Branding Decisions in Rural Marketing

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BRANDING DECISIONS IN RURAL MARKETING
(Sonal Purohit, Kahkashan Qayyum)

“The rural consumer is discerning and the rural market is vibrant. At the current rate of growth, it will soon out strip the urban market. The rural market is not sleeping any longer. We are.” So sad Mr. Adi Gogrej of Godrej industries. This makes it clear that the importance of rural market at present competition is to capture market share and consumer loyalty. India is shining then! India is Unique in many ways. A population that is large, heterogeneous, largely English speaking and a cultural heritage that runs back to thousands of years. India is young. India is vibrant. The major segmentation of mass population is located in rural area. So, the market potential is large in number. So we can expect the market strength in rural area. Now, the educational Institutions are also concentrating on rural marketing and doing market research in rural places. Rural markets are rapidly growing in India but have often been ignored by marketers. Most of them are remote-fully ignorant due to the reason of diversification of products produced thereby slitting into disposable income. A glance at the following statistics will help you get a fair idea of the consumers in Rural India: * 46 percent of soft drinks

* 49 percent of motorcycles
* 59 percent of cigarettes
* 18 million TV Sets
* 50 percent of 2 million BSNL mobile connections
* 53 percent of FMCG products
* 59 percent of consumer durables are sold in rural India.

Some facts about the rural sector:

* There are nearly 42,000 rural haats (Super Markets) in India * In 2002 – 2003, LIC sold 50 percent of its policies in rural India * Of the 20 million who have signed up for Rediffmail, 60 percent are from small towns * Of the 1,00,000 souls that have transacted on Rediff's shopping site, 50 percent are from small towns * The 30 million Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) issued so far exceed the 25 million credit-plus-debit cards issued in urban. A whopping Rs. 65, 000 crore has been sanctioned under the KCC scheme. * Electricity Consumption increase from 17.6 percent in 1980 – 81 to 20.2 percent in 1999 –2000. During the same period, the industry share has dropped from 58.4 percent to 34.8 percent. * Hindustan Lever, the largest FMCG Company in the country. More than half of its annual sales of Rs.11, 700/- crore come from the rural market. * The proposed agricultural reforms in the tenth plan, the easy availability of agriculture credit Rs 60,000/- Crore Village road programme introduced recently to connect 1,90,000/- village and the improved communication network (STD and Mobile) Why Separate approach required for rural market?

The major difference in rural and urban market is, rural market is underdeveloped and consumers are also less aware about the new trends and brand as compared to the urban consumers. The buyers of rural and urban areas are differing in their characteristics while buying any product. The reasons behind this differentiation are many like: Age life cycle stage

Occupation
Economic situation
Life style
Personality and self concept
Psychological factors like perception, cognition and motivation

What Is Branding?
The term "brand" owes its origin to the Norwegian word brander which means "to burn". Farmers used to put some identification marks on the body of the livestock to distinguish their possession.(Majumdar,1998) A brand, by definition, is a short hand description of a package of value, on which consumers can rely to be consistently the same or better over a period of time. A brand distinguishes a product or service from competitive offerings The core of brand equity lies in the construct of Brand Awareness. Brand Equity when the consumer has a high level of awareness and familiarity with the brand and holds some strong favorable and unique association in memory. In low involvement decision settings Brand Awareness is just adequate leading to purchase. Repeat purchase i....
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