Here are 3 quotes for you:
These first two statements come from the mouth of Jeff Bezos, and the third from Christine Crandell, President of New Business Strategies.
Customer centricity seems to be the key to success for companies that operate in any market, to the point that the patron of Amazon explains that their offer is a result of having "reverse-engineered" their audience's needs to understand what they really want.
But why so?
Let's take one of the biggest markets ever existed, a market in which US citizens will spend, by 2025, around 100 billion dollars per year. The Fast Moving Consumer Goods market.
FMCG products have been around since the early stages of the industrial revolution when mass production started to grow to sustain the rapidly expanding metropolitan areas. This sector then boomed in the post-war era and reached astonishing numbers with the new millennium.
It is then, at the turning of the century, then the shift towards consumers started becoming evident. Indeed, as MCKinsey & Co explain, "the model that fueled industry success - that is, mass distribution - now faces great pressure as consumer behaviors shift and the channel landscape changes."
We are now into a completely new era, in which personalization of customer experience is prevailing, thanks to new technologies and channels, and a totally new approach - the online way - to buying products.
As a result of this, new trends not immediately spotted by the FMCG industry started slowing down its performance:
So what can be done? Consumers have become picky, accustomed to their right to choose between different options, attracted by niche brands, intimate with data and technology, open to competition and, in the end, really spoiled.
The only way is embracing it. But being smart about it.
For that, data can be a solution. We wrote about it extensively in our article Trade Marketing Strategies for 2020 and How Data Can Help Nail Them, explaining that AI and big data can open the doors to customers' minds and help companies understand what they really want, and what they will want in the future. In the end, their happiness is the end goal.
Making a "true cultural statement" is more and more important because customer experience happens in the private world of a mobile phone, where feeling "pampered" can prompt purchase. Obviously, this can happen only when a company knows exactly what caring means for its customers, and again we are back to point 1.
That's because retailers have noticed small brands are appealing for consumers, and therefore they started giving them more space. Small labels rarely go on discount and they generate more margin for the retailer.
But how much is your industry prepared to "get digital"? Nielsen's research shows that, as much as many business professionals know a strong online presence helps to engage with their audience, not everyone is completely ready for it.
And finally, be prepared for yet another revolution and to rethink everything we just said. Things will keep shifting at an ever-higher rate, following always-new technical advancements. Wait and see is not an option any more.