Amul. Coca-Cola. Dabur.
What do these brands have in common?
Amongst others, they all have prominently distributed products in the regional and rural markets. If you’ve ever bought any product in a rural or a regional area, you might have noticed significant differences from a purchase in an urban or metro area.
Let’s dive into the different aspects of designing and developing packaging for rural marketing.
With the recent COVID-19 restrictions across the globe, brands are predicting an increase in demand for small packs. Lalit Malik, CFO of Dabur India shared, “As a large number of migrant workers are returning to their home-towns and villages, demand for low unit price or affordable packs will go up in rural India.”
So, how can you develop value-backed packaging and position your products for rural marketing strategy?
Develop small packs, or in industry terms, low unit packs, that are smaller versions of products. E.g, Rasna introduced small sachets priced at 1 INR that makes 2 glasses of the soft drink.
Additionally, determine your go-to-market strategy and understand your consumers and competition. Most of these consumers are daily-wage workers with less purchasing power. Due to financial constraints and to reduce wastage, they buy only what they can afford.
The consumer profile of rural markets shows that they are more about utility and value for money. So, make sure to highlight the name of the product, price, and net amount on the front label to instantly attract attention.
Ever heard of the ‘Ganga’ soap manufactured by Godrej? In India, the river Ganga is considered pure and bathing in it is seen as achieving salvation from sins. The soap’s marketing position (tagline - ‘Now bath in Ganga’) combined the concept of the ritual with a hygienic habit, which was not received well by rural consumers.
So, how will you connect with consumers without alienating them?
The psychographic profiles of consumers in rural markets are vastly different than urban areas. Therefore, in product packaging development, research their buying behavior, viewpoints, interests, social customs that reflect traditions, superstitions, colors, and imagery, languages, and dialects.
You can also reach more consumers with packaging that displays regional languages. E.g, Coca Cola extended their ‘Share a Coke’ campaign in India in 12 languages.
In rural markets, consumers are often familiar with the owners of their local stores. They are even often members of the same family! If you’re launching a product in rural markets, tie-up with local stores to give away free samples and consumers are sure to try a new product.
According to a report by Accenture, 59% of rural consumers purchased branded products for their quality and trustworthiness. However, due to underdeveloped infrastructure, the demand for branded products has given rise to counterfeit products.
Lack of infrastructure, such as poorly developed roads also contributes to products getting damaged during transportation. Often villages are situated far away from major roads or highways. Often, laborers are untrained leading to rough handling of products.
So, how can you deliver products safely and curb counterfeit products?
Protective packaging help keep products safe through a complex supply chain. Testing will help you to understand what works and what doesn’t. In new packaging development, consider simulation testing to determine if the packaging material is right for your products.
Combined with transport-ready packaging and attractive branding, ensure that products comply with labeling requirements laid out by the property authorities to differentiate them from counterfeit products.
Consumers in rural markets often purchase products from their local stores or kiranas (India). Brands need to consider a long-term strategy for cultivating an engaging consumer base.
However, with people getting displaced to their home-towns they might want to purchase products they purchased in urban areas. Nestle India reported 12% growth in their rural markets in contrast to only 6% growth in urban areas. Therefore, rural marketing is looking at a boom and your brand has a high potential for success.
Are you looking to launch products for rural markets with a new packaging development strategy? Talk to us!