Shoppers now have more information at their fingertips than ever before. This is a challenge for retailers who do not have a digital footprint.  Content is king, always.  Content includes all the relevant information about your product including different ways to enjoy it. It can improve the retailer’s ability to educate and support its customer base.

How is your retailer meeting your needs in the digital age?

The term customer centricity has become very popular in the CPG (Consumer Package Goods) industry.  Some companies use it the way others use the term “natural.” As a result, its meaning is dramatically diluted.  The term is meant to focus on the needs of the shopper.

Remember with the expression that “if you want to understand somebody you need to walk a mile in their shoes”? Brands and retailers need to put themselves in their shopper’s shoes.

Consumers today are smarter and more knowledgeable than at any other time in our history with all of our available technology. Most of us carry powerful smartphones capable of delivering tremendous amounts of information and opinions about the products we’re interested in as well as how shoppers use the products.

Some brands today are capable of telling you when a product was grown, produced, and how it was manufactured including if it is organic, non-GMO, etc.  Savvy consumers want to know whats in their food and how it was produced along with detailed information about all of its ingredients. More importantly, shoppers can access this wealth of information while they are shopping.

Customers now have more choices when it comes to the products they buy and the retailers they shop at.  Most brands and retailers forget that consumers vote with their wallets. The standard practice has been to tell consumers what they want to buy with the notion that a retailer or brand could force shoppers choices by limiting their selection at the shelf or lowering the price. Simply adding a different flavoring to a tired snack is not true innovation. The brands and retailers adhering to this archaic way of thinking will continue to find themselves losing shelf space.

I’ve heard estimates that consumers shop as many as 12 different retailers on a regular basis. This is because many of their needs are left unmet and there are so many online and store front choices. This highlights the opportunity for retailers and brands to better listen to their shoppers wants and needs and to work hard to capture more of the items on their shopping lists.  This is how you drive sustainable sales and gain a significant competitive advantage in any channel and in any economy. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? The truth is that most retailers and brands struggle with this. This is where true category management can produce a significant sustainable competitive advantage.

The natural channel is the incubator for new product innovation. New product innovation fuels the growth in all product categories at retail and creates the excitement at retail that attracts new and loyal shoppers. The success of natural product brands and retailers is their ability to remain closely connected to their committed shoppers. Think of it as a customer loyalty program that’s tied directly to your R&D department.

Giving consumers what they want and need should be at the heart of every product’s development, sales, category assortment, promotional strategy, and marketing conversation.

The Essential New Item Checklist – The Recipe For Success

Empowering Brands | Raising The Bar

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