The unprecedented global pandemic has opened Pandora's box and completely disrupted our lives. Apart from the temporary changes like WFH, online classes and social distancing, the catastrophe has also made people significantly health conscious. As a result, they have adopted several conscious lifestyle changes from eating healthier food to being attentive about personal care and hygiene. Helping people in this mission are the new-age ventures like WiZ.
One of India's leading brands providing carefully manufactured personal care and hygiene products, Wiz, has constantly supported and catered to the demands of the masses during the pandemic. For instance, the brand has made various essential products like hand sanitisers, hand wash, disinfectant wipes, disinfectant solutions, vegetable and fruit washers, etc. more accessible than ever. Wiz has taken many initiatives to help India overcome mountains of challenges brought by COVID-19:
How has the pandemic changed consumer lifestyle patterns?
Realising that even the slightest of carelessness can not only put you in danger but also your family and neighbours instilled horrifc thoughts in our minds. This panic also gave various manufacturers an opportunity to sell sub-standard products in the market. Hence, it became imperative for consumers to become more informed and develop habits like reading and verifying products before buying them. Brands like WiZ working vigorously to keep India safe, started launching products like wet wipes and disinfectants to ensure that consumers can disinfect thoroughly. These products initially showed a slower growth rate but have now become an integral part of the consumer's cleaning routine. It is clear that modern-age consumers are ready to go over and beyond to ensure safety, efficacy and long-term advantages of products concerning personal hygiene.
" Brands like WiZ working vigorously to keep India safe, started launching products like wet wipes and disinfectants to ensure that consumers can disinfect thoroughly.These products initially showed a slower growth rate but have now become an integral part of the consumer's cleaning routine. "
Evolving market scenarios and challenges.
As the need for personal care, grooming and hygiene products witnessed a record surge during the pandemic, many giant businesses and large companies started manufacturing the same, which led to increased competition. Other factors like government controlling the price of products to keep them affordable for an average Indian household was an added woe. Amidst this rapidly evolving market, WiZ also had to keep the safety of both blue-collar and white-collar employees on priority. Providing adequate personal care essential products for over 136 crore Indians is not a small and easy feat. Similarly, continuing to manufacture despite the odds and confines of lockdown was highly exhaustive and demanding but Wiz managed to keep the ball rolling. Other challenges faced by the brand include prediction of changing consumer behaviour and creating products accordingly while spreading awareness around the same, and ensuring timely deliveries even when the logistics and supply chains were badly hit.
How WiZ initiatives paved the way for a sustainable and healthier future?
On the back of innovation, WiZ increased the production capacity with employee safety protocols in place. Instead of simply relying on marketing and product development, Wiz educated everyone and spread awareness around personal care products as many people started creating hand sanitizers and disinfectants at home during this phase. The brand emphasised on the need of quality and carefully manufactured products under the watchful eyes of experts for best results. One of the milestones of WiZ's journey during the pandemic is its development as a Direct to Consumer (DTC) brand. This made it easier for the brand to connect with the consumers and retailers directly and not through distributors. It also took a major step towards changing Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) sizes as present-day consumers started choosing ecologically sound packages due to substantial consumption. And finally, WiZ became more focused on changing landscapes of marketplaces and surge in online sales by paying more heed to the digitally native vertical than other platforms.
" One of the milestones of WiZ's journey during the pandemic is its development as a Direct to Consumer (DTC) brand. This made it easier for the brand to connect with the consumers and retailers directly and not through distributors. It also took a major step towards changing Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) sizes as present-day consumers started choosing ecologically sound packages due to substantial consumption. "
The temporary product trends which are permanent now:
1. Hand Sanitisers:As the foremost shield against Coronavirus, hand sanitisers and masks were mandatory for everyone. COVID-19's entry made hand sanitisers an essential commodity, and suddenly these tiny bottles started flying off the shelves. The Indian Prime Minister announced the first national lockdown, and suddenly the hand sanitisers were nowhere to be found. This shortage was shortly resolved after July. This year, owing to the changing dynamics of consumer behaviour, hand sanitisers have started transforming into a gel form. Unlike liquid hand sanitisers, gelled one comes with added moisturiser to dry out the skin.
2. Hand Wash: Several celebrities also shared their 15-30 seconds hand wash ritual to promote this habit. These promotional videos and awareness campaigns quickly advised people on not sharing a common soap, and these conventional habits can do more harm than good. Gradually, washing hands periodically became a habit that is likely to stay. Therefore, consumers have started opting for products filled with ingredients that can keep the natural moisture and nourishment intact. Since washing hands repeatedly with hard solutions can dehydrate and scrape the skin, it is better to opt for mild products integrated with essential oils.
3. Hand Sanitising Wipes: Hand Wipes were often considered posh products, but the pandemic convinced people about the importance of a cloth dipped in sanitiser. It is easier for disinfecting hands and cleanse germs, grime and dirt on any surface. These wipes are far easier to use and give better cleaning satisfaction to the user. The steady surge in its popularity is a clear indication that this product is here to stay.
4. Body Wash and Shower Gel: Gone are the days when a single soap was used by the family for shower and body wash needs. The pandemic has alerted people about their personal hygiene product choices and needs. Having a fruity and mind-blogging Shower Gel or Body Wash can not only boost you in the morning, but it can also wash away all dirt, grime, impurities, dust and tiredness after a long day. The younger generations are also particular about using products made with natural ingredients and essential oils that ensure proper nourishment with no side effects. Though the world is slowly yet steadily reeling back on track, there are a few changes that we need to adopt permanently. It is better to stay armed against viruses, bacteria, and other external diseases carrying microorganisms that can harm you or your loved ones. Therefore, it is advisable to continue the practice of staying vigilant of cleanliness and hygiene. As a leading advocate of top-notch hygiene standards and consumer well-being, the WiZ family will continue to assist and cater to individuals and societies' sanitation and hygiene needs today, tomorrow and beyond.
About Manisha Reetesh Dhingra
Manisha is an MBA in marketing from the Institute of Marketing Management, Pune. She has previously worked for Apollo Hospitals and served as the Business Head at Cossmic Products prior to co-founding WiZ in 2001. With over a decade of experience in the consumer goods market, she also led WiZ's initiative of sponsoring handwashes to 750 schools in the Palghar district for a year. A strategic thinker, Manisha envisions WiZ to be a household name nationwide in not too distant future. She aims to become one of the top 10 companies in the FMCG Personal Care space with an annual turnover of INR 500 Cr in the next ve years. She is keen to nurture the company into one that grows on the back of its employees where everyone contributes to the progress.