I came across a recent news brief about a report from IRI stating that while more than half (55%) of consumers feel they are in a good financial place, 49% are still on the hunt for the steals and deals to help them make ends meet.

To be blunt, that’s a whole lot of people who need extra convincing to pull out their wallets and purchase your product.

“Since consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the U.S. economy, consumer hesitation to spend is a really big deal, and it is leaving CPG marketers struggling to find true and sustainable growth in a low-growth marketplace,” said Susan Viamari, Vice President of Thought Leadership for IRI, in the news brief.

Here’s the thing — suppliers who keep the four Bs in mind will establish a track of trust with consumers, and be able to build that sustainable growth that is eluding so many today. But what are the 4 Bs?

Glad you asked!

  1. Be Real. Consumers who are already wary of spending money are going to be turned off by any over-the-top marketing and advertising you put in front of them. Stressed people don’t want in-your-face ads/advertisements/marketing, they want kind guidance and thoughtful rationales about why your product is best for them. They don’t need scare tactics or excitable pitch people — they just need you. You know why consumers need your product, you know what gap it’s filling — otherwise you would have never brought it to market, right? Show your authentic self, and consumers will respond.
  2. Be flexible. Listen to what consumers are telling you in their feedback. Are the sizes working, or are they too big or too small? Is the flavor not quite what is expected? You know the ins and outs of your products best, but don’t let that bias affect your perception of how it’s used by consumers. It may very well be used in ways you never imagined, or it may need one last tweak or two in order to make it soar. Don’t be rigid in your thinking about your product — be flexible and open to ideas and changes and adjust accordingly. Consumers love to be heard, and they will love you for listening.
  3. Be priced right. I’ve written on this topic before (find a refresher here and here), but it can’t be restated enough: if your product isn’t selling, check how you’re priced. In a world of tight purse strings, your product can be the Best Thing Ever, but if it’s inappropriately priced, consumers are going to give it a big “NOPE” and keep on walking. That impression will stick with them, and can corner your product into being “not worth the money” which makes it unlikely that they’ll revisit your product as a potential customer.
  4. Be the change. To paraphrase Gandhi for the CPG world: be the change you wish to see on store shelves. When you can articulate to your consumers how you’re changing the way they shop for the better, you’re that much closer to making your product a mainstay in their carts. But it’s not just about what you put on the shelf — it’s also about how your brand and company interacts with the community at large. Brands today have to be good social and corporate citizens as well as put out a good product, and doing so goes a long way in building consumer trust in and out of the store.

Consumer trust doesn’t have to be elusive, but as a CPG supplier, you do have to tread carefully in these topsy-turvy times. Keep in mind the 4 Bs, and you’ll be on your way to success.

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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