"Customer is the king of the market. Every company needs to understand their customers. The companies focus more on customer satisfaction, customer relationship and loyalty. All these are to retain the customer. Hence at the end of the day it is all about games for customer. It is really in need to understand their requirements. For the urban area customers the companies can make their need fulfillment. But for the rural consumers it is really tough. There should be a proper understanding of their profiles before the companies go further in the rural market.
If at all there is an availability of the profile also, it is really tough to implement as the market is a complete heterogeneous. There will not be a clear definition for it. This may be for so many reasons. The low literacy levels, low capita per income, low production in agriculture all these were older factors to tap the market. But the scenario has changed a lot; the largest percentage of the market has been into rapid progress.
The rural market is better than the urban market. It is chasing urban market in terms of development. The rural youth are playing a vital role in the development. Taking all into consideration the companies should design the profile in a perfect manner.
The profile can be
1.Traditional background: The consumer believes in old customs and traditions. They take the consideration of their culture. It influences a lot on the purchasing decision. They look at functionality than on the style, brand and features. The superstition is one of the draw back in the rural market. They have a set of attitudes and they follow those only. It is really a tough task to change their mindset.
2.Perceptions: The perceptual experience of rural consumer is most important. In rural market the size, colour, shape, and packaging of the product matters a lot. If the packaging has some changes in it, then it might be a problem. The colors differ according to the areas. In south people prefer yellow as good, but in North it is a sign of a disease. Hence all these factors matters a lot depending upon the perceptions of the consumer.
3.Less exposure: The consumers have less exposure towards the product, marketing of the brands, on the advertisements and its behaviors. There will not be any ready hand information available for them, which is a great disadvantage. More retail outlet friendly customers, and there are fewer stores available per 1000 population.
4.Money value: They buy the products depending upon the money they have. And they buy the product if at all they feel that the product will sustain for the long term usage. He does not want to pay an extra penny for the product. There is a saying in Hindi "sastha, sundar, majboot". That means for a lower price the product should be with all attributes. Hence this kind of expectation they have from the product.
5.Attitude: The attitude of the consumer in rural market is really different one. Their approach to buy the products is very realistic. They look at their money and spending patterns before going for any product. They buy the product if it is in their limits of the budget. But if the product is good in technology, quality and adds value to his role and status in the society then they does not look at money to buy it. If it is good and gives long lasting then there is no go back from the consumers.
All the consumers have a mentality of a love towards their village. They don't want to get cheated by the people. They look at respect more than anything else. They are being cheated by some of the fake companies; hence it is being a psychological effect on the consumers not to make it again.
Therefore companies need to give detailed information for the customers. They should make them to believe for the brand. If they are going to introduce any product they should be more careful before doing it so. There a should be a proper awareness for the product in the market. The word of mouth may help the companies a lot than any other kind of activities. It is better for the companies that they should clarify their doubts, and should examine the profile carefully because it may be a chance to miss an opportunity.
About Author / Additional Info:
An MBA from GITAM University, India
Reference: Mr.Balram Dogra and Mr. Karminder ghuman