Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Excavation of a shopper's mind !!

Session by Mr Anil Srinivasan, MBA (U.S.Cal), MPhil( Columbia), CEO, Recraft

What’s the toughest nut to crack on this earth? What is that question to which even a scientist is still searching for an answer? Some things can give sleepless nights to psychologists too...They are the human minds....Try peeping into the mind of a consumer , and you will realise the complexities involved in understanding their behaviour and thereby deciphering a buying pattern from that. This was the crux of the session we had with Mr . Anil Srinivasan

Though the concept of understanding consumer and shopper behaviour seems complex, the methodologies adopted by him to drive home the point ,were very innovative and yet relatable. He made the learning fun & simple.

Entertainment....Doesn’t this word lighten up every face and give us the immediate motivation to discuss more. This was the tool used by him to take us through the ideas of merchandising in retailing and thereby make us understand the relevance of it in today’s world. This even gave us a chance to score some brownie points over one another as we were split into groups and asked to design a strategy to promote a movie that released recently. The importance of retail innovation and its convertibility factor into sales was also emphasised when he judged our strategies on the basis of its popularity and relevance. Another interesting insight to note here was that the retail merchandising that are done to promote a movie should not be a byproduct of the movie , but a reason to draw crowds to watch the movie and thereby buy the goodies. Looking at the response for the activity, it became very evident that India indeed has moved on from being a utilitarian economy to what today is called an ‘Entertainment Economy’.

The critical factor in understanding any new concept lies in the way one is able to criticise the concept effectively. The criticism should not be baseless though. He insisted on asking each one of us to be hyper critical about any of the shops that we had visited recently and note the glaring points of discomfort. This helped us understand the importance of being really clear about what should be expected from a good store vis-a-vis an average one.

Consumers can give you a hard time when it comes to understanding their behaviour , but as long as professionals like Mr.Anil exist, the learning journey would always remain exciting ,memorable and objective.

By Pradeep, Marcom Varsity, CBS

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