Guardians of the franchise: Safeguarding success in the competitive landscape

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The following is a guest post by Katie Fellows, SVP, Client Services of Curion. Fellows has 15 years of sensory and consumer science experience, specializing in creating strategic research plans based on business objectives and designing custom insight methodologies that propel growth.

Franchise protection is the ultimate business objective in the realm of productivity testing.

In today’s economy, where the possibility of a recession looms, it is crucial for brands to adopt a vigilant approach to product performance initiatives, including reformulations, the development of healthier options, and a focus on sustainability. The goal is to mitigate any risks stemming from product changes due to supply chain changes and cost optimizations.

Halo Effect Does Not Guarantee Long-Term Success

Halo effect might get someone to try a product once, but will not guarantee long-term success. The halo effect is a cognitive bias where our overall impression of someone or something influences how we perceive their specific qualities.

In the context of marketing and branding, the halo effect often occurs when consumers associate positive attributes or perceptions of a celebrity or well-known figure with a product or brand. This association leads to increased trust, likability, and desirability of the product or brand among consumers. Essentially, the halo effect plays a significant role in shaping consumer attitudes and preferences based on these positive associations.

Now imagine a scenario where people flock to stores, eager to be the first in line for a CPG product endorsed by a celebrity influencer. Imagine Kim Kardashian, for instance, as the “Chief Taste Consultant” for Beyond Meat. Does having a celebrity spokesperson of her stature entice crowds to rush to grocery stores and purchase more products? Perhaps! However, if the product experience fails to align with the idealized perception, the likelihood of a repeat purchase diminishes significantly.

While it may be tempting to chase fads and swiftly changing trends in the food and beverage industry, creating a product that genuinely captivates consumers requires a more profound approach. Repeat purchases not only enable brands to drive revenue growth but also foster brand loyalty, generate positive word-of-mouth, and provide valuable insights for product improvements and renovations.

Katie Fellows

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The Reign of Repeat Business

Repeat business reigns supreme. Think about a classic snack food or cookie found in countless households. When well-established brands and products need to make productivity changes such as ingredient or product modifications to reduce costs, it begs the question: Will their current product users notice the differences? How will these changes impact their repurchase decisions? Will they remain loyal to the brand? Will they explore other brands, hoping for a better experience? Or will they not even notice the alterations and continue to support the product and brand they adore?

Optimize, And Don’t Forget To Cover Your A$&

The question that’s impacting so many food and beverage brands and products in the marketplace today is this: Where and how can we optimize costs, while safeguarding our market share and franchise? Since launching a new product offers only one chance at success, optimizing it to its fullest potential becomes crucial. 

When it comes to product optimizations, the purpose of productivity will illuminate the right path to reduce cost of a product so the brand can increase profitability. Sensory science and product testing methods with consumer insights can be very helpful. However, sometimes the highest Overall Liking (OAL) performing product isn’t always the best measurement to focus on for CPG food and beverages. That’s because traditional benchmarking approaches like OAL only allow product testing against a few products. The reality is that food and beverage brands are in competition with a larger pool of established and new entrant products, even an entire category in some cases.

Crack The Code

Curion recently introduced The Curion Score, an industry-revolutionizing product benchmarking tool that allows brands to compare their product to its competitors as well as its entire category within our proprietary insights database. Utilizing a vast database of 587 million data points, the tool helps productivity initiatives by allowing a brand to gauge the success of its product change by measuring the impact to category performance. This tool goes beyond the product performance of one food or beverage product, and beyond its top competitors – it reaches across an entire category which gives brands a huge competitive advantage to know exactly where they stand, even before launching.

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