1) The Connected Consumer: The era of the wired consumer is in full swing with no end in sight. Consumers will now always have the ability to go shopping and to research product information with the swipe of a finger, as a result, shopping trips as we know them are changed forever. Brands, brick & mortar retailers, and digital retailers not only need to keep pace with the consumer but also meet the consumer where they are most comfortable. To remain competitive, understanding CPG brands and retailers need to understand the consumers shopping patterns and preferences. Moving forward, designing the shopping experience around the connected consumers will be the standard operating procedure moving forward. As such, leveraging marketing technology and integrating influencer marketing with store experiences is critical.
2) Once in a Generation Shift from “Wealth to Health”: There has been a once in a generation global lifestyle shift to consumers demanding services and products that improve their lives. From wearable tech like fitness trackers, to gluten free food and beverages, consumers are now more than emotionally and intellectually connected with the CPG brands they purchase. With thumb-tip access to an incredible amount of product information, Amazon or Google reviews, and influencer opinions, consumers form a data-based opinion about your brand or store before even coming into physical contact with it. Demonstrating to the consumer how your products improve their life is part of the secret. Connecting with them through event marketing and influencer marketing to bring your product to life is the other part of the secret.
3) Just-for-Me Personalization is All the Rage: Coca-Cola’s “name on the bottle” promotion as an example was a massive success. Or now being able to select a gluten-free option from the vending machine or convenience store shelf. CPG brands need to personalize the brand experience for the consumer to match their individual preferences and tastes. Brands that offer personalized experiences for consumers enjoy a 50% higher brand loyalty rate.
4) Agile Supply Chain: Consumer trends and preferences change swiftly. To remain competitive, CPG companies need to implement agile supply chains that are not only flexible but also innovative and cost effective. Consumer preferences shift like never before in history, so supply chain forecasts need to solve complex planning and logistical puzzles in real-time. As the number of private label CPG brands enter the marketplace, brands need to be innovative to increase market penetration, defend current shelf space, and protecting their premium costs. Today’s consumer dictates where and when they purchase and receive their product, so supply chain management is mission since the “last mile of distribution” is the longest.
5) Regulatory & Globalization Challenges: There are two distinct force at here. First, brand’s have increased pressure to increase topline sales that forces to many CPG brands to race to launch new innovative products in emerging across the globe. However, each region or country have very different regulatory environment. An ingredient in the formula allowed in the EU may not be allowed in Vietnam. A claim stated on the packaging in the U.S. in accordance with FSMA rules could be invalid due to the regulatory environment in Australia. CPG manufacturers need to manage all the unique regulatory environments across the globe as brands race to grab global market share to meet changing consumer trends. In addition, brands need to work with an experienced CPG marketing and PR agency that understands the regulatory operating environments and creates marketing and PR campaigns that are in compliance.
6) Influencer Marketing: Plain and simple, 92% of consumers trust an influencer over an advertisement or celebrity endorsement. CPG influencer marketing is only going to increase as more brands attempt to create an emotional connection with their brands. For emerging CPG brands, they turn to mirco-influencers to reach a niche consumer. Either way, forms of word-of-mouth advertising like influencer marketing are now part of the brand experience and sales cycle.
Unlike many industries, the consumer packaged goods and retail industries are never idle, which continues to make it challenging for brands to remain competitive. CPG brands will be rewarded if their integrated marketing, public relations, and influencer marketing meet and exceed consumer expectations to delight them with your products’ benefits and innovation.