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Look Who’s Changing
Cheap is passé. A new breed of consumers is rising in the hinterlands and it’s time for brands to take notice

The rural consumer market is changing. And it’s changing for the better. According to a survey Masters of Rural Markets: From Touchpoints to Trustpoints — Winning over India’s Aspiring Rural Consumers conducted by Accenture, rural consumer markets are evolving and are becoming much more aspirational, giving businesses a promising opportunity to tap into this market. According to the survey, of the 2,800 rural consumers who were surveyed, 71% purchase branded products and 51% deem the brands trustworthy and reliable. Also, rural consumers are now making an effort to purchase quality products as 83% actually travel to nearby cities to make bigger purchases. Given the rise in their wallet share, it is time for businesses to up their game and focus more on marketing products to these consumers. The notion of celebrity endorsements and television ads that are considered key in influencing customers do not seem to work in the rural markets as only 7% of them claim to be influenced by them.The survey also categorises the rural Indian consumers into four segments — traditionalists, steady climbers, young enthusiasts and village elites — that can help companies understand the rural market better and accordingly build brand trust and visibility. In order to gain market share among this group of evolving consumers, the survey stresses on the importance of gaining recognition, awareness, consideration, validation, experience, advocacy and purchase. In other words, it’s time for companies to tailor their marketing strategies and build on this new and evolving consumer segment.


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