In a post-recession environment, it’s not just the usual car, home and holiday that is worrying the upwardly mobile, urban Indian. It’s also the latest buzz word: terrorism. After the mid-February blast in Pune—a comparatively smaller city with a large student population—terrorism is suddenly back and very close to home. The bombing was a reminder that terrorism could happen on the flight my husband takes, the hotel I stay on a business trip and the bakery where my daughter hangs out. Violence, fear and terror have caught up with a social stratum that until now believed it was untouchable, and the general feeling is that no place is too safe—yet one cannot stop living life.
Reflecting this new unease are the status lines of many Facebookers after the blast:
“I can’t believe it, really … considering we used to travel down that road pretty much all the time.”
“I can’t believe anything like this could happen … not in Pune … I guess I was wrong …”
At a time when consumers are coping with the idea that they have little control over their safety, do brands have a role to play? It seems that brands can help by doing what they do best—helping to buoy spirits by offering optimism and empowering consumers to feel they are back in charge of their destiny. Financial products and health care brands especially have an opportunity to create an environment of security, concern and care that will resonate in today’s anxious times.