Consumer Sentiment Leading To Spurt In Growth Of Upscale Locations The condom industry has always been a challenging market to deal with but people are slowly understanding the need

By Rajeev Juneja

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Condoms are the only contraceptive method that can protect against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV transmission. It is very much important to educate the people about the benefits of using condoms while having sex, as it helps to protect them from HIV and also it helps in unwanted pregnancy. Condoms are also emerging as an uncomplicated and effective tool for family planning as well.

Condom industry has always been a challenging market to deal with. There was a time in 2017 when the government restricted condom ads being aired on television for almost 16 hours in the day for fear of it being "indecent for children' but time has changed and is changing day by day. According to a research, audiences are more inclined to read about the condom industry. People are slowly understanding the need of condoms and has evolved a lot for protected sex. Transition has happened from tier I cities (educated people) to smaller cities (uneducated people).

Condoms are inexpensive at affordable price, easy to store, carry and use and do not require medical consultation. The emphasize is on correct and consistent usage of condom to avoid certain diseases and infections.

Though it's a fact that people still run away from asking for condoms on the medical shop but and the rural market is still small in India and contributes to about 30 per cent of the INR 1,500 crore condom market in India, as per the Nielsen report. Usage of condoms in smaller pockets has increased in the last few years though which is a positive change.

The condom industry has undergone dramatic changes over the period of time. Nowadays, the best condom brands in India are manufacturing condoms that not only reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) but also enhance people's sexual experiences.

It is seen that demand has increased in flavoured condoms as brand have started offering and launching different flavours like achari, black grapes, hazelnut, strawberry, etc., that provides a new intimate experiences and make lovemaking sessions more erotic and exotic.

Communication strategy has always been a game changer in this industry and getting a known or celebrity face as a brand ambassador to recall in the eyes of consumers.

During the initial launch years all major media platforms be it television, magazines, newspapers, hoardings and other transit media were used for promotion and conveying the messaging. In the past few months because of pandemic, brands have noticed a great increase in usage of social media platforms to engage with the consumers, with the scope of narrow targeting to connect with the right consumer with demographic, geographic and interests. With such narrow targeting options and other advertising possibilities in digital space such as OTT and influencer marketing definitely the orientation with which brand can connect with the audiences has evolved for good.

Also, brands are known for its moment marketing. Today, consumers are addicted to social media platforms and they live in the moment. It's very important for the brands to catch the attention in that time span and they never miss an opportunity to maintain regular engagement with its audience.

Another is In-film integration as a content peg for communications and officially collaborating on the movie that can result in embedded marketing as well as social media promotions and to get a chance to break the stereotypes, weave narratives and put forth content that is rich in quality.

Also, the coronavirus outbreak triggered fear among people leading to a consumer behaviour shift. However, a different kind of trend was noticed with condom sales going through the roof when it comes to stocking up after the lockdown announcement. Many retailers have seen sales surge nearly 20-50 per cent in that period. There was a noticeable increase in the sale of condoms since the time of the shutting down of offices and markets from the e-commerce sites also.

Rajeev Juneja

CEO, Mankind Pharma

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