The consumer goods industry continues to experience major shifts. Changing demographics and generational influences are also creating new styles and trends.
The way consumers are purchasing products and services has also evolved. Today’s mobile-enabled consumers are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating their purchasing decisions. They will choose the brands most relevant to them at an increasingly rapid pace — and they’ll pay a premium.
Consider how Craft has become the new premium in the alcoholic beverage category. Consumers are happy to pay more for smaller-batch, more hand-crafted options, rather than those that are mass-produced. The consumer desire for new experiences has also led to more new drink styles and flavors than ever before.
And we are already seeing how new and emerging technology can play a key role in delivering these experiences. Look at how Intelligent Brewing Company invites consumers to provide input on flavor and carbonation levels, which is then fed into the brewery’s algorithm to produce new recipes that are refined using real-time consumer feedback.
In fact, consumers are coming to expect products and services be created just for them, such as food and drinks custom-made for their individual genetic makeup or adapted to their unique anatomy.
Brands will soon be able to go even further and tailor a product or an interaction to an individual’s particular mood. That’s personalization on a whole new level, and it won’t just mean matching products with consumers’ tastes, needs, or even their DNA.
For consumer goods companies, the implications of this form of precision manufacturing will take companies far beyond mere supply chain and fulfillment challenges. Manufacturing itself will need to change dramatically. Expect to see brands increase their ability to make very late-stage product adjustments, as well as moving manufacturing much closer to consumers.
If constant change is the new normal, companies must learn to continually flex and adapt by developing fine-tuned abilities to sense, shape and respond to each key consumer trend and market development.
More than ever, we are seeing that today’s digitally enabled consumers are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating their purchasing decisions. Relevance is becoming the key brand differentiator. And consumers are willing to go the extra mile to ensure they get it -- by actively participating in all aspects of the brand.
However, the reality is that there can be no one-size-fits-all approach, since there is no “typical” consumer, and everyone’s needs will vary depending on time and context. And in this new era of digitally born disruptors and consumer control, purchases will increasingly be determined based on a brand’s relevance to the buyer’s needs in the moment.
This means consumer goods companies must seek to develop a sophisticated understanding of the specific consumer, geographical, and product opportunities available — and move with new precision-targeted strategies and business models to capture them.
To succeed, companies will need to draw on vast amounts of consumer data and unlock the analytics insights to boost sales and strengthen omnichannel capabilities, so consumers receive the same levels of personalized convenience however they choose to shop.
Importantly, they must seek to connect with those consumers through creative user experiences crafted via modern, data-driven marketing propositions, using a whole ecosystem of services, technologies and partners.
Successful consumer goods companies will be those who capture the value of the rapidly evolving digital technologies and focus efforts on building a company with the capabilities to deliver relevance at scale. Getting that right will be the secret to future success and growth.