Importance of industry insight-achieving differentiation
Alongside the likes of the fashion industry, the FMCG industry is seemingly one of the fastest-moving and the most susceptible to changing trends. In today’s overcrowded market, brands are required to showcase significant points of differentiation in order to stand out. To stay ahead of the game, large Private Label manufacturers are recognizing the power of industry insight to innovate, which will ultimately drive growth. Continuously thinking of new, inventive ways to keep a brand relevant and top of mind is therefore essential for brands.
So where do brand managers gather this industry insight?
Innovative new concepts are very often born from a variety of different ideas, sources and opinions. To make important and effective brand decisions, which will lead to innovation, it is critical that Brand Managers explore all these information sources. This will ensure their brand has the greatest opportunity to stand out. The time spent exploring the wealth of information sources available will ultimately lead to the generation of truly groundbreaking products that are likely to successfully capture the attention of the desired target audience.
See below for a few examples of these information sources.
In a Trace One Collaboration Survey, it was established that over two in five (42%) respondents felt that a lack of insight about consumer needs was one of the top collaboration challenges they face with Private Label development and management. We all know the well-known saying, ‘the customer is always right,’ and therefore one of the most important sources of insight for Brand Managers to understand is the customer themselves! Effective data collection through customer engagement, surveys and analysis of purchasing behavior are key to gathering quality customer insight.
Due to the rapid progression of the digital world, customers are more demanding than ever before, meaning brands are obliged to pursue new technologies in order to invent innovative products and likewise to enhance their ability to create valuable insights from the data they collect. In order to enhance their understanding of customers, companies are required to effectively and efficiently analyze big data, thus enabling them to establish detailed information about specific individual needs and wishes. This is likely to result in getting ahead of the competition if this insight is used effectively to enhance the brand.
Retail publications/trade magazines
Retail publications or trade magazines can also be key to industry insight and therefore successful product innovation. With many offering valuable information about the state of the industry; including surveys, illuminating infographics, news updates and trend forecasting,
Brand Managers are able to gain beneficial insight into what currently is and isn’t working within the industry, thus often helping to spark inspiration. What’s more, as more of these magazines are becoming digitalized, they are now able to offer highly valuable features such as forums, resource downloads, and content libraries, to name a few, all of which enable Brand Managers to keep up to date with product types and marketing techniques to explore further or avoid.
Consumer matters such as local sourcing, latest food crazes, health concerns, and food sensitivities all need to be taken seriously in order for brands to succeed. Responding to the general rise in the interest in food and nutrition, alongside the rise in allergies, leading companies are therefore liaising with top dietitians who endeavor to keep their finger on the pulse of consumer shopping trends. By investigating consumer behaviors, motivators and attitudes, dietitians are able to determine significant trends such as nutrition opinions, diet patterns, brand awareness and concerns over food safety. Not only will this enable companies to differentiate fiction from fact, it also helps them to establish the most effective marketing messages for their products.
Essentially, dietitians have extensive knowledge that can be tapped into, in order to guide brands and enable companies to gain and maintain popularity.
In summary, the message is a positive one! There is hope for brands that think innovatively and this can be achieved through industry insight.