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As we enter a new decade, the opportunities that exist for Fast Moving Consumer Goods’ (FMCGs) companies are endless. First off, the very profitable FMCG space holds great possibility within the massive low income consumer populace who are said to spend over 50% of their income on consumer goods. Beyond that, consumers these days are quickly moving beyond engaging with brands that only sell tangible commodities*, to brands that have sought out ways to meet their consumers, today, stand to gain from these areas of opportunity to bring solutions to market that capture consumers’s hearts (and wallets).
Its now 2020 and more than ever competition is fierce, the customer is empowered (as it should be) and the top position is up for grabs for the brand that leverages the trends that have proved successful around the world and across industries, we’re sharing 3 trends that FMCGs can benefit from as they journey in a new decade and how you can apply them.
Today’s customer is increasingly more interested in experiences than in actual products, it not enough that these experiences have to be pleasant and near perfect, these days, they must embody a set of values that customers can relate to and be a part of. We find this key trend across all industries, one of the reason’s Beyonce’s Coachella was incredibly successful, was because she drew from a controversial and deeply emotional topic occurring right now amongst humanity, which is equality, building her entire performance from it. Her performance immediately became way more than just a performance.
Other trends that add to the overall customer experience, is customer’s need of seamless interactions and transactions, omni-channel presence and personalisation.
Customers are into experiences, and gravitate toward brands the share their values and empower them through personalisation. Anyone remember the Coca Cola global campaign that took the world by storm?
How You Can Apply This Trend:
FMCG brands need to take a stand and represent causes that align with their brand values, causes that speak to deep issues that consumers also resonate with. Not stopping there, they need to tie these in with their offerings, so a product is no longer just a product, but has immense meaning to the consumer, this is one way of transforming a product into an experience.
D2C, direct-to-consumer is another way FMCG brands can greatly impact the customer’s experience. While many FMCG brands may not have the luxury to fully or partly control the entire supply chain, sometimes due to concerns around cutting into distributors’ piece of the pie, there are ways to leverage on the D2C trend to increase customer and brand engagement and even benefiting distributes along side. By understanding customers’ needs in regards to how they ingest your product, how they interact with the packaging, by looking at their entire end to end experience with your product, opportunities arise to improve, inverse, better, optimise their experience.
Technology is one of those trends that is constantly evolving, due to this reason, FMCG businesses must aim to be at the cutting-edge of technology as it evolves. Today, there’s Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Analytics, even e-commerce are all avenues that FMCG brands can use to innovate and compete in the industry. KIND snacks is a company that has successfully done this by their offerings and delivery. By leveraging technology to boost brand engagement and no doubt bottom line for healthy fruit & nut snack bars, their website allows customers learn quickly and easily the types of snack bars and their benefits. By categorising the snack bars according to customers’ taste preferences and their lifestyle. KIND has also seemed to master the art of selling more than a product, the company launched The Kind Foundation encouraging people to live more kindly, the founder has also founded initiatives Feed the Truth and PeaceWorks Inc. to give back to society.
How you can Apply This Trend:
Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Data analytics are just a few of the ways FMCG brands can use technology to enhance their customers’ experiences, increase brand engagement, reduce costs and drive efficiency. As data and smart phones become more and more accessible, brands need to explore ways they can increase their relationships with customers, if customers are no longer just seeking out products but experiences, exciting and meaningful experiences that align with their values, brands need to use every available means technology offers to connect with customers. Data analytics for instance allows brands to use a deeper understanding of customers, which leads to better relationships. Beyond customer engagement, technology can benefit FMCG brands by sales and distribution aiding softwares.
Sustainability, ‘focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.’ Focusing on the 3 “pillars of economic, environmental, and social—also known informally as profits, planet, and people.”* This trend is as old as it is new as advocates have been lobbying for the public and private sector to take the planet and our treatment of it more seriously. Over the years, marketing has created terms like ‘Environmentally Friendly’, eco-friendly- and ‘green’, as sustainability has gained even a wider appeal.This has made brands open up to the notion of being eco-friendly fuelled by consumers’ growing interest, knowledge and passion of it.
FMCG brands are at the cusp of this trend and can seize the opportunity to drive eco-friendliness and sustainability within their products and processes. Even more letting customer know where they stand, to drive further brand engagement with consumers who consider it a huge part of their ethos.
How you can Apply This Trend:
Due to the large percentage of goods consumed in the FMCG industry, FMCGs really have the power to address consumption and waste management through sustainability. For example, introducing healthier and more natural product choices and ingredients and introducing processes and ways of working and into their business that reduce waste and conserve energy. This trend could ride on another trend, the ‘hyper-local trend of catering to communities and the ‘home grown’ factor, where companies use locally grown materials and produce instead of importing.
People are more than ever conscious about things they consume, nowadays, you find people pausing to read the packaging on products, asking questions and probing further.
The Information Age has exposed general practices in manufacturing that wasn’t so obvious in previous eras, yet this shouldn’t be a disadvantage to FMCGs, but an opportunity to be more environmentally friendly from products to processes, while connecting with consumers that share the same values.