The Benefits of Design Research to FMCGs in Nigeria

Created April 02, 2020 The Business Value of Design

Once upon a time Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) sold to consumers with so much ease. There wasn’t much competitors in the market, especially on a local level, so foreign entrants sunk their roots into developing economies and locked down a good following of consumers as the middle class rose. Effective distribution and partnership models also played a huge role in establishing FMCGs in the market.

Fast forward to today, however, factors such as technology, the new mindset of the rising millennial and Gen Z generation, fast rise of e-commerce and the new age of brand building (via digital especially), FMCGs face threats now and stand to face greater threats in the coming future.

These days, competitors come in wielding different swords, ‘buy local’, sustainability, driving purpose and human connections to build their brand following and sell their goods.  More so, innovation is taking centre stage, due to the competitive landscape and consumer preferences, moving brands to deliver not just out of the box solutions, but ones that resonate with the lifestyle and values of the consumer. This is all boosted by the world of data, A.I. and IoT.

Marketing is a whole other ball game, gone are the days when thousands of dollars and millions of Naira poured into marketing result in significant growth. Nowadays, these things only push the needle of growth by a little. Now we have informed and purpose-driven consumers who will only do business with brands that fuel their passions. Now consumers would much sooner have the goods designed and delivered conveniently to them, as they go about their daily lives, without interruption, as they should.

Today’s consumer is not only well aware of what is good for them, but the internet has made it possible to pick and choose from a plethora of choices that answer to every consumer’s specific unique lifestyle and aspiration, as it were.

This is just a look into the challenges FMCG’s face today: to answer to the needs of customers everywhere, while still remaining cutting-edge with the goods they deliver and stay competitive as they grow.

This is not an easy feat. However, no one said it was impossible.

So how can today’s Fast Moving Consumer Goods entities rise to the occasion?

 

In looking for avenues to serve consumers, Design Research offers companies opportunities to uncover real needs, solve unaddressed problems and provide significant value for today’s consumer.

 

By digging in to find out what the customer is desiring, even beyond the context of the solution the company is providing and seeing how to meet customer needs through their products, and experiences.

This is the value Design Research offers FMCGs.

What is Design Research? And how is it different from Market Research already practiced by FMCGs?

It is the practice of studying people using design methods, it takes from Design Thinking, Ethnography (study of people’s cultures) and Anthropology (the study of humans and their behaviours), to understand consumer behaviour, emotions, lifestyle patterns and culture, taking that information to better meet the needs of the market.

This is invaluable for businesses in general, much specifically Fast-Moving Consumer Goods, because these products are not only created for people’s use and consumption, but they are (or should be) designed to fit into people’s daily lives. This, when done right leads to brand loyalty, profitability and market dominance.

One of the key features of Design Research, is getting deep into the problems consumers are facing, it helps with clarifying the problem(s) people are facing, peeling back layers of shallow and simulated problems so the real issues are recognised and dealt with.

So, instead of Diary Company B following Diary Company A’s approach to creating strawberry and chocolate flavoured milk, Diary Company B, can actually take a step back to study dairy consumers. How do they purchase the products? Why do they use it? How do they use it? The questions are endless, and so are the resulting answers and possibilities.

 

So, instead of Diary Company B following Diary Company A’s approach to creating strawberry and chocolate flavoured milk, Diary Company B, can actually take a step back to study dairy consumers. How do they purchase the products? Why do they use it? How do they use it? The questions are endless, and so are the resulting answers and possibilities.

 

In looking for avenues to serve consumers, Design Research offers companies opportunities to uncover real needs, solve unaddressed problems and provide significant value for today’s consumer.

As many Design Researchers and Design Thinkers will argue, going this route reduces a company’s need for overly excessive advertising. Why? Well because consumers become your mouthpiece, sharing the good news of your product with their loved ones, friends and network.

  • DODO admin

    Susan

    CEO DODO DESIGN AGENCY

    Susan is an avid lover of design. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, eating or admiring anything that’s a combination of aesthetics and functionality done right.

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