17 June 2022
Customer centricity: How FMCG brands can get it right
“Obsess about your customer every day; launch products to gather more information and ensure you are relevant to your customer all the time”. These were the words of Adam Minto, CEO of Revolution Beauty, at the CEW Beauty Tech summit this summer during THG Ingenuity’s panel discussion looking into beauty consumer’s journey. Whilst the beauty and FMCG industries are different in many ways, the growing trend of taking a customer-centric approach is ringing true for brands across FMCG sector.
According to Accenture, 44% of consumers move back and forth between digital and physical interactions with brands and want a shopping experience that can support this fluidity. To successfully ride the undulating of change in consumers’ needs and priorities, FMCG brands have taken to reassessing their business models, leading them to become platforms and true omnichannel players.
In this fast-changing and increasingly competitive landscape, FMCG brands are taking on a digital transformation and are also embedding a customer-centric strategy across the digital consumer journey to connect with their customer on an individual level. Gartner defines customer centricity as the ability of an organization to understand customers' situations, perceptions, and expectations. This demands the customer to be the focal point of all decisions, from delivering products experiences to creating customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy
Those who embrace and maintain a customer-first approach can empower themselves to be agile and reactive to new customer expectations as and when they arise, ultimately gaining a competitive advantage in this age of accelerated change. So, how can FMCG brands develop and maintain a customer-centric approach?
How can FMCG brands become customer-centric?
1. Selling products directly to consumers
Implementing a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model opens up an immediate line of communication for brands to engage with their customers, enabling them to forge a deeper, more personalized connection with the individual. This empowers FMCG brands to gain a better understanding of customers preferences and priorities to offer products and experiences that resonate with their not just their needs but their values too.
Similarly, selling products directly to consumers online gives FMCG brands the opportunity to leverage first-party data to inform a new product development roadmap that is tailored to their target audience. Instead of predicting trends relying on third-party data, FMCG brands can quickly test new products and learn from real-time customer data and insights, creating efficiencies whilst improving the customer experience and satisfaction.
2. Personalizing the experience throughout the customer journey
Personalization plays a critical role for brands looking to both capture and retain a customer base. It’s also no longer a quirk some brand provide for buyers – it's now a demand-driven approach as consumers seek a more personalized shopping experience. Research from McKinsey shows that personalization can significantly drive performance and customer lifetime value. With 80% of global consumers placing greater value on customized products and interactions (Epsilon), successful FMCG brands are leveraging first-party data from DTC channels like apps and social media platforms to offer personalized messaging and recommendations throughout the customer journey.
Likewise, FMCG brands can think of providing customers with customized printed products or packaging that would make them feel recognized as an individual by the brand. For example, Ferrero Rocher enabled shoppers to add their first name printed on their chocolate boxes. These personalized approaches help FMCG brands to establish an emotional connection that customers will not experience with other competitors, encouraging their loyalty.
3. Collecting customers’ feedback and reviews regularly
Seeking customer feedback consistently across an entire shopping journey is key to embrace a customer-centric strategy successfully. With the rise of social media and ecommerce, FMCG brands can benefit from a multitude of feedback’s sources. For example, they can utilize platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Facebook to conduct customer surveys around their products to gather valuable opinions and insights and improve their offerings accordingly.
Similarly, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) can also be implemented to launch chatbots and live chat functionalities that enable brands to create a two-way communication stream with the customer, whilst absorbing their perceptions on products and experience.
With many customers being happy to share their feedback and reviews, reaching out to customers frequently through dedicated email campaigns can be an effective way to collect honest products’ assessments.
In the flux of this fast-changing digital environment, it is crucial for FMCG brands to prioritize a customer-centered digital transformation in order to drive sustainable growth. Leading FMCG brands have come to realize the value of first-party data in truly understanding the evolution of customer needs and priorities, rather than concentrating on selling more products without a clear appreciation of their targets’ desires and expectations. As a result, they are embedding a customer-first approach in every step of the process, strategy, and interaction by leveraging customers insights from every touchpoint to ensure a personalized and superior customer experience.
At THG Ingenuity we have helped dozens of FMCG brands including Vita Coco, Nestlé and Coca Cola thriving in competitive and fast changing markets through our customer-centric platform.
If you are an FMCG company and would like to know more about our unique DTC model: get in touch now or follow our LinkedIn page.