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FMCS – A Growing Market

Fast Moving Consumer Services are moving very fast


Everyone knows about the FMCG – Fast Moving Consumer Goods, industry. However, in the last few years there has emerged a very strong category, which I call as FMCS – Fast Moving Consumer Services.

An Executive health check-up at Hinduja hospital in the West or Apollo Hospital in the South is a fast moving consumer service. People come in the morning, get a comprehensive health check-up done and are able to walk away with the report in the evening. There is a thorough interaction with every doctor with a check up done in a very professional manner. FMCS example.

You want to buy and sell stocks, you can interact with the stockbroker on the phone or the Internet and he could quickly guide you and action your instruction. This too is another FMCS illustration growing by leaps and bounds.

Walk into an ATM and withdraw money at any point in time, making life easy and convenient for the consumer. All banks all over India have tremendous amount of ATMs servicing the consumer. This too is a fast moving consumer service.

Want to send an urgent draft for your college admission or do you want to send an urgent beta for telecast on a TV channel to catch the scheduled date – in either case go ahead and use an express courier service which is another example of the growing FMCS industry.

I call this service industry the FMCS industry and I coined this term way back in 1999, when the industry was at its nascent stage. Today 52% of the GDP of the country is accounted for by the service industry. This industry, like the FMCG industry, is a consumer industry touching the minds and hearts of millions of consumers. It is important to make sure that this fast moving consumer service industry (FMCS) is sensitively nurtured, progressively handled and excellently delivered.

In the last two decades, the computer education industry has gone through twist and turns all the while serving the consumer through its network, its faculty, its content and its curriculum. Serving billions of students show casing another facet of the FMCS industry.

Entering a Crossword store to browse and enjoy the pleasure of reading, across 30 stores in India is a clear representation of the FMCS industry. The product being sold is a book, but the service being provided is a fast moving service. The ambience, the customer service and the personal attention paid all leads it to be a fast moving service.

Over a period of time the proportion of expenditure by the consumers has had a slight shift towards services. These include telecommunications, hotels, hospitals, music, insurance, electricity, education and entertainment. Infact, the FMCG, plus the FMCS industries comprise the total consumer industry in the country. Both categories tug at each other in terms of attention and spends and at the same time are natural allies supplementing each other’s brand building efforts.

The concept of the Fast Moving Consumer Service in India is often shrouded in myth and mystery. For the same reason, it does not get the importance it deserves. I would like, therefore, to start with debunking some of the more popular myths.
Myth 1 : Fast Moving Consumer Service is nothing more than After Sales Service. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fast Moving Consumer Service takes place before, during and after the sale.
Myth 2: Fast Moving Consumer Service is practised only by Fast Moving Consumer Service Executives.Wrong. Everyone in the organisation dealing with internal and external customers should practice Fast Moving Consumer Service.
Myth 3: The Fast Moving Consumer Service is the Complaints Department. This is a reactive approach and is completely off the mark. Fast Moving Consumer Service should be proactive, preventing something wrong from happening in the first place.
Myth 4: Fast Moving Consumer Service is practised only in the service industry. Bang off target. Besides services, Fast Moving Consumer Service could and should be practiced the full consumer industry.
Myth5: Fast Moving Consumer Service is for correcting wrongs or pacifying customers.
Incorrect. Fast Moving Consumer Service is to make sure that the customer’s expectations are met. It gives the customer Hope, Confidence, Faith and Joy.
Hope, Confidence, Faith and Joy. These are what the customer takes home with him before, during and after the sale. The Brand Experience that follows is what will decide whether he will come back for more. And that is what successful marketing is all about. Wooing a customer, Winning him over. Keeping him satisfied and making him come back for repeats.
A Fast Moving Consumer Service Professional can make or mar a brand depending on the Brand Experience he delivers. Even though a brand is good, it may be destroyed in a customer’s mind due to a bad BrandExperience. A smile, a nod, eye contact, touch, feel, taste, voice, speech --- all these are parts of the Brand Experience, as are all the tangible and intangible elements of the Brand.

The equity of the brand is a dynamic concept. It is alive, and just like a human being who breaths, a brand continuously gives its customers a Brand Experience. The Fast Moving Consumer Service Professional is the custodian of the brand. He either adds or subtracts to its equity.

Through his action or inaction. And through this process he gives the customer a Brand Experience that is either good or bad. Brand Experience is a crucial influencing factor in the life of a brand. To achieve Brand Experience, Fast Moving Consumer Service standards must be set and must be met.

If beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, a brand’s perceived value lies in the mind and heart of the customer.

Marketeers must use technology, customer service, penetration and innovation to build the FMCS category whether in restaurants or banking or travel or even ancillary industries like décor and grooming services. The FMCS industry has come of age and marketeers must wake up to the opportunity to serve the Indian consumer in a world class manner.

Copyright © 2005, All rights reserved with Jagdeep Kapoor – Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
No part of this document may be modified, reproduced, stored, deleted or introduced in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means (Electronic, Mechanical, Photocopying, Recording or Otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner of the document.

The author is Jagdeep Kapoor, Brand Guru and Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy.
Tel: (022) 28477700/7701 (022) 28470214/15
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E-mail : jkapoor@samsika.com