Skip to main content
Ujwal Arkalgud is a renowned Cultural Anthropologist and co-founder of Motivbase. Arkalgud shares his thoughts on how your customer is thinking, feeling and behaving differently — and at times the same — because of the pandemic.

In this new six-part video series, Tony Chapman asks Canadian business leaders and seasoned entrepreneurs how small business owners can navigate today’s new economy.

Ujwal Arkalgud is a renowned Cultural Anthropologist and co-founder of Motivbase. In this episode, The Changing Face of the Canadian Consumer, he offers powerful advice for every business owner on how to stay in step with their customer, or risk being passed by.

Use your knowledge to connect with customers

While COVID-19 has certainly created short-term impacts and changes to the way Canadians live their lives, some of these changes are likely here to stay. Arkalgud believes that consumers’ developing knowledge — particularly around health, well-being and food — will continue to influence purchase behaviour over the long-term. By bringing your unique knowledge to consumers — knowledge that’s not available through a big box store clerk or online system — you can connect with consumers and establish enduring relationships.

Focus on your core audience

While small business owners are often looking to expand their net and gain new customers, Arkalgud explains that this is best done by in fact narrowing the focus to the customers who really care about what you’re selling. “Once you establish stability with that core audience, stragglers will come because your core audience won’t stop raving about the experience you deliver,” explains Arkalgud.

Convenience only goes so far

The pandemic has highlighted consumers’ affection for easy, online shopping. “It’s like having a vending machine on your phone,” says Tony Chapman of apps like Amazon. At the same time, Canadians have developed a new passion for their communities, recognizing the importance of having a vibrant main street and supporting local business. While convenience will certainly win out a lot of the time, it’s not the only factor in a purchase decision. “For purchases people care about, they don’t care so much about convenience,” says Arkalgud. The key is, therefore, to deliver a product or experience that is truly meaningful to consumers.

See what other Canadian business leaders and entrepreneurs have to say about navigating today’s changing business landscape in our Small Business Month Video Series.