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Consumers want value, not price: Deepali Agarwal, Philips

Sep 28, 2023 - Reading time 3-5 minutes

As the festive season nears, every category is geared up to witness a splurge in consumer purchases, marketing and advertising spends, new product launches and more.


In a conversation with e4m, Deepali Agarwal, Business Head, Personal Health, Philips Indian Subcontinent, shared how this festive season is going to be special for the brand because they’re looking forward to doing three new campaigns.

“We were doing a lot of work with gaming communities and flagship stores etc., but for the first time we are going to bring out a campaign for teenagers and that's on our flagship teenage proposition One Blade. We started to activate it sometime around July-August,” she said.

According to the executive, this campaign is a fresh take on a teenager’s life and how they want to make bold and unconventional moves. It also highlights the brand as someone that supports them to move fearlessly.

With not much liberty to let out all the details, Agarwal shared that the other one is going to go live for Facetrim. Third one is likely to be on beauty with a never seen before innovation in the market.

For a well-established brand like Philips, Agarwal believes the only challenge in order to grow is to stay relevant to the consumers.

“We are fortunate to have the heritage that we have, but we are also mindful that we need to build on top of that heritage to continue to stay relevant and loved.”


Another challenge for conglomerates is that today, D2C brands are challenging their price points and quality of product offered. So, how do well-established brands like Philips stay relevant?

Agarwal shared, “Consumers want value; they don't want price. Value is a combination of what you offer and the price you command for it. And to do that, the most important for us is to be very true to consumer insights and not be true to it generically but very locally and viscerally.”

The best way is to create a connected experience that wows the consumer. This means how they discover the brand, how they purchase the product and how they have the opportunity to talk about the brand to share the experience. All of this together forms the connected experience of the consumer.

The past 24 months of Philips have also been focussed on making the consumer experience richer and richer, shared the Philips executive. “When it comes to advertising, we put in a lot of effort with real life creators and real communities. For example, with Avent we interact with mothers where they express themselves and talk about their needs and challenges and get support from fellow mothers in their journey. This helps us make meaningful connections with consumers, which is beyond advertising.”


Speaking of consumer behaviour changes in the personal care category, Agarwal has observed that in the last decade consumers in India have evolved by many folds. This is not only in beauty and grooming but also mother and child care.

For electrical baby care products like a steriliser or a breast pump, the penetration is just five percent but research shows that almost 74 percent of Indian parents want to adopt technologies to take care of their babies.

If you put these two facts together, you realise there lies a massive opportunity for brands to create meaningful innovations and also have meaningful conversations and that's really the growth journey that we want to entertain, expressed Agarwal.

Another example is, almost 75 percent of women in India style their hair but less than a quarter of them own a device.

“There is more and more aspiration and more need for consumers to be in control of their own grooming and healthcare choices. That is where Philips is working very consciously to reignite the brand love and the heritage that it has inherited.”

Coming to the martech aspect, a big focus of the organisation is to understand real time consumer behaviour in a combination of data connectivity. “We now have the technology to understand real time consumer behaviour, right from the product discovery to the point of post purchase and we will continue to learn around that.”


Next is how the brand can get deeper into contextual and moment marketing in a combination of consumer insights but also using the latest technologies to make very relatable and real time content and conversations, according to Agarwal.

She added, “Third aspect is how the brand connects the experience in-store and for quite some time, organisations have tried to do that. There is one aspect of consuming the content and another of experiencing the brand for which technology can be a great lever to connect the two.”

Looking at the future of the personal health and care category, Philips believes consumers are becoming more conscious about health post covid. There is a lot more openness in adopting technology particularly for individual health and well being.

A lot of categories particularly where Philips plays are nascent in their penetration but growing rapidly. There is a revelation where 90 percent women remove their body hair, but only seven percent use a device today and this number is rapidly growing.

Agarwal concluded, “So, we see there is an inclination to adopt technology for a better life. Because of this the future for brands like Philips is very bright and we see India as a massive opportunity.”


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