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Are you a Jab or a Jab Not?

The Managing Director, Inexgro Brand Advisory, dissects what the Covid vaccine means for India’s social-economic scenario and the industry at large

Shivaji Dasgupta

At the present time, the world is divided between those who have received the vaccine and those who have not. Wholly differing behaviour patterns are expected from these two cohorts, thus offering a potent albeit temporary segmentation variable for business owners. 

Jabs almost invariably bear an air of underrated supremacy, as if blessed with a booster dose of longevity by the almighty. It seems and feels that all other mortality conspirators are suitably demoralised, such is the prolificity of the miracle vaccine. Their elation is resplendent on social media while a marked increase in social interactions is noted, resurgence of cases be damned. But do spare a feeling for those habituated to under-declaration of demographic vitals as they have to avail of the post-45 benefits rather sotto voice, on Facebook and in the Kitty Party.

Jab Nots are maintaining morale with a straight face, not entirely convinced that they are less likely recipients of the novel ailment. While most belong to this category via disqualification, there are certain glorious abstainers, doubting science and backing destiny. Quite strangely both the lots consider this to be a deserving license — the youngsters pleasing the malls with resounding footfalls while the elders finding yet another alibi to be Greta Garbo, perhaps a long-suppressed wish in any case.

But for hassled marketers, the possibilities are indeed significant as some unique forms of segregation may well be applied. Imagine hotels, restaurants and multiplexes launching a Jabs-only policy for entry or at least pricing, encouraging an environment of perceptual safety. The aviation sector offers separate levels of screening for the entire process and this being emulated by the hospitals as well. Loosely with the intent of offering an expressway of normalcy for those amply protected while the community still untouched must conform to greater safeguards. Look, I know that cases are rising even among those who have been vaccinated, but that is a largely passing statistic, as per experts.

The wellness industry, thriving blissfully, must consider customised solutions for the various milestones of the journey. Perhaps an enhanced dose of immunity-boosting for those in between the dosages while post-completion that is reduced. This solution as a logic can be flawed but the approach is not and responding to customer journeys can lead to opportune outcomes, whether yoghurts or immunisers. It is blisteringly hot and the air-conditioning sector must arrive with a point of view in terms of viral transmission — perhaps recommend social distancing and masks within public environments. While in other news Ola and Uber drivers have rendered their vehicles non-AC in many states, actually to save diesel, while this can be easily repackaged as an anti-Covid gambit.

But in this branding rigmarole, the larger point of segmentation cannot be missed and must indeed be amplified. The Government must mobilise Jabs to influence others in their cohort to vaccinate hastily, as a duty of the taxpayer and not just a mere fancy. Social media can play a due role in motivating and educating — that the science is safe but the protection is more like a mosquito net and not a metallic armour. That there may be the occasional slippages but that is a surprising rarity and not a consistent regularity. For the Jab Nots, the ‘mera number aayega’ cliche must be reinforced and in fact this section can well influence the eligible ones to do the needful. Intuitive logic suggesting moderately that the unprotected is better protected if more vulnerable are indeed protected. OTT platforms and TV serials can encourage this adoption by showing real-life, in-film vaccination, of characters who are influential. While generally it must be noted that the pop culture brigade has not come to the party in full strength yet, perhaps due to elections or cricket.

Each one of us today is either a Jab or a Jab Not. The Jab is on top of the world and looking down on creation, a flamboyant Shatrughan Sinha or a demure Amol Palekar, depending on volition. The Jab Not is also on top of the world courtesy bullish bravado, more Shahid Afridi than Brain Lara in certainty of stroke play. But in tandem they represent a short-term yet high returns segmentation opportunity, open to every marketer with the vision and the outcome.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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