FMCG summit overview
Last week’s MRS FMCG summit in London, which brought together people from across the sector – agency and client side – and featured a range of thought-provoking presentations, was a great opportunity to take stock.
I left feeling optimistic: whilst the sector is under increasing pressure, the purported ‘death of the mass market’ is premature.
It’s tough out there
A cursory glance at the trade press will tell you that the sector is in a tight spot. Brands are struggling to achieve significant growth, and any incremental gains are quickly countered by competitors. Furthermore, in a world where tech and media brands can fulfil a consumer desire for connection and instantaneousness, consumer goods brands risk being relegated to mere ‘necessities’ that struggle to forge meaningful relationships with consumers.
How the sector fights back
All is not lost. During the conference there were several inspiring stories and ideas that demonstrated how FMCG brands can surmount the challenges.
It was also reassuring to see that many of the key battlegrounds are things that Incite is already helping its clients with.
Four of the main opportunities discussed were:
1 / Stand for something. Consumers aren’t just interested in product; they are interested in a brand’s core purpose, its commitment to contributing to the World that is meaningful on a human level. It’s the brands that understand this and can communicate it with clarity and authenticity that will connect with consumers.
Keep it simple, keep it fresh, keep it authentic: lessons from independent beauty brands
2 / Fairly obvious, but innovation is the lifeblood of a successful consumer goods brand. But incremental changes are not enough. Incite is conducting an increasing volume of demand landscape and breakthrough innovation initiatives for clients looking for big, bold and business-changing ways to unlock growth.
3 / Be agile. Agile is the current industry buzzword, but that doesn’t make it any less significant. That’s why we’ve developed a range of approaches (from Sprint-inspired workshops, agile U&As and overnight qual) to help clients make faster, better decisions throughout the brand planning and research processes.
4 / Look to new audiences. Incite constantly challenges its clients to think about new or emerging parts of the consumer landscape in order to drive growth.
These are challenging times. But brands with the ability to make smart, brave decisions with clarity and purpose will continue to thrive.
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