5 pillars to build a brand in the FMCG sector: Essential phases in the journey to retail success
The Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector is one of the largest growing sectors in the world. With changing lifestyles, growing awareness, and easier access, the number of competitors vying for customers’ attention has only multiplied over the last decade.
Surviving in this sector entails capturing attention from the target audience with the right positioning in the market.
Our client came to us at ScaleFactor Consulting Labs as a young Goa-based startup in the FMCG space with the vision of creating a new category of puddings in the dessert market. One year of hustling in the Goan market was enough for the brand to develop a loyal base for their flagship product: Serradura, a traditional Portuguese pudding with its toffee twist. Their goal was to have more puddings from across the world with their signature toffee fusion and scale the brand to Tier 1 cities like Bangalore and Mumbai.
Here’s how we brought the niche F&B brand to the masses:
1. Understand the context: the past, the present, and the future
A strong foundation builds a strong brand. It’s essential to first spend time to understand how the brand has grown from the grassroots, who are the current customers of the brand, how does the founding team envision the brand growing from its current stage, and who should be the future customers that the brand wants to cater to.
Getting to the root of all expectations is the first step to understanding the context and building a strong foundation for the brand.
We started by understanding how the client’s team perceived their brand with an envisioning exercise to discover the long-term vision. These measures were then validated by conducting primary research with existing and potential customers.
2. Define the target audience: Who is your customer?
The right positioning can only be identified after discovering the potential customers based on the needs that the brand can meet. A right mix of qualitative and quantitative research can aid elicitation of the right customer base for the brand.
To ascertain our target audience, we interviewed people between the age group of 9 to 50 across Goa, Bangalore, and Mumbai to understand dessert consumption habits, product perception, association, and sensory experience of the products which helped us realign the brand positioning.
Read more about the research findings in my previous articles:
- How we decide what to buy: Insights on what drives customer purchasing behaviour
- Insights on consumption behaviour in metropolitan cities of India.
3. Differentiate the brand: What promotes recall?
From the primary research, find attributes that emerge as differentiators for the brand through in-depth conversations with potential customers.
These differentiators can be in the product, positioning, or pricing and can help customers recall the brand the next time they have a niche need that can be fulfilled.
The research found the brand’s key competitive advantage is that it’s India’s premier retail-first pudding brand. The products are gelatin-free, preservative-free, and 100% natural which differentiates the brand from competitors.
4. Define the brand personality & visual language: Is it love at first sight?
The visual language of the brand needs to align with the positioning the brand wants to convey to the target customers. Since most purchases in the FMCG sector are impulse-based. Brands should utilize this to help make the decision-making process easier for customers.
Rebranding entailed defining the brand proposition, differentiation, positioning, purpose, personality along with guidelines on the tone of voice and visual language for the target audience.
The first experience a customer has will create strong associations in the minds of people so there was a need to craft an experience for customers through suggestive copy, visuals, and marketing so they know how they can make the most out of the product.
5. Go to the market right: Improve brand presence & accessibility
How brands are present in the market also makes a difference in the sales of their products. Brands improve customer experience in different ways through promotions at the point of purchase, upkeep of the products, constantly improving the visibility of the products through the eye-catching display.
The brand’s marketing relied on offline activities for the launch of new products, contests, posters, shelf lines, and pop displays for the brand’s refrigerators in retail stores and restaurants.
On-ground research of how the products were placed in the stores helped in creating protocols for the top 60 stores on product handling, display, and other standard operating procedures.
At the end of our 8 month run of building the brand and the business, our understanding of the FMCG space improved with the takeaway learnings on the kind of dedication it requires along with aggressive planning and execution loops to accelerate brands in the market.