A package is not a brand. A brand is more than a package. Yet both are important in the fast-moving consumer packaged goods marketplace.
Generally, food and beverage consumer packaged goods, or CPG, move at a high velocity, with consumers looking specifically for your product on store shelves.
True Consumer Loyalty Begins With Your Brand
For many consumers, purchase behavior is driven less by what the product is and more by who is doing the selling. While unique packaging may arrest attention in the aisle, a strong brand will not only attract your intended consumer but also drive loyalty and repurchase. Further, a strong brand with good sales velocity will attract retailers and wholesalers.
The Strategy Behind CPG Branding
A strong brand begins with why. As Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Consumers are choosing CPG brands that do good as well as are good. The brands behind these chosen products are using sustainable practices; they’re building diversity, inclusion, equality, good governance, and other essentials into their work. Further, consumers are willing to pay a little extra for brands that balance purpose with their bottom line.
Aligning Purpose with Perception: the Foundation for a Brand Strategy
Being a remarkable brand isn’t about how special YOU think your product is. A brand is only remarkable if its consumers think it is.
Therefore, the goal of a brand strategy is to align the brand’s purpose with consumer perception, positioning your product as a leader in delivering an experience that consumers care about.
The brand strategy then communicates the purpose and position with the target audience. With, not to, because in this day and age of interactivity, these stories become interactive conversations.
Creating a Brand That Stands Out on the Shelf
A brand identity is a tool for communicating the position and purpose, either aligning or dispelling perceptions. A strong brand identity goes beyond the who, what, where, and why to tell consumers how your goods can change their life.
The basic elements of a brand identity include:
- Color Palettes
A more in-depth identity can also include the brand promise, core values, mission statement, and customer avatars.
Competitor Analysis as a Tool to Stand Out in the CPG Marketplace
Understanding what the brand is up against can be especially helpful for new products just entering the marketplace. While big CPG companies like Nestle and Pepsico seem to have the brand and marketing down pat, there is still room for newcomers.
McKinsey notes, “Gen Zers and millennials are especially susceptible to brand switching, as they are five times more likely than older generations to believe that newer brands are better or more innovative than established brands.”
Understanding the competitive landscape can also help CPG companies identify trends, both in what consumers resonate with and what retailers and wholesalers are seeking for their shelves.
For example, retailers like Whole Foods are prioritizing clean, healthy labels. Keeping an eye on this type of trend can give your company an advantage when seeking placement in stores.
Packaging is the Physical Representation of a CPG Brand
For a CPG brand, packaging may be the first thing that consumers see on the shelf. The representation of the brand identity, including color, design aspects, certifications, and logo, may determine whether someone picks up your product, or even gives it a second glance.
The attractive package can communicate the what and how and expectations of the food or beverage experience. However, consumers are generally risk-averse. If this is the first interaction or the consumer does not recognize your brand or product, the friction of the unknown may deter them from purchasing.
Studies say that the majority of consumers now use at least three channels for each purchase journey. This suggests that the packaging experience should not only reflect your brand but should also be familiar to consumers across multiple channels.
Maintaining visual consistency across mediums enhances brand recognition. The consumer will note that the website aligns with the social media that aligns with the packaging; they all look like they are from the same universe. The consumer will know what to look for on the shelf.
Reaching Your Brand’s Target Audience
Traditional marketing theory states that a consumer must ‘touch’ your brand seven to 13 times before adoption. Every time the consumer encounters your product – sees it on a shelf, reads an influencer’s review, or hears about it from a friend – that touch helps them get to know you.
While every touch can remind a consumer to buy, in this digital age 13 touches may not be enough. According to research, an adult makes about 35,000 choices per day.
Driving Awareness For Your Consumer Packaged Goods
To drive awareness for your CPG product, then, the consumer must interact with the brand multiple times across at least three channels, recognizing it amidst the noise and clutter and intentionally selecting it from the shelf. To build loyalty for the brand, the consumer must do so repeatedly.
Tactics for driving awareness for your CPG brand may include:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Affiliate and/or Referral Programs
- Influencer Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Contests and Giveaways
- Partnerships and Collaborations
- Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing
- Public and Media Relations
- Sponsorship and Events
Strong Brands Succeed With Consumer Loyalty
In the fast-moving, high-velocity, uber-competitive, food and beverage CPG marketplace, we want consumers looking – and finding – your product on the shelf. Ensuring your brand is strong, recognizable, and resonant is important to the success of your CPG company.
29 Design Studio specializes in brand development and brand management. We believe business intelligence, strategic insights, and purposeful creativity are the basis of growth. Book a complimentary consultation to discover how we can help strengthen your brand and business.