Whether we love or hate grocery shopping, we all, likely, spend a lot of time in supermarkets and convenience stores. According to the Time Use Institute, the average shopping trip takes 41 minutes. Even though online grocer shopping is growing, a full 83% of shoppers feel the need to walk those supermarket aisles. And, we’re not just shopping, we’re scouring aisle after aisle for the best deals and sifting through an ever-growing number of products to find what we are looking for.
Let’s face it, the average grocery store offers over 42,000 items! There’s more choice for the consumer, but less space for each individual brand. As quickly as consumers are stimulated by what’s next, do they really leave the store with any memorable brand interactions that result in loyalty and repeat purchase? It’s like a brilliantly terrible Super Bowl ad, wonderfully entertaining for a few seconds and then instantly forgettable.
Here are four ways that CPG brands can become the memorable choice for consumers:
1. Put the focus back on building the brands, rather than building a line of products.
Consumers may have different reasons for being brand loyal (alignment with personal beliefs, nostalgia, trust, quality, etc.), but they will keep coming back if you take the time to understand what it is that they want and love. Brand designs should communicate a distinctive feeling about the brand that reinforces the attraction of the brand and influences purchase.
2. Create brand designs that stand the test of time.
Since 50% of the brain is active in visual processing, your brand design must not only grab attention, but it must also have stopping power and stand the test of time. Make sure the design telegraphs the unique character of the brand, its defining properties, and its differentiating proposition.
3. Invest for the long-term.
Brands take time to build, so they must be nurtured and loved. They must be invested in, tweaked, contemporized over time as the world and consumers evolve. We live in a world of instant knowledge, of diversity in culture and taste. Brands that express and translate this to the supermarket shelf will reap the greatest rewards and will be remembered even after a consumer leaves the store.
4. Encourage design teams to explore powerful ideas over style
Parity on supermarket shelves coupled with a proliferation of new products has encouraged consumers to shop by price alone – a death knell for brand loyalty. Many of the packages look the same, born from a simple flat color styling with a list of words defining the proposition. Consumers simply can’t tell the difference or remember what they saw when it all looks rather similar. Find what’s memorable and powerful about your brand essence and translate it across all consumer-facing touchpoints, especially packaging. Do the following test to measure the power: when a consumer closes their eyes, can they sketch your package from memory? That’s as pure an indication of brand success that you’ll ever find.
Consumers crave exciting stories, ones with depth, passion, risk, potential and hope. Brands can tap into this and use it to their advantage by adopting the diversity of thinking and borrowing from what we observe in other art forms. Brands that take risks and challenge the conventions of monotony will stand out from competitors, engender loyalty and repeat purchase. Appealing to everyone may be the less risky alternative, but that’s at the expense of being loved by no one.