Last time we talked, we looked at a few different ways retailers are adjusting in this world of 24/7 consumer access. But they’re not the only party that has to shift their operating playbook as consumer behaviors alter. Suppliers, too, have to change up the way they do business, to better meet what consumers want, and what retailers need.

Trends seem to change at lightning speed, and supplying a world where 24/7 access is steadily encroaching on life is a challenge for suppliers of all shapes and sizes. However, remembering a single word can help suppliers navigate this new territory:

Creativity.

Yup. Just one word. Think about it.

Creativity.

There are a lot of different ways suppliers can go with that word, right? Maybe it’s getting creative with flavors, and discovering the newest flavor trend before consumers even know they want it.

Perhaps creativity means changing the intended purpose of a product or product line.

Or perhaps, it’s getting creative with presentation—a new packaging, or size, or display that both attracts a consumer’s eye and fits perfectly with a retailer’s planogram.

Maybe creativity for a supplier means changing up how a product is marketed, or to whom a product is marketed.

Creativity could also mean experimenting with new formulas or recipes that make a product better.

Creativity might be putting in the time and investment needed to break into different channels, and thus getting a product line in front of a whole new cache of consumers.

These are just a few ways, but really the possibilities for how suppliers can incorporate more creativity into one or more points of their product offering are only as limited as a supplier’s creative brain. How suppliers do that is up to them to determine, but the important part here is that creativity never flags.

Thinking creatively isn’t always easy, but it’s always necessary. Retailers expect it. Consumers demand it. Creativity is what gets everyone excited about products, and is what makes them come back to a product time and time again.

And when consumers can come back at any time of the day or night to get that product, creativity is more important than ever.

Molly Olson

Molly Olson is a writer and editor 10+ years of experience working on print and online publications in the CPG space. Her work has appeared multiple national publications, including the Baltimore Sun and Retail Leader. She is a self-proclaimed grocery store nerd and proud of it.

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