Published on March 27, 2012

How to Market FMCG in 2012

With many of us feeling the effects of the recession, from rising petrol prices to sacrificing taken-for-granted amenities, it’s surprising to hear luxury fashion brands such as Burberry are experiencing booming growth in sales.  Nick Hughes, Marketing Magazine journalist, labels this confusing trend as a pattern of ‘conflicted’ consumerism, where consumers are willing to treat themselves to premium items in some areas and scale back on others. This trend is effecting several areas of the market but it is having a particularly, large impact on the FMCG market, leaving consumers to choose from branded items or own-label supermarket options.

Branded mid-market products such as toothpaste and toilet roll, are having to re-evaluate their current marketing strategies to fit the ‘conflicted’ consumers needs.  The obvious choice is to lower the price of FMCG, yet this method only provides a short-term solution to the larger problem at hand, engaging the consumer and retaining loyalty during tough times. It’s easy for consumers to pick own-labelled brands with the vast amount of choice on offer, but instead consumers are showing signs of wanting more from the mid-market brands they’ve known and trusted for years.

The key to utilising this consumer want is through innovation, innovation in products, from the brands they’ve bought for years. Consumers want to know they are getting more for their money when they buy a branded product, innovative products must provide added benefits to the consumer’s lifestyle. FMCG are also learning, that the notion ‘one size fits all’ is outdated, instead brands must create and market products which cater to different consumer pockets and preferences, under the single umbrella of FMCG. For instance, creating eco-friendly toilet paper, scented toilet paper and designer toilet paper, caters to various needs and wants of the consumer.

So with a variety of innovative products from brands, what’s the best way to market them?

  1. Research – With the ‘conflicted’ consumer trend growing, it’s important for brands to research their market, as basing product launches on ‘old’ data could lead to a failed marketing campaign. During recessions it’s particularly important to understand what the consumer wants – do not assume they have the same needs as before.
  2. Benefits – Whatever your product’s USP is and prime benefits are, make sure they are clearly marketed to the consumer. In the ever-increasing dense market of FMCG, with hundreds of choices to be made, consumers must understand WHY they should buy your product over a competitor. Don’t get lost in the midst of fancy design and advertising – clear and simple messages are effective in tough times.
  3. Innovation – Just as your product is innovative, allow your marketing to be too. Aim to create campaigns which combine exciting and ‘new’ ways of engaging the audience to tie in with your product. Try to think outside the box, if you’re innovative marketing campaign is as good as your product, you’re on to a winner!

The FMCG market is set to be challenged over the next couple of years and is already proving to be, but with marketers’ sights set on the consumer and their evolving needs, it’s bound to be the most rewarding of times for any company.

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