from fuel, food, beverages and other grocery items can also be delivered. Retailers can easily integrate these services within their app to offer a seamless experience to customers.

5. Data-driven marketing

Middle East fuel loyalty

Reports suggest that customers from the Middle East are far more open to sharing data, knowing that it would lead to hyper-personalized offers and experiences. Therefore, fuel retailers may want to focus on capturing this data, creating a comprehensive view of the customer to understand their needs and reward them accordingly. Brands can then administer discounts and rewards on frequently purchased items and nudge customers to try new products or services, through notifications when they typically visit the fuel station.

Are Middle Eastern forecourts future-ready?

The future of fuel retail is closely linked to the future of transport, and in this regard, all roads lead to electric vehicles. In fact, transitioning to sustainable mobility could unlock a $400 billion opportunity for GCC countries in the next 2 decades. While Middle Eastern fuel retailers currently enjoy the high ratio of private vehicles at 91%, consumers could gradually move to EVs and shared mobility. Therefore, brands need to be prepared to reshape their forecourts with non-fuel offerings.

Get in touch with our experts to find out more about how your fuel brand can stay future-ready and improve your customer retention.

6 CPG Loyalty Programs That Wowed Customers In Indonesia

6 CPG Loyalty Programs That Wowed Customers In Indonesia

Imagine when your brand’s network of distributing partners and customers is sprawled across 6000 islands! Reaching out to them isn’t really a welcoming task by marketers. And now imagine the mammoth task of CPG brand marketers who not only have to navigate through the populous Indonesian region but also ensure that their marketing strategies work well leading to an increase in overall brand revenue. Did you know that the Indonesian landscape was once largely dominated by small-time retailers? However, with larger CPG brands foraying into the region, the need to establish a strong partnership with distributing retailers became an ideal for marketers.

Amid customers, an instant-gratification culture is now on the rise, thanks to the influence of the internet and social media that addresses their needs with just one swipe. Given that CPG products are purchased frequently, brands offer several rewards, through targeted channels at regular intervals. Therefore, loyalty programs have become the right medium to catch up with this fast-paced trend and meet customer expectations.

In our previous blog, statistics revealed how CPG loyalty has now become a space ripe with opportunities for brands to explore. We also witnessed that brands could run loyalty programs for both customers and distributing retailers. In this blog, let’s take a look at what brands have wowed Indonesians with their loyalty programs, and how brands in the CPG industry have experimented in both D2C and B2B loyalty programs in Indonesia.

1. Nestle Indonesia

To promote the use of Lactogrow, a nutrient supplement powder for toddlers, the multinational CPG company started a loyalty program called the Gro Happy Club, targeted at parents. Through the Grow Happy website, the customers can register and win 250 welcome points. Nestle has enabled online purchases where customers can collect ‘Happy’ points every time they purchase Lactogrow since it’s a frequent purchase by parents. While redeeming their points, customers can choose gifts from a large collection of items including vouchers and toys for children. The website also includes educational and other articles about childcare.

Nestle offers another loyalty program called DANCOW Parenting Rewards. Similar to the Gro Happy Club, the program is built to reward parents who are regular buyers of DANCOW, a milk powder fortified vitamins and minerals for children. Parents can redeem points to get rewards such as home appliances and toys, and even get free pediatrician consultation. Customers can claim points on customer microsite or Whatsapp by submitting codes found in the product.

2. Frisian Flag

Frisian Flag, a legacy dairy brand in Indonesia, hosts several activities that engage customers of all ages. While recipe contests are directed towards adults, the company encourages teenagers and young adults to participate in selfie contests on social media. For younger children, the brand offers e-comic and games based on two beloved characters called Zhuzhu and Zhazha. All these contests and games give customers the opportunities to win rewards and stay connected to the brand.

Frisian Flag also has a loyalty program called ‘Primagro Points Mothers and Toddlers’ that offers points and rewards to mothers buying nutrition and milk products for toddlers. Targeting customers who are keen on buying sustainable products, Frisian Flag provides many articles on their websites describing their pledge towards sustainability. In this portal, the brand transparently shares its processes starting from the grooming of cows up to the production of various dairy products.

3. Indofood

indofood-loyalty-programWhile launching their chicken-flavored instant noodles Pop Mie, Indofood had chosen to ride the mobile gaming wave. They launched 2 gamified advertisements that involved short and simple games leading customers to win vouchers to buy the new product. The vouchers were easily redeemable and the game was sharable on social media to expand the engagement to more mobile users.

Indofood has also built a tiered B2B loyalty program called Grow Together that supports SME businesses that are particularly dependent on the brands’ products. The members of this program enjoy exclusive benefits including monthly rewards, health insurance, exclusive promotions and a portal to help them with bank funding. The program also assists the SME partner with halal certification that helps their business grow. The loyalty program named the Grow Together program has three tiers – silver, gold and platinum. Members can also use their Boasari Mitra loyalty cards while shopping for Indofood products.

4. Wardah Beauty

wardah beauty loyalty programOne of the country’s top cosmetic brands, Wardah Beauty encourages the women doing business with the brand to join the Wardah Womenprenuer Community. This B2B loyalty program promises an 18% discount on the highest retail prices on products and free delivery even on minimum purchase. Members can get 1 point for every purchase at IDR 150,000 and 2 points by selling 30 news products. The points can be exchanged for attractive prizes and vouchers. 4 lucky members of the community also stand a chance to win a home appliance or a smartphone through an end-of-year raffle contest.

With almost 85% of Indonesia’s population being Muslim, Wardah is also known to be one of the biggest halal beauty brands in Indonesia. Through its latest marketing campaign ‘Beauty Moves You’, the cosmetics brand has launched a line of products made from sustainable processes. On the D2C front, Wardah has an ecommerce channel where customers can make online orders and receive loyalty points on their transactions. The points can be redeemed in a tender mode on the next transactions.

5. Coca-Cola

coca cola indonesia b2b loyaltyTo strengthen the partnership with more than 400,000 sellers of Coca Colas’s beverages, the CPG giant started a new loyalty app called ‘Klik Toko’. The app enables points’ collection and redemption by B2B partners for distributing Coca-Cola products. The initiative was started to stay in touch with all the distributors, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The app gives the partners real-time information and updates from Coca-Cola. The company hopes to introduce newer features on the app to attract more distributors across the country.

6. Nutricia

nutricia loyalty programNutricia’s MyNutriclub loyalty program completely focuses on providing a lot of information to parents of young children including immunity, nutrition, growth and development. While enabling points’ redemption for every purchase of Nutrilon, the program also provides other exclusive services for mothers and babies like consultations with experts and access to webinars, podcasts and videos on the early child growth period. The loyalty program portal also offers quizzes to detect the child’s allergies, learning stages, tools like budget calculators and so on to keep customers thoroughly engaged.

Every transaction matters…

We can clearly see how some of the top brands in Indonesia have given importance to customers and partner relationships alike. While digital channels have given brands the opportunity to dive into D2C rewards programs, a fragmented landscape like Indonesia certainly requires companies to nurture their distributors and incentivize them to boost sales growth. In fact, Capillary’s Loyalty+ has been upgraded with additional new features to provide brands more opportunities to reward their partners. Get in touch with our experts to find out more and transform your brand’s digitization journey.

Zero, First, Second, Third-Party Data: Navigating Data Types In The Age Of Data Privacy

Zero, First, Second, Third-Party Data: Navigating Data Types In The Age Of Data Privacy

“Without Big Data Analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.” Geoffrey Moore, organizational theorist.

Imagine the retail world without customer data – shopping aisles would be filled with irrelevant products, and customers could be forever unhappy with their purchases. Just imagining this imperfect world seems like a nightmare to us! In this blog, we’ll fill you in about the various types of data and how we can use the right set of data with respect to privacy.

In recent news, we heard about Google’s plans to phase out third-party cookies by 2023. Google is planning to implement better privacy technology, where internet users’ data would be protected. While tech giants like Google are making this major privacy move, retail brands too must be aware of how to safeguard their customer data and identify appropriate ways to collect information for marketing strategies.

Zero-party, first-party, second-party… What does it all mean?

Understanding the various types of data will help marketers in picking and utilizing the right kind for their brands. Let’s start from the basics and take a look at the data types:

1) Zero-party data or self-reported data: This data is given directly and is proactively shared by the customer for personalization. Coined by Forrester, the term refers to a richer and more specific data set strategically collected. For example, websites can share a survey with the users to procure more personalized information about their products on a particular webpage. Consumers are typically willing to share this information as they too can benefit from this personalization.

2) First-party data: First-party data may be inferred customer data or self-reported. This could typically come from Point of Sales in offline stores, where customers share their name, address, mobile number, etc. Most data that gets collected in the brand’s CRM are classified as first-party data. This information can also be sourced from surveys and regular customer feedback. Of late, first-party data is also being collected from social media accounts through the privacy settings of the platform.

3) Second-party data: Second-party data is another company’s first-party data that can be directly purchased from the source. Typically, it is collected from trusted partners who have agreed to share the data, which might mutually benefit both businesses.

4) Third-party data: This data is any information collected about users that may not be directly related to customers or their transactions. It usually helps to understand the behavior and demographic of customers. But a major disadvantage of third-party data is its statistical and aggregated nature and the fact that it has not been directly received from the user.

Harnessing the data the right way

Now that we know what each terminology means, we can see that first-party data is information that directly comes from the source. The information is more accurate and gives marketers a unique view of their customers. While the Point of Sales is a primary source of first-party data, brands can also get this from, SMS, email, surveys, beacons (location-based), customer service interactions and loyalty programs. But with so many sources how can a company use the data accurately?

This is where a powerful tool like Customer Data Platform (CDP) comes in. CDP helps retailers unify first-party data across every source. The single-point solution gives a 360-degree view of the customer by standardizing data. Through the power of AI, the platform is able to identify and remove duplicate entries and help understand and segment customers based on their behavior and preferences. Through this tool, every single data point is used responsibly, remaining compliant with emerging data protection laws. If your brand is looking for a CDP, you can contact our experts to find out more about it!

Prioritizing consumer privacy through zero-party data

First-party data is certainly readily available to brands. But consumers may not know the extent of how their information is being used, or they may not have fully consented to it. A large gamut of data privacy laws must be considered while collecting customer data, and consent plays an important role in using this type of data. In fact, in a Hubspot survey, 91% of the respondents agreed that ads are more intrusive today than a few years ago, and would prefer brands that were more transparent with their data usage.

While second-party data may come in from trusted sources, once again the consumer is unaware of it being utilized and in what capacity. The information procured through this may not be relevant to the retailer, resulting in the purchased data not being used and adding unnecessary spending. With respect to third-party data, the information is all the more inaccurate and untrustworthy.

This is why we could call zero-party data as the data of the future. As we saw before, zero-party data is information that consumers give willingly to the brand, knowing that it would improve their shopping experience. This data is collected from all interactions done with the customer. Brands must also remember to have an easy opt-out process so that consumers have the freedom to withdraw their consent at any time.

By increasingly relying on zero-party data, not only do retailers achieve the most accurate data but also improve their brand value thanks to their transparent data usage practices.

Loyalty: a gateway to zero-party data

It is a well-known fact that loyalty programs help brands widen their customer base, but it may not be widely known that they also act as a hotbed for zero-party data. Data privacy laws tightening across the world, and it may seem that the scope for acquiring and using customer data is reducing. However, the strongest feature of loyalty programs is their ability to collect specific and consent-driven data from the customers themselves. By creating multiple touchpoints and more opportunities to interact with consumers, loyalty programs become a fitting method of collecting zero-party data, as customers are clearly aware that the information is being used to create better shopping experiences.

One way of acquiring this data is through incentivized quizzes. Customers can willingly share data about themselves and collect rewards and discounts. For example, an apparel retailer could collect details about the customer’s size, height, age and other preferences by offering points. While sharing these details, customers know that the upcoming product suggestions will be customized as per their preferences. Customers are, no doubt, the king. And in an era where data privacy is most important to them, brands must listen to these emerging concerns and find ways to tweak their practices accordingly. There are several strategies that brands can implement to build solid trust with customers in terms of data privacy. Get in touch with our experts today to know more.

CPG Loyalty Programs – Comprehensive Guide (Part II)

CPG Loyalty Programs – Comprehensive Guide (Part II)

In the first part of this two-part blog series, we touched upon why CPG loyalty is important and what are the latest trends to keep in mind for CMOs while executing brand marketing strategy. In this part, we take a deeper look at the challenges that marketers must address while building a loyalty program.

Imagine a customer walking into a grocery store. Their eye catches colorful packaging embossed with not just brand names but offers and prizes.… In this intense battleground, how is your brand going to stand out in the aisle?

CPG loyalty programs: Challenges faced by marketers

One thing that stands out as the biggest hurdle when implementing loyalty programs for CPG brands is that brands in this sector often lack direct relationship with customers. They are mostly reliant on retail stores for inputs. This dependency leads to several challenges. Some of them are stated as below:

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  • Limited Customer Database: CPG manufacturers have no physical avenue to capture customer information (transaction data) since it is heavily reliant on the Point of Sales (POS) integration. This creates a vacuum between the brand and the customers and limits customer acquisitions and data capture. Capturing data will go a long way for companies to stay consistently relevant to consumers.
  • High Marketing Cost: Consumers are regularly bombarded with ads and billboards on a daily basis. While it’s no cakewalk to come up with catchy content, the engagement through these mass campaigns and advertisements is limited, with no personalization. Generic promotions and offers may not be relevant to every customer, leading to low engagement and redemption.
  • Quickly evolving customer preferences: Customer preferences change more rapidly in the CPG space than any other industry. Take the apparel industry, for example – fashion trends change quite frequently in a span of just few months. CPGs are typically low cost items with various competition products available in markets. This contributes to low customer retention with the brand, as customers are inclined to make compromises in their purchases if the preferred products are not available.
  • Heavy reliance on retailers: Over the decades, there has been massive seismic shifts in the CPG landscape, in terms of advertising and promotion. While manufacturers wielded this power in the 1980s, the power shifted to the retailers in the 1990s, as they had full access to the POS and scan data. In the current scenario, the power lies in the hands of the customers. The consumers’ choices are heavily driven by social media and information. Therefore, it is important for companies the embrace these shifts and let it drive retail strategies.
  • Difficulty in predicting profit: Due to the lack of direct communication between brands and customers, it becomes extremely difficult to measure cumulative customer value over time, to increase the customer loyalty necessary to maximize the Customer Lifetime Value.
  • The inevitable competition: While competition exists in all sectors, but it is far more intense when compared with other industries, given that CPGs are fast moving products with the risk of customers switching brands at any moment. It’s challenging for companies to break away from this clutter with brands offering same products and prizes.

CPG loyalty program: How to design an effective CPG loyalty program

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  • Data is the key ingredient: To stand out in the grocery store and build brand loyalty, data becomes the key pillar for engagement strategies. Today’s consumer is constantly researching, shopping, and engaging with brands online, producing new data sets every minute. CPG brands can collect this data, unify data silos across all such touchpoints using platforms and solutions. The unified data should contain omnichannel consumer interaction, data from supply chain, marketing, and secondary research data, resulting in an all-encompassing view of the touchpoints. This holistic customer data management strategy is a prerequisite to build a valuable loyalty program that maintains dialogue between brand and customers, leveraging customer feedback on products and offering discounts to tailor better engagements. This also sets a platform to share information on product benefits and new product launches, apart from hyper-personalizing messages. Brands can also incentivize customers who share personal information in exchange of rewards and an overall transparency from the company, given that consumers have become increasing intentional about the data they share.
  • Digital strategy brings customers closer to brands: CPG brands are now looking to stay relevant with the digital transformation, investing in direct-to-consumer models. Brands must then focus on leveraging digital channels for an optimum loyalty program, and cultivate the desirable behavior of purchasing online. Mobile applications and Microsites serve as the primary interface of interaction between brand and customers, thereby reducing reliance on retailers and trade partners. This creates a win-win situation for both consumers and brands – while consumers experience ease-of-use through digital channels, customer acquisition, data and reward redemption can be easily facilitated for brands.
    Several large CPG brands have taken their first steps in this digitized journey. For example, Colgate dove in to a digital-first marketing campaign for their new electric brush that is targeting millennial users. Paired with innovative messaging, this push for ecommerce sales has given the company an edge over competitors, and hopes to deepen its bond with consumers.
  • Focusing on brand values and ethics: After several months of intense research, Nestle recently launched the vegan KitKat. The company came up with the 100% plant-based alternative to the popular chocolate bar after huge consumer demand. Veganism is just one of the recent trends in the consumer landscape that CPG brands must incorporate in their brands. As we have already seen that 40% of the global consumers are Gen Z, and it has become an important marketing strategy to align products based on their needs. As the newer variants of products get launched, it is paramount to use loyalty programs to boost sales. Consumers can be incentivized to use these new products. Brands can also introduce personalized offers for consumers based on previous purchases and preferences.
Capillary’s pioneer in CPG sales, Kunwar Keshav emphasizes on observing the new generation’s needs, saying: “The era of conscious consumption is here, and the newer generations are watching brands more closely for sustainable packaging and marketing. While these new-age concerns need to translate into the present production strategies, brands can use loyalty programs as a medium to transparently communicate about such process changes and messaging.”
  • Incorporate Gamification elements– Gamification is especially useful in increasing customer engagement for CPG brands. Brands can apply games like spin the wheel as a way of unlocking rewards, providing incentives to customers to stick to your brand via awarding of badges and stickers. Gamification can boost non-transactional interactions and drive short-term behavior change like product awareness and trials. When Kellogg’s launched Krave, they hoped to direct the marketing at younger consumers. So, the breakfast cereal company made it a point to launch the product in social media channels for the first time. The brand launched a Facebook treasure hunt game that offered daily prizes and giveaways.

Let’s future-proof your brand with agility…

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Janet Balis (Partner at EY Consulting) writes 10 sharp marketing truths that emerged after the pandemic. While many of them reiterates the importance of customer-centricity, one of the pointers discusses about how agility has become a marketing approach rather than a technology process. In terms of building CPG loyalty, this requirement to implement agile marketing strategies is an advantage.

CPG Loyalty Programs- A Comprehensive Guide (Part I)

CPG Loyalty Programs- A Comprehensive Guide (Part I)

The Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) sector growth soared by almost 5 times in 2020!

However, forecasts also suggest that this growth may slow down, owing to small business competitors. Is a comprehensive loyalty program, an answer to the shifting consumer preferences?

Enter CPG loyalty. A clear path for CPG manufacturers to improve repeat sales and build a strong relation with distributing retailers and customers. This is a two-part blog series where we will unveil the length and breadth of CPG loyalty. Let’s dive into how loyalty programs have in the past and will transform the CPG sector revenue game.

CPG loyalty programs: In retrospect

Little did we know that CPG loyalty programs evolved since 18th century from the simple act of American retailers distributing special copper tokens to regular customers! Let’s take a look at the timeline from the past where retailers promoted repeat sales:

cpg-loyalty-programs-olden-days

While these loyalty programs hooked customers, CPG brands had no structure behind crafting these programs. CPG marketers then did not have enough customer data to make strategic decisions based on customer preferences. They did not even have access to the point of sales at retail stores. While getting third-party data was an alien term, it did not allow them to build a deeper connection with consumers. But now in today’s digital age, ecommerce and loyalty programs give CPG brands the opportunity to create this direct connect.

The sudden shift of CPG brands towards loyalty programs explained

Post Covid and global economic slowdown, the first instinctive reaction of consumers was to stock groceries and other essential products. Owing to the huge demand, the average basket size went up but many consumer goods brands went off the shelf quickly. During this time, consumers stepped aside and opted for (a) alternatives to try other new brands or (b) purchase economical substitutes due to the reduction in household income caused by the pandemic. This posed a huge opportunity in incentivizing buyers not to shift their loyalty towards a specific brand through offers, discounts and other freebies.

The global CPG consumer profile report suggests that more than 40% of the consumers are from Gen Z, who chose products based on their personal values and interests. While in 2010, the common trend was to save money and opt for cheaper labels, principled values and views are a priority for consumers today. Therefore, CPG brands need to brace themselves to encounter such radical changes in customer behavior, attitude and engagement through loyalty programs.

CPG loyalty programs: How it benefits brands

  • When customers enroll into a loyalty program, they also provide credible data on their buying preferences, giving brands an opportunity to understand them better.
  • Companies can nudge customers to provide feedback, leading to improvised and relevant products.
  • By introducing engaging aspects like gamification plugin in loyalty programs, engagement level with the brand goes up.

CPG loyalty programs: How Capillary benefits CPG brands with loyalty programs

CPG loyalty unfolds into two broader categories – While a business-to-business (B2B) loyalty program strengthens the connect with the retailers, a Direct-to-consumer (D2C) loyalty program would give brands an opportunity to directly reward consumer. At Capillary, loyalty experts ensures a brand’s core objective is considered before designing a CPG loyalty program. Let’s take a look at the two brands that leverage CPG loyalty programs using Loyalty+.

cpg-loyalty-types

 

  • D2C loyalty Programs
    A multinational personal care products manufacturer uses Capillary’s lifecycle marketer, which is an omnichannel campaign manager to capture customer database via multiple channels like the offline stores, ecommerce platform, Facebook etc. and run targeted promotions. The brand now has better visibility, seamless customer journeys and is able to reward them at various touch points in the journey, thereby increasing repeat sales.
  • B2B loyalty programs
    One of the most-loved app-based loyalty program set up by Jotun in the Middle East does it really right. The multinational chemicals company wanted to enhance their relationship with painters across Middle East, persuading them through rewards to promote Jotun paints. Their loyalty program had achieved almost 50,000 registrations in 2 years, resulting in a conversion of 45% of repeat shoppers thereby building a brand advocacy as well.

CPG loyalty programs: Features

cpg-loyalty-programs-features

  • Gateway to a more data-driven marketing: While CPG manufacturers and retailers have never really collaborated for customer data, challenges posed by Covid had pushed them to mutually exchange data. Even in the absence of the pandemic situation, experts suggest that the manufacturer-retailer collaboration is critical for both day-to-day business and long-term values. A Mckinsey survey, shows that winning CPG companies use databases shared by retailers to analyze the shoppers’ baskets and demographics, leading to focused marketing and rewarding programs. Clearly, big data is enabling CPGs to be more accurate than before, through syncing social and transactional data.
  • Connected packaging: Packaging is the one of best ways for CPG brands to reach directly to consumers. Also known as connected packaging, it allows shoppers to point their smartphone at a QR code printed on a package, which acts as an access portal to product information, incentives, and other ways for them to communicate with the brand. With this solution, CPG brands have been seeing higher interactions with customers in categories that are typically considered low-engagement, such as cleaning and laundry products.
  • Authenticity over trendiness: Freedom to express, straightforwardness, openness to diversity – these are some words that we can use to describe Generation Z. Their ‘search for truth’ behavior also translates to what they look for in stores. Therefore, Gen Z want all the information they can get about a brand and its image — from product to packaging and marketing. Staying true to the brand’s promises is crucial for marketing campaigns. It could be your brand following sustainable practices or providing health benefits it claims to give. These are the kind of moral values and promises that consumers of today are looking for.
  • Social media marketing strategies directed towards Gen Z: Generation Z was also the first one to be born after internet was commercialized, therefore digital experiences are a non-comprisable part of their lives. While social network usage patterns may vary across the world, it is obvious that most consumers are on social media, and frequently use it to find or post reviews about products. Incidentally, CPG products and social media have one thing in common – they are used every day. So it naturally makes sense for brands to promote their marketing campaigns on this medium. Marketing in social media also opens the doors to influencer marketing, another catchy trend among brands. This is a phenomenon where online influencers promote or review products in favor of a brand. In a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, 90% of the consumers felt that influencer marketing was effective. The industry is expected to grow to up to $13.8 billion in 2021.

CPG loyalty programs: The evolution

The pandemic has stunned the world economies, changing customer behavior and undermining traditional CPG marketing strategies. To push past this struggle to revival and win the competition for customer trust, pivoting to a marketing strategy with a robust loyalty program is the best way forward. In the next part of this blog series, we discuss the different challenges in implementing CPG loyalty and how brands can design their rewards programs agilely, paving the way to tackle any major crisis and achieve long-term success.

The Evolving Indian Fashion Retail Landscape Post COVID-19

The Evolving Indian Fashion Retail Landscape Post COVID-19

While the pandemic has overstayed its welcome by now, the evolving consumer behaviour is here to stay. Breaking free from the work-from-home during the week and compensating for the lost time in shopping malls through revenge shopping, the dynamics is definitely shaking up the sleepy retail markets.

Clearly, the pandemic accelerated the online shopping trend. In India, it is forecasted that the ecommerce market will grow up to 25-30% annually in 5 years to reach up to $140 billion by FY26. In the same report by Bain & Company Inc., it is mentioned that this growth would be especially evident in Tier-2 Indian cities, accounting for four of every five consumers.

Early this year, when Aneesh Reddy (Co-Founder & CEO) conversed with Ashish Dikshit (MD, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail) of the year 2021; these trends were confirmed. Acknowledging that 2020 is a Black Swan event that brands did not financially or strategically plan for, Mr. Dikshit also shared several tips that would help Indian fashion retailers gear up for what lies ahead. Here are the top 5 picks from their conversation:

1.See ecommerce as an opportunity

Will ecommerce eat up offline retail? Ashish says this is an unavoidable question of the year for all the brands. While the downfall of brick and mortar is pretty steep, there has been a democratic and universal shift to ecommerce. Ecommerce is fundamentally creating a new channel, and instead of seeing the medium as a threat, companies should see it as a way to expand their distribution like they have never done before.

2. Don’t miss the big fat Indian weddings!

Ashish was quite optimistic that the big fat Indian wedding would be back to its glory soon. Weddings are exuberant occasions that play a big role in the Indian fashion industry. With further economic growth in the country, the financial migration of lower income to middle income is coming soon in the next decade. These consumers will move from basic essentials to products and service of expression, marking an exciting time for the retail industry.

3. Watch out for casualization and premiumization in Indian consumer’s wardrobe

Typically, brands start out by producing something that they excel at, and hence customers see the value of the product. But over a period of time, brands have understood that the focus needs to shift from the product to the consumer’s occasions, consumption patterns and habits. Therefore, a whole spectrum of clothing arises – from strict formal, to smart formal. This will move to relaxed formals and to smart casuals, and so on. Brands need to watch out for these changes in how people want to dress. Ashish elaborates this as he says, “In my time, we could go to an evening get-together and an office in the same clothes. This started to change. What you wore to a club, what you wore for lunch on a Sunday, what you wore during an important meeting and what you wore on a regular working day, are all different. As the stratification of occasions and wardrobe started to happen, we also continued to evolve the brand.

4. Let your innovation run wild while starting up

Start-ups are always known to bring their unique ability to bring technology to the table. Among the various ways that data can be used, start-ups can address the tediously long lead time in the fashion industry while creating new outfits. Ashish echoed this thought, “It takes us 9 months to put out a product that goes through designers, supply chain, sourcing, manufacturing and distribution. And then it takes less than 30 seconds for a person to walk in and say ‘No, I don’t like this collection.” Consumer behaviour definitely rules the market.

5.Hold on to your franchise

Ashish further adds that no businesses can survive, if franchises are not successful. Offline stores are now being used to drive fulfillment and are converted into a place of deeper engagement. For example, stores are connecting with customers on video calls to help them shop remotely. In this new default, we will be seeing a lot of change in engagement metrics, where stores and franchises are trying to differentiate and make a mark in their location. Ashish advises retailers not to let go of franchises as their relationship will help grow the business and open more stores.

The fireside chat has even more insights on how your fashion brand can get retail ready in this changing world, tune in to the full webinar here.

Top 5 Ecommerce Trends Pivoting To A Path-Breaking Digital Retail Strategy In Singapore

Top 5 Ecommerce Trends Pivoting To A Path-Breaking Digital Retail Strategy In Singapore

Over the past two decades, Singapore has become the hub for everything – entrepreneurial, financial, retail, fashion, cultural… you name it and they have slayed it! In this blog, we will highlight how some of the latest ecommerce trends in the country has led to the dawn of a digitized hub.

Singapore was not new to ecommerce. Even before the pandemic era, there was a major disruption in the retail market with booming ecommerce and closure of traditional shops in 2017. In fact, a survey by Visa in 2014 showed that Singaporeans are the top online shoppers in South East Asia. While 26% of them were shopping online once a week, almost 50% of the shoppers said that they were likely to do all their purchases online.

This was primarily due to the level of internet penetration in Singapore. The digital infrastructure in the country enabled to achieve up to 88%, with a big chunk of the population comfortable with digital payment modes. It was also observed that high preference for online shopping was due to convenience, cheaper prices and direct delivery. While globally ecommerce retail jumped, online sales doubled in Singapore, demonstrating that consumers slid into the retail shift with ease. This also showed evidence that retailers that had an online presence before survived the economic crisis caused by Covid.

Ecommerce Growth in Singapore during Covid

And therefore the trend was already set. Ecommerce in Singapore was flourishing, and marketers now have to match the pace of Ecommerce growth by learning the dynamic trends of the landscape. Let’s take a look at what’s trending in online shopping from this boom that retailers can draw cue from:

1) Store in their hands

The younger population of the country emphasize on the higher smartphone penetration. Therefore ecommerce players should lean towards giving mobile-first experiences to achieve a wider online reach. For instance, creating a mobile-friendly webpage can result in better search engine and organic traffic.

Shopee, one of the leading ecommerce platforms started in Singapore in 2015. They later spread in other parts of South East Asia. The platform sells products across different categories. One of the notable features of the platforms is its seasonal and non-seasonal offers, as well as livestreaming with popular social media influencers to gain attention from the youth of the country. Shopee grabbed the mobile-first trend and focused on optimizing user experience on the mobile app, reaching out directly to the younger users in Singapore.

2) Millenial customer experience

A 2020 study by market research consultancy Blackbox and survey firm Toluna said that almost 40% of consumers were not satisfied with their shopping experience. This shows that ecommerce platforms have a lot of scope for improvement which needs to be done by prioritizing the consumer’s needs. Introducing a chatbot to understand the customer’s concerns, also point out that shoppers would prefer an interactive medium to answer their queries. Retailers can consider using Whatsapp as a medium to get closer to the customer and understand their shopping behavior better.

Carousell, one of the world’s largest secondhand marketplace where customers can buy or sell electronics, apparels, used cars, cleaning and repairing services. To achieve empathetic and well-informed customer support, the company has implemented AI automation and data to anticipate customer needs. Carousell’s chatbot is able to find relevant solutions to consumers’ queries rapidly and accurately.

3) Omnichannel retail for stores’ revival

Even pre pandemic Singapore witnessed many traditional brick-and-mortar stores being closed. Covid had accelerated these closures. Omnichannel retail can thus play a role to bring these stores back to life. Stores can act as a pick-up point for ‘click and collect’ models where customers can buy the goods online and collect them at a convenient location of their choice.

RedMart, an online supermarket arm of the Lazada group is one of the top grocery shopping platforms in Singapore. RedMart has introduced many innovative strategies to ensure a seamless experience for consumer. For example, the platform records and automatically saves delivery preferences and commonly purchased items, leading to convenient shopping for the customer and higher conversion rates for the retailer.

4) Love for local

Post Covid, consumers’ interest in local brands is rising. This is a peculiar trend given that several international brands are found in the country. A news report by Strait Times explains that this is because Singaporeans want to support the regional brands to revive them from the Covid aftermath. This trend shows that a huge opportunity lies in partnering with such brands and attracting consumers for the right reasons.

Zalora, a fashion e-retailer that is taking over the street fashion space with its top international and local brands. Not only does Zalora partnered with several local brands through its marketplace where independent merchants can sell their products, the brand is also known for its blogs that contain guides and tips on fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

5) Go Experiential:

While consumers are engrossed in the online shopping world, retailers have come up with compelling reasons to bring customers back to stores through experiential retail. Experiential retail basically focusses on creating an immersive experiences for customers, prioritizing engagement over sales. Upcoming AI and tech solutions like augmented reality, interactive digital mirrors, do-it-yourself sections which allows customers to personalize their desired product would go a long way in building customer experience and eventually a long lasting brand relationship.

Bath & Body Works is an American bath shop brand that operates as part of the Valiram Group in Singapore. Last year, when self-care was gaining importance during the pandemic, Bath & Body Works swooped into the online space in 2020. Using the capabilities of Capillary’s Anywhere Commerce+ tool, the brand aced their ecommerce platform scalability and stability, managing a large jump in sales on the go live day of their website. Besides scalability, the brand also prioritized seamless consumer journey experience and enabled smart search merchandising on the website to resonate with their digital customers.

Digital dreams of a smart city

Thanks to the nudge from the pandemic, Singapore hopes to become a global ecommerce hub. In an interview with CNBC, Ben King (country director at Google Singapore) pointed out at the number of initiatives taken by the Singapore government to cultivate a conducive landscape for ecommerce and digital growth. While early in 2020 Enterprise Singapore announced an Ecommerce Booster Package, the government has now partnered with Google under the Skills Ignition SG initiative to train citizens who are looking for jobs in the digital industry. As Singapore is on the path to build a smart society, the country is gradually moving towards a progressive and increasingly digital economy.

Another bizarre possibility we might see in Singaporean ecommerce, is new found importance of the physical stores. For example, Singapore’s popular fashion e-retailer Love, Bonito has opened its third showroom in Singapore. In a Channel News Asia article, NUS Business School’s Associate Professor Tan Soo Jiuan says, “Brands are opening brick-and-mortar stores in the hopes that diversifying sales can bridge and enhance the consumer’s journey. But this approach will only work if the brand has already built up an online reputation and can drive traffic to their physical stores.”

Singapore ecommerce future predictions

With ample space for innovation in both online and offline channels, there are many ways in which players can differentiate with customer experience and business strategies. Marketers must not forget that this differentiation is the key to shine in the vast digital landscape of Singapore.

How To Leverage Shifting UAE Consumer Trends Through Behavioral Loyalty Programs

How To Leverage Shifting UAE Consumer Trends Through Behavioral Loyalty Programs

The sweeping and large-scale impact of pandemic has caused consumers to reduce their outlets for spending. While some of this scaling back is caused by limited financial flexibility, a lot of it is because customers don’t have many avenues to spend. Travel has taken a back seat and work-from-home culture has taken precedence further lowering down overall spending power. Given the current scenario, there is one thing that your customers do in abundance – spending time on the internet. In a time like this, marketers must leverage the fact that since consumers are hooked to their gadgets, their customer engagement strategy needs a total makeover.

In our last blog on emotional loyalty where we talked about how brands can emotionally engage with consumers, today we will look at behavioral loyalty and how it can delight consumers’ in-between transactions by closely observing customer behavior. Simply put, Behavioral loyalty is the ability of brands to retain loyal customers by adopting strategies to reward members’ non-transactional behavior.

Through behavioral loyalty, brands can (a) segment customers based on high or low engagement frequency, and (b) reward customers based on key elements like purchase behavior, occasional purchasing, engagement levels, user status, participation in customer feedback and more. As we move ahead, we will describe how behavioral loyalty has leveraged the shifting consumer behavior in UAE.

The current UAE consumer landscape

In 2019, the UAE’s retail market was valued at $55 billion, according to market reports site Report Linker. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the country was witnessing rising per capita income and was gearing up with its growing tourism industry, increasing population of foreign workers, extravagant Dubai Expos and a large number of development projects.

But 2020 brought a major change to the economy due to the pandemic driven changes like closure of offline stores. And UAE was no exception. A study by Mckinsey showed that 95% of the consumers in UAE changed their shopping behavior. People were willing to explore different stores for their regular products and started experimenting with other brands. This forced a lot of brands to revisit their loyalty initiatives and strategies to remain relevant.

2021, however, started well for UAE market given there was an incredible pent up demand. The country is geared up to splurge again albeit, cautiously. The rapid vaccination drive (UAE being one of the most vaccinated country) will definitely help drive footfall back to retail stores. Retailers’ challenge however would be to retain their loyal customers and adopt strategies to ensure customers don’t churn or migrate to other competing brands. In such a situation, adopting behavioral loyalty elements can act as a lever to build a mutually rewarding relationship between the retailers and consumers.

How marketers can benefit using behavioral loyalty

1) The shift to online shopping: In the Consumer Pulse Survey conducted by Mckinsey, 54% UAE respondents have responded that they have tried a new digital shopping method during the Covid lockdown. Many UAE customers are therefore warming up to digital methods, and are realizing the ease behind getting what they want in just a few clicks.

Marketers’ perspective: Brands can get much closer to consumers by building an omnichannel loyalty program. This further gives the brand endless opportunities to delight their customers by rewarding desirable behaviors. For instance, customers can unlock bonus rewards when they link their loyalty accounts to their online purchases. Customers can be incentivized higher when they pick-up online orders against getting them delivered. Those who engage more by writing reviews or visiting specific pages or watching videos can be rewarded using a behavioral loyalty program.

2) Brick and mortar stores rule the roost: Thanks to the fast and vast vaccination drive in the country, UAE is one of the first countries to open up its malls post the lockdown. And consumer trends too point out that buyers regain the touch and feel experience of offline stores, especially for goods like clothes, footwear and electronics. With appropriate guidelines in place for restaurants, consumers are feeling more confident and safe to dine-out,

Marketers’ perspective: Customers visiting stores once they have reopened can be incentivized when they ‘check-in’ into the stores. Customers can be offered options to pre-order and pick up items during ‘lean’ hours. These socially desirable behaviors can be rewarded using the loyalty programs. Premium tier customers can be given options like assisted shopping or options to visit stores in specific slots with limited number of other customers in stores.

3) New found love for local: In 2020, the global supply chains were affected and many international goods could not reach store shelves. This is when consumers shifted to local brands products. A report by NielsonIQ suggests that across the globe people are gravitating to home-grown heritage. This has especially been true for perishable goods like dairy products and meat.

Marketers’ perspective: Loyalty programs can be tweaked or enhanced to ensure that customers earn more when they add local brands to their cart. Customers are increasingly looking for relevance and would shop more with businesses that are committed to social causes like promoting local businesses.

4) Ease of payments: With the surge in ecommerce platforms, UAE consumers are also expecting top-notch digital payments services. Since 2020, there has been a spike in the use of cash on delivery, and over time buyers have drifted to using digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

Marketers’ perspective: Consumers in UAE are looking for flexible payment options. So, it is important that the ecommerce platforms of brands seamlessly integrate all of the commonly used payment options. To ensure that consumers get the extra benefit, retailers can provide special offers across the various payment options.

5) The coupon and discount hunt: UAE is the third-richest country with respect to GDP per capita. But the country’s economy did not escape from the effect of the pandemic, which affected household income and spending. The drop in income has resulted in UAE consumers becoming price conscious, and buyers are seeking ways to save through discounts and offers. Talkwalker claimed that many international brands are being associated with deals and discounts.

Marketers’ perspective: When consumers are looking for great deals and value, it’s a good idea to include personalized deals in loyalty programs. This makes the customer feel special and would stick around with the brand for a long time. The hunt for coupons can be packaged into a game to keep customers engaged ‘in-between’ transactions and to reward engagement with the brand on digital channels.

Implementing behavioral loyalty programs creatively

examples of behavioral loyalty

Behavioral loyalty programs can be shaped creatively depending on the products. In fact, Capillary’s loyalty program enabled one of the leading fashion retailers in UAE to get a boost in their overall average transaction value. Our loyalty program triggers bonus points to customers when they shop on specific days of the week, thereby encouraging more store check-ins. This program also incentivize customers with additional benefits for buying from multiple categories.

Our loyalty experts share some more ways where retailers from different sectors can adopt behavioral loyalty at the right time and reward customers:

  • A customer who buys a pair of running shoes may not revisit the store for at least 6 months. However, retailers need not wait that long to engage with the customer. To encourage the customer to regularly use the product, customers can get access to content that help customer with their running basics, posture and nutrition. Customers who consume the content or are able to maintain a streak of consecutive workouts can unlock badges that they can share on their social media pages.
  • In an apparel store, if the customer has purchased a shirt, the brand can delight customers with personalized offers on pants or other accessories to pair with the shirt, encouraging more store check-ins and purchases
  • Loyal customers entering their regular aisles in a supermarket can find QR codes across their favourite products and can avail exclusive offers and discounts.

Consumer relationships with brands are likely to change and evolve post pandemic. Innovation will be the driving force. While agile marketing strategies will help brands thrive during changes, levers like behavioral loyalty programs can up the ante on customer engagement. To know more about how changing consumer behavior can be the gear for your loyalty program, get in touch with our experts and chart a new customer loyalty strategy for your brand today.

5 Takeaways From Our Fireside Chat – Forever Faster In The Changing World!

5 Takeaways From Our Fireside Chat – Forever Faster In The Changing World!

The story began in 2006 when the Indian retail sector was in the midst of a boom. Odds were stacked up against upcoming retail players as global sports brands had already swooped in and grabbed big chunks of the market share. Naysayers created a sense of doubt for upcoming brands as they believed “There is no space for a fourth brand after three other global brands have filled up the bases.”

But this did not deter PUMA, Abhishek Ganguly and his team. In a bootstrapping business journey, PUMA India had grown from a few stores to creating a wide gap from competition with 35% market share in 2019.

“There’s no proven formula for a global brand to establish afresh in a new market, or a recipe for success. However we have had a gradual growth and we made no decisions that we had to take back.”

In an engaging conversation in our recent fireside chat ‘Forever Faster in the Changing World’, Abhishek Ganguly (Managing Director, PUMA India & Southeast Asia) talks about PUMA’s journey in India, strategies behind building the brand, and the excitement of influencing the way people live through sports and lifestyle. Here are the top 5 takeaways from PUMA’s digital and agile journey.

1) Out and loud with an online strategy

All great retail brands need an evolving customer interaction, and PUMA’s focus was to become a favorite brand with compelling retail strategies. Not only did they become the first brand to bring loyalty in India, but also began a strong digital outreach in 2009, at a time when retailers thought of ecommerce as a threat to brick and mortar. PUMA began collaboration with Myntra and Flipkart fashion, before establishing their own website. Abhishek also emphasized that channel differentiation and pricing tools are very important parameters to be fine-tuned while balancing online and offline channels.

2) Agility is the word of the moment

Changes in the retail industry were happening even before Covid, and leaders should sense and learn these changes. The team at PUMA India constantly hopes to ‘fail fast’, accept the failure and be in a constant learning mindset, enabling the brand to stay relevant to the period.

Agility goes hand in hand with innovation according to Abhishek. “By agility, I don’t mean mindless speed, but quick thinking, acting, and spreading that action throughout the organization.”

3) A people-first culture

What do you do to make Monday morning interesting for your team? That’s an important question every leader should ask themselves. Abhishek believes that employees work better if they are in the best frame of mind which directly impacts productivity and therefore it is vital for a business to ensure that their employees are positively influenced.

4) Finding the core in the startup ecosystem

How can the store interact with customers hyper-locally and bring in a personalized touch to the store? Abhishek has always been interested in technology-driven startups. He looks for innovative solutions in the angel ecosystem from the offline retail’s inventory and customer engagement point of view.

5) Sports inspires you to be a better leader

The global sportswear brand has always been passionate about cricket and has been associated with other sports like football. Abhishek wanted to keep the brand locally relevant to India by signing up with legends like Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and many IPL players. The brand has especially hit the jackpot with Virat Kohli as the cricket sensation has a huge social media following.

When drawing parallels between leadership and sports, Abhishek admires the ‘never give up’ attitude and inherent team spirit culture in sports. He said that leaders must develop an athlete’s mindset to face the uncertainties. To know more about their retail strategies, personalized engagement, agile management; watch the entire fireside chat discussion here.