In The Land Of Weddings Has The Buck Been Passed On?

As an Indian parent however modern thinking one may be, one of the major aspects considered during a financial planning is the wedding expenses of their kids. It is more an important goal than their own retirement corpus though only after the education corpus for their children. Such is the importance attached in the mindset of the parents that the marriage expenses as a goal is in the goal sheet of every financial advisor.

This trend has continued for ages or has anything changed??? Maybe not from the parents’ point of view. But definitely from the children’s point of view. Today atleast a few of the kids do not want to burden their parents financially. While a few saved enough money to fund their own weddings, a very few have identified an innovative method for funding their weddings. A MARKETEER!!!!. A MARKETEER I REPEAT..A New Wedding idea.

Had been to a wedding recently. The wedding invite itself surprised me as it was from a well known brand.The wedding decor  was beautiful , had the best of the food, the bridal wear was from a well-known brand so was the bridal jewelry. There was a counter where one could use sunglasses from a well-known brand as a prop for the guest to take their photos and take it home as party favors, guest were given expensive return gifts which included, cosmetics, skin care essentials, expensive tea, macaroons, and artisanal soaps. I was surprised at the amount of money spent on making the dream wedding come true. Maybe they could have bought a house on that money I wondered. This was until I found that the family did not spent any amount. Surprise Surprise. The entire wedding was sponsored by the brands and the money the couple saved on the wedding they actually invested in a house .But why did the brands sponsor the wedding??? The bride is a lifestyle blogger who has a huge following on the Instagram. Hence through the wedding the brands could reach out to their target customer. The blogger is an opinion leader for the followers and they look at her to know the products, brands used. Hence the blogger using the specific brand on the most important day of her life gives the brand a stamp of acceptance among her followers.

Brands like to work with people who are on the same wavelength as them. The whole brand integration made sense because it happened organically

In the old days, it was all about readership in media terms, viewership in television terms, listenership in radio terms and OTS (opportunity to see) in terms of outdoor advertising. Then those days morphed into the days of the celebrity who jumped out of the realm of Bollywood or cricket. Now the new celebrity is the blogger. Infact brands believe that blogger-followership are more solid than the cosmetic followership of celebrities.

From parents paying for the wedding to paying for your own wedding to getting others to fund your wedding, the buck has been successfully passed on.

Are the brands and the brides listening???

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Target Advertising Is The Lifeline Of Retail

Off late there have been a lot of controversies with regard to right to privacy etc, there are lot of arguments for and against Aadhar. But the question really arises do we really lead private lives. The answer is overwhelmingly NO. Some by choice and some thanks to technology.

In one of the alumni meet a friend said there is nothing in the meet as we know what’s happening in each other’s life thanks to Facebook. Today thanks to technology the charm of meeting is lost. Here the privacy is lost by choice or maybe compulsion (social) to some extent. Today our privacy is also lost due to our browsing history which helps in knowing a bit of us in terms of our hobbies, aspirations plan etc and the same being shared with the respective stakeholders.

Remember some time back a friend sharing his experience in this regard. He had planned to attend a marriage during the weekend and discussed the same with his wife. As the venue was at a distance they also discussed about the mode of transport. The next day he receives a mail from a cab aggregator regarding outstation cabs to attend the wedding for the weekend. The couple was surprised on receiving the message as they had no browsing history or mail etc. regarding the topic. Yet their need was identified. Later the cab aggregator clarified that it was a random mail sent to everyone as it was a wedding weekend and lots of wedding were planned. But the point is the fear of no longer leading private lives.

Have experienced quite a few such instances myself. Once was browsing about the location reviews etc. of a restaurant which was highly recommended by a friend. Since the place was far off never went to that place and later forgot about it. One fine day wanted to order online for a home delivery and on opening the food delivery app the first restaurant which was shown was the restaurant which I had searched some time back. Now the app knew I wished to go to that restaurant and helped me order from there, based on the browsing history. Did I order from that restaurant? A Big YES.

A colleague wanted to compare shirts available in the store against those available online. Hence he checked for a few shirts online just to understand the pricing, materials, colors etc. Post that he states every time he logged he would see advertisements of shirts everywhere. He states the ads were so much on your face that he had a fear of being stalked. The browser history indicated that he was looking to buy a shirt and the advertisements were helping him in making the decisions.

If the technology is used in its true sense then it can aid retail, help the customers in their decision making. It can definitely help retail to target the right customers, can decrease the advertisement cost and improve sales. But the line between aiding and invading is diminishing. That’s a challenge

Any such experience on the same?

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Ice Cream Innovation Not To Be Taken Coldly

Went to an ice cream outlet recently and the found that the store sells ice cream in a form of a roll, different flavors of ice cream is spread thin on a base and then rolled over just like a sheet of paper and presented with different fruits, nuts, sauces etc. the whole presentation in the form of a roll was beautiful so was the taste.

In a world where innovation is the norm we have been saturated with the news on innovation in terms of Science & technology, medicine etc. While most of these innovation might not fascinate a common man, he/she will never be satiated by the innovation in food. The innovation in food has fascinated most of us. One industry which has innovated greatly is the ice cream industry especially by the domestic players.

There is another outlet which customizes the ice cream as per our request in terms of flavors, nuts, syrups etc., mixes all them on a cold marble store which gives it a new flavor. Yet another store has a fried ice cream. An ice cream and fried??Yes an ice cream gets a crispy outer coat of a batter and super cool inner core??Yet another store has a liquid nitrogen ice cream. Also there are a lot of option in terms of presentation, a pizza ice cream, a paan ice cream, a cake ice cream etc. A simple ice cream with so many options.

Innovation in terms of flavors have always added to the excitement in the industry. There are several unique flavors launched by different players, caramel biscotti, , pink currant, pistoria, paan, sandalwood, Japanese green tea ,Kolkata meetha, Gauva chilli , Masala Chai (provided inflight by an international airline) and then there is Charcoal Ice cream. Few brands also have fruits ice cream and there is innovation in terms of fruits chosen e.g. tender coconut, jack fruit etc.

Ice cream need not be a season specific product, it can be a festive specific also. A brand of ice cream has a festive-oriented ice creams Makar Sankranti Special, containing sesame seeds and peanuts, and a Ramzan special with dates & nuts

An industry which is plagued by accusation of leading to obesity especially in children, another innovation done is the diet-friendly ice creams such as low-fat and sugar-free ice cream. The interest in clean labelling is growing as well. Most of the new products launched have one or more claims relating to naturalness and freedom from additives and preservative. Besides ice-cream, frozen yoghurt is stepping up as a category within the frozen desserts segment.

An innovation is in progress for slowing of the melting process or for that matter no melting . Won’t it help the industry if the ice cream stops melting? Can buy ice cream anywhere any time!!Even packaging is another area where innovation is being undertaken. How about a pack which is fully edible?? Can be reality soon.

In a world obsessed with Selfies can the ice cream industry be left behind?? There is 3D food printing available for such consumers

There is a lot to learn for others from the ice cream industry in terms of innovation. Have you witnessed any such innovation in the retail industry?? Do share with us.