Market research vital to success in today’s competitive corporate gifting market

Tcho chocolates, comprising organic ingredients and made of ‘fair trade’ quality cacao beans from Peru, Ghana and Ecuador, are making headway into Indian taste buds. The luxury chocolate maker from San Francisco is keen to penetrate the vast Indian market, with a plan to sell there in the next few years.

Its luscious chocolates with flagship dark feel and flavor, laced with nuts can be popular in India, the company feels. Its president Jane Metcalfe argues that people in the country have a culture of consuming sweets; it’s a big aspect of the food for them so India is certainly an excellent opportunity though it remains not only a big but also very complicated market.

They are banking on the fact that Indians will move away from costlier albeit more traditional sweets to chocolates during big social and personal celebrations like Holi (the spring harvest season) and Diwali (start of the Hindu New Year) as well as weddings anniversary and birthday celebrations. The country’s premium market is going to be huge in a decade from now, the chocolate makers believe though for now they just want to position themselves there, get prospective consumers to know more about their products and strike a chord with them.

There’s clearly a lesson to be learnt here. Market research, studying customer behavior, localization and customization are absolutely vital to sustain and expand a product-service in today’s challenging times. By tuning their offerings to Indian taste buds, the US chocolate companies are trying to open themselves up to the country’s potentially limitless customer base.

In today’s competitive and fast-evolving market conditions as well as technological advances, corporate gift providers must remain tuned to the trends and mindset of the target audience so that they are able to align their product/service portfolio to the current trends. It is no more possible to work in isolation and expect customers to accept what you are offering. Executives clearly are looking for more dynamic and innovative options to promote their personal and business image, something that the corporate gift manufacturers need to imbibe in their overall work culture.

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