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Wellness blogNov, 28 2016

Lessons from IITF 2016: What works for your brand at a fair?

Wellness India visited the IITF 2016 to find out what factors according to the consumers play a role in taking up the sales of a particular brand at a fair.

By Pragati Ratti Sharma

The India International Trade Fair has just concluded and like every year, the consumers thronged the fair for all sorts of products including beauty and health products. While demonetisation did have an impact on this year’s trade at the fair, there were still huge crowds that went ahead and bought cosmetics, haircare products, Ayurveda products and more. To ease the transactions, many stalls this year had card-payment facilities and Paytm payments. However, the network to make these things work played a spoiled sport.

As the brands this year battled demonetisation, what is it that helped them fare better than their competition at the fair? Wellness India visited the IITF 2016 to find out what factors according to the consumers play a role in taking up the sales of a particular brand at a fair.

Packaging

The way you present and package your product at your stall decides the fate of your business at a fair. Aditi, one of the consumers who visited the fair told us that it was the first look at the stall that would pull her towards it and if the first look doesn’t do that, she won’t visit the stall at all. One of the stalls that attracted more eyeballs at the IITF this year was the Shehnaz Hussain stall as all products available were spread out for the consumer to see.

Pricing

With demonetisation limiting the spending capacity of the consumers this year, most consumers said that they preferred buying products that were priced low. Jasleen Kaur, a consumer buying a mascara bought the one she thought was priced lower. “There’s no harm in trying when you are getting the same thing at a lower price from another brand. You can always try. If you don’t like it, you can go back to your brand later,” said Jasleen.

Brand loyalty

While Jasleen was ready to take a chance with brands, there are many consumers who are loyal to their brand and head to the trade fair to buy their favourite brand’s product at a better deal. “I won’t buy a random brand’s product. I’ve bought some Vega and Shehnaz Hussain products. I’m scared of trying new brands and I won’t compromise on brands since the skin is a sensitive part,” said Kriti Gulati, one of the visitors at the IITF 2016.

Word of mouth

Kriti also added that if at all she would try another brand, it would be only if someone she knows has recommended it to her. At fairs that go on for over two weeks, consumers tend to share feedback with their friends and families, who visit and try those products. Word of mouth is a strong factor that can work for brands especially during fairs.

While these were some factors, what played out as the biggest turning point this year at the IITF was demonetisation. Consumers were seen thronging stalls that were accepting old currency, taking card payments or accepting Paytm payments. However, with network issues, the stalls that accepted old currency were the ones that saw maximum footfall.  

Related: ​How to Start Successful Zumba Business

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