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Getting Up and Close with the Consumers

The way people communicate, get entertainment, shop, and socialize has changed dramatically. Thanks to the smartphone, access to consumers has also changed. It is now possible to reach people across geographies, socio-economic status, cultures and ethnicities without any prohibitive barriers like high costs and distance.

We at Lumière recently explored a new dimension of moderation with consumers across the globe sitting comfortably back at our offices. While we have been doing social media listening for the last couple of years in India, this was the first time that we scaled it across continents. The big discovery is that connecting via internet can build trust and confidence to enable an engaging and purposeful discussion. Instant messaging has proved to be yet another catalyst to connecting with modern age consumers on a real-time basis over the internet.

We pick one topic to cover in all the countries and are able to pick up regional nuances while discussing each of them.  The respondents selected are articulate, candid and well-engaged throughout the exercise. The icing on the cake are the personal anecdotes, pictures and videos that they share to supplement their views.

On the topic of parenting, while non-millennials admitted to be far more lenient as parents, millennials felt that parents today are too soft with their kids, and rated their own parents as better equipped for parenting. Participants speak of the role technology plays in parenting. It is seen more as a deterrent than an enabler by many, and most cite it as a major barrier in exercising control over their kids. Consumers across the globe are concerned about child safety. Internet has enabled an easy access to information and connectedness, however wisdom is valued just as much. Grandparents are seen to have a contributing role in the household in helping the family raise the children right. Millennials view parenting as a life altering choice and want to take on the role of parenting responsibly.

On the topic of environmental issues, participants take responsibility for bringing and adopting the change, and are aware of the initiatives being taken around them. Some particularly inspiring stories are of initiatives taken to reverse the negative effects of human activity on the environment, like returning the land to lush green forest, where it had turned barren after cultivation in Africa.  The sentiment of collective responsibility towards protecting the environment is widespread. Individual households recognise the contribution to the cause of the environment. A change in managing waste is seen as an important step in healing the environment.

It is exciting to learn about lives and lifestyle of people across continents, and this was only the tip of iceberg. There is great potential in such interactions and richness of insight that such interactions can provide, and seek many more such opportunities to get up and close with consumers worldwide.

1992 - 1996
1996
1997 - 2001
1999
2001 - 2007
2013 - 2019
1992-1996

Initiation

Deepa starts working at Hindustan Unilever Ltd., and after working there for a few years decides to take a career break to take care of her son. The family plans to move to Jamaica, and she wishes to resume working. There are not a lot of opportunities post a career break for her, and this makes her realise the plight of women all across the world who are trying to resume working after taking a break. The seed for Lumière is planted. Deepa joins J.A. Young Research Ltd. to get back to her roots, and ultimately decides to start her own firm under her CA's advise.

1996

Beginning

Start of Lumière Consultancy in Jamaica

1997-2001

Incubation

The family is aching to return to India, and post the birth of her second child, Deepa gets an offer from HUL to rejoin them. She has an itch to make it on her own, and so declines. This results in a different type of engagement between the two, and Lumière engages exclusively with HUL by expanding their scope. Deepa builds a stronghold in consumer behavior, and Lumière develops into an entity of its own. Inception of 'Consumer Centricity', which is their future key to strength, begins. With an expansion in their work, they need more resources and a group of like-minded talented professional women to join the team. Lumière gives them solace, a place to grow, rebuild their careers, and achieve goals beyond their expectations. They begin with mentoring initiatives, with an urge to inspire young individuals. People approach them through word-of-mouth, references, and to create opportunities beyong market research, Lumière becomes a Pvt. Ltd. company.

1999

Establishing

An opportunity arises to be a part of something big, to analyse the growth mindset and the creation of a best practice document for sequential recycling. Lumière makes an impact across categories and branches into Product Testing and Category Creation.

2001-2007

Invigoration

Lumière touches ₹ 1 crore. Their brochure is presented at MRSI. The company turns 10, and Milind joins the team as an observer. This becomes the phase of Lumière's upheavel: from scaling up, digitization and automation of processes, to plugging in leakages across departments and accounts. Their billings reach ₹ 3 crores.

2013-2019

Innovation

Rashmi Bansal dedicates a chapter of her book 'Follow Every Rainbow' to Deepa and Lumière. The company enters adulthood, and they facilitate change management for Lumière. The introduction of the Gallup Strengths to the portfolio is a game changer. A revamp of the technological infrastructure ensues, giving way to an articulation of Lumière 3.0.