Male dominant: Think twice, you might be wrong this time!

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With the changing rural scenario, females are becoming the decision makers. What cause the change in behaviour pattern? Highlights Sonal Bhiwapurkar, a Rural Marketing Professional

A take on rural consumer and it is always perceived that male member of the family is the decision maker. However, with the passing time, the female member of the family is acquiring the position. She thinks, she calculates her budget, she gives it a thought and yes, she is the one who buys the product.

What cause the change in behaviour pattern?

Education – The literacy rates are growing in rural areas. Though the present housewives are less educated, they are through with the product, its price, among others. She knows the exact value and its worth before buying the product. She has planned and appropriate budget planning and so, don’t get shocked if you see the rural lady who is keeping a keen watch on Fats, Carbohydrates and Proteins before buying a pack of wafers for her child. She is now a very conscious person who holds the product and pay for it.

Knowledge – This lady for near and dear ones will search for the best. She has all the sources to gain knowledge and if not she will dig hard to get it. With her increasing consciousness and presence of mind, she has started comparing the competitor’s brand. She understands the difference between the two and selects the best the best. Now, while selecting this, does she really think about extra money she needs to shell out from the already planned budget? May be …may be not. If it’s worth it, she will give a second thought for sure but definitely buy the best one with the knowledge of product/market.

Aspiration – Today, when brands are focusing on providing knowledge and educate them about the product, the females of the family consume and understand the importance of the product. She has one word in her mind – “BETTER”. Better health, better hygiene, better food, better education and so on. Hence, with this factor of providing betterment and aspiring for the best, she has made her mind to change, to get the better and aspire for the best in the market without any compromise.

Acceptance – With the big local market, the rural haats and market are loaded with the duplicate and local products. Having same look and feel of the product, the cheaper products are available in the market. But the education and knowledge make her decision firm to buy the original product.

Experience – At last, the brand experience matters. The brand experience and practice of using it, delights the rural consumer too. The belief that branded products are worth, can be trusted easily and provide better result than the local/duplicate ones. So, experiencing the brand / product makes her feel trusted, comfort her way of using them and helps her to decide firmly which brand to go with.

Independence – Though not a full time worker, rural women is now slowly involving in the social initiatives. Her first priority remains the same to look after family but she is now also focusing on being Independent financially too. This gives her helping hand to select and stick to the decision of purchase as she is no longer dependent on someone else. The activities like having beauty parlour at home (so that she takes care of both personal and professional life too), taking tuitions, stitching clothes, opening a small shop attached to her house etc. can be seen in rural areas. The idea of running these small businesses where all her concerns are taken care of, gives her the confidence and makes her capable of being free financially.

Social Involvement – Women here, don’t have the kitty party but surely have group meetings, the religious gathering in temple where they communicate, share and get socially involved. There are influencers in the villages, few of them have small entrepreneurship too. The rural females are getting socially involved. The power of word of mouth can be seen during such social gatherings.

The New Avatar – The new look of the rural female is strong, independent, firm and a decision maker. Do not get surprise, if you find a female with Ghunghat on her head and updated smartphone in her hand. Soon, the online shopping too may be what she would prefer. A female who might love to cover her floor with the cow dung, uses red pot for chilled water and might also use a laptop to get involved socially, read the news article on internet or to gather knowledge about her forte.

With this scenario, we have to be ready for the change and accept it.

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