Prachi Tiwari, Engagement Director of Landor Mumbai, has over two decades of experience in managing and driving growth for several B2B & B2C brands. She has worked with renowned FMCG brands in the retail & beverage category, including Pond’s (Unilever), Kaya Skin Clinic (Marico) and Barista Coffee Company and as a Marketing Director for World Gold Council (India), Marketing & Business Head with a JV of BBC Worldwide & Times of India. In these and other roles, she has worked on development and execution of businesses and brands through strategy formulation, revenue enhancement for offline and online brands, positioning, product development, packaging, and customer insights. She has rolled out diversified marketing campaigns and tactics for impactful brand building across platforms. Prachi Tiwari attended Bangladesh Retail Congress 2018 as one of the keynote speakers. Bangladesh Brand Forum interviewed her during the event to bring out some impactful insights that can shape modern retail practices to a greater extent.

Bangladesh Brand Forum: How do you feel visiting Bangladesh?

Prachi Tiwari: It feels quite good to be here. Bangladesh is at the cusp of a whole new level of conversation around creating growth of brands. Retail here is changing in more ways than one. Growing numbers of middle class and affluent customers and their rising purchasing capacity, is creating immense potential for marketers to find new ways to engage their audiences.

The theme for Bangladesh Retail Congress 2018 has been “Shaping Modern Retail in Bangladesh”. How do you define modern retail?

Currently, there’s huge disruption happening in modern retail from multiple standpoints. Retailers across various product and service categories are leveraging new technologies to rethink and reshape brand experience across different touchpoints. The consumer journey is not linear anymore and your customer is more empowered than ever before. Today established behaviours are being disrupted, new business models are emerging and brand experiences are taking on board an Omni-channel Retail stance to ensure they’re commerce is constantly connected.

That’s how I see modern retail has a huge role to play for both brands and their consumers. All of these disruptions are leading to challenges for brands making them rethink about how they want to connect and engage with the consumers, develop relevant product & service portfolio, improving overall store experience and driving an effective communication strategy.

Could you please share few words about your journey with Landor?

Well, I used to be a client for Landor at first and was always impressed with their strategic thinking around brands and design. Joining them for me was an opportunity to be a part of a team, that works across product and services categories (from B2C to B2B), to not just create and refresh brands but also find new ways to propel growth for their clients.

Landor is a global leader for Brand Consulting and Design. What do you think has made Landor stand out and stay at the forefront?

I personally think that the reason behind Landor’s success is our ability to distill relevant insights about where the business, its brand, its market and its consumers are at, use that to understand the challenges and unlock new opportunities for brands to grow. For us brands, are not just a marketing tool, but a strategic platform for action, wherein a brand lies at the center of all that the business does, connecting its business strategy, culture, customer experience.

Whenever we think of modern retail, we think of both online and offline channels which can have a big role to play – do you think this reasoning is correct?

I think, today’s consumers are looking at a brand from a single interface, so, there’s no gap really between physical and online retail. At the end of the day, it’s all about designing a cohesive user experience for customers at every touchpoint. Each of the online or offline channel platforms might serve a different purpose for the customer. Keeping this end-customer in the center, the brand to ascertain the best way to solve for his/her pain points, address their expectations in the process connecting the dots between the various channels.

A shift is actually going to happen with people moving towards more online retail disruption. Can you elaborate a bit more on this shift to come?

The move towards online has disrupted business in lot of different ways and market participants are just about getting a handle over the change that is happening. With non-linear consumer journeys, brands are facing increasing challenges in terms of creating the right kind of experience at every touchpoint. The consumers are also becoming more of rule-makers in various categories and brands need to ensure that their business-model is geared to deliver the right kind of solution (from information to product or service) at every interaction. Shopping today is not happening through a single medium alone, consumers of all generations buy online, in store and on marketplaces, from legacy retailers and independent brands alike. Moreover, brands born on the internet are increasingly finding their way into bricks-and-mortar stores and malls, established brands are getting more savvy about social media and other forms of digital marketing to hang onto their target audiences. Storytelling through content is becoming another critical imperative for growth for retailers and brands alike as has the need to know more about our customers to deliver personalized experiences (online and offline).

Share few words about the younger generation who would want to pursue their career in the retail sector.

Given the pace of change happening across product, service categories, brands are constantly on the lookout for talent that can help not just survive but also grow for the future. In order to be in a position to add value to retail players, the younger generation needs to be diligent and put in enough effort towards increasing their understanding of the retail landscape, consumer journeys, what various brands are doing in the space. The time is now for them to expand their network and their knowledge about how the consumer and retail world is shaping up.

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