FMCG MARKET RESEARCH AGENCY
How can FMCG Market Research help brands win?
The growth of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) or consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands are slowing and are now facing difficult challenges when it comes to where to play and how to win. The best way to understand how to win in any market is through solid market research.
So how can insights and FMCG market research help you?
Currently there is a lot of talk about agile, digital and Cx, Ux etc, that can make everything about market research seem a bit hard or too difficult to get underway. In reality, its never been easier to get good research underway and there are now a myriad of options in market research to suit all budgets – whether you are an established brand in a big corporation or a new brand or business entering the market place.
FMCG Market Research and Insight options
FMCG market research should first and foremost help you understand what needs your customer has. Who is your target audience, or your most valuable customer? What are their needs or unmet needs and how is the market currently being overserved or underserved? How can you stop decline in your business, or create new opportunities for growth and stretch in your brand?
The following examples are some of the typical of the types FMCG research available to help you with a range of different business issues.
Brand Positioning Research can help to ensure all of your brand’s communications are built upon solid, relevant and differentiating foundations. Effective research and planning can help you identify relevant rational and emotional benefits; use the right consumer language and tone; uncover breakthrough insights and nail consumer hot buttons so you can tweak your brand’s messaging strategy to improve your business results.
- We use a tool called Brand Futures to help business nail their point of difference in the marketplace and understand how to build their emotional hooks. We also help you write your brand plans if you need that kind of help.
- We can offer qualitative exploratory research to help unpack the core elements of your brand and then quantify benefits, claims and strategy
Advertising and Communication Research aims to discover which ads or advertising ideas will be most effective your existing or potential customers. We believe the best way to research an ad is through detailed research before a campaign to give it the best chance of success in market. The aim is to understand your customers and their motivations so you can demonstrate why your product meets their needs. Research can then further help with telling you how successful the campaign was, the impact it has on sales and ROI. Research can also help you optimise you campaigns to continually improve results and remain relevant to your customers.
- Qualitative research helps you understand consumer motivations, triggers and barriers and how to optimise an idea
- Quantitative research can help you provide the all important numbers post the campaign’s launch
Shopper Research. Can be qualitative or quantitative in nature, but a must for understanding the buyer needs over the consumer needs and the decision making processes that underpin purchases in retail, online or on the go.
- Accompanied shops allow the researcher, a shopper (or a pair of shoppers) and potentially a client to walk through the buyer cycle and understand how the retail experience helps or hinders purchase of your product. Recently we accompanied burger lovers on trips to drive throughs and in store to understand how a burger retailer could improve the product, menu, service delivery and beyond.
- ShopperEye technology now allows video with commentary to follow the ‘eye’ of the shopper across the shelves to understand what is happening at the point of purchase for decision making.
- Sales scan data can be overlayed on to other existing data or new primary data to help with opportunity matrix development.
Trade or Stakeholder Engagement: useful when understanding issues from the trade’s perspective. Face to face interviews or assistance with writing trade stories from your data can help you fight for retailer space and make a claim on your needs
Conducting research on your audience and their needs is the best method for ensuring success. Understanding who you are marketing to will help design a product, service or campaign that is likely to connect with those people and their needs. Measuring and refining your marketing is the fine tuning that will make your efforts really shine.
Ruby Cha Cha is a market research agency in Australia offering FMCG research services. Our dedication to human insight and understanding allows us to get underneath the surface of the FMCG consumer to understand how they tick. We use a mix of innovative, technology and traditional research methods from qualitative to quantitative research, innovation and consulting.
Our insights and consultancy offer takes advantage of our collective business experience in brand marketing and customer value propositions to provide assistance to your team when facing the challenges of modern businesses and marketing.
We also offer a full range of innovation services backed by a strong market research and planning consultancy. When it comes to Innovation Services we are ‘front end specialists’ that can help you define the innovation task and work with you to create new ideas that are consumer tested and business ready.
FAQs FMCG Research
Ruby Cha Cha has a seasoned history of working with blue chip FMCG companies in every category you can imagine from food through to personal care, laundry, health as well as fast-food and liquor. We have worked with retailers and buyers and helped our clients with trade stories. We understand brands, the categories they operate in, and consumer and shopper intimately.
With nearly 15 years in the business and experience that spans over 30 years of evidence-based research, we can help you segment your market, create cut through messaging, track your success and help your brand grow in and across markets. Our market research can help you build your innovation pipeline, test your concepts, size your market, and position your brand to win.
We have a range of qualitative, quantitative and consulting services. The list includes but is not limited by the following:
- Exploratory studies – category, brand, and consumer deep dives
- Usage and Attitude Studies
- Consumer segmentations
- Brand positioning studies
- Brand sharpening and development studies
- Brand health and brand tracking
- Brand and domain/market stretch
- Advertising and campaign testing
- Pack testing studies
- Consumer co creation studies
- Messaging and claims testing
- A/B Testing for Marketing Optimisation
- Concept Testing and Optimisation
- Market sizing and opportunity studies
- Ideation and innovation workshops
- Comprehension Studies…
The list goes on. Many of our studies have tried and true processes that we tweak and tailor to the client needs.
Market research is critical for strategic brand development and understanding your market. However there are some out there that think it doesn’t matter. We outline 5 myths of marketing and why market research is important.
Myth 1 – You don’t need a point of difference.
Not uniquely claiming what sets your brand apart from the competition is a losing choice. Confused or soft messaging allows your brand to get lost, or for competition to encroach on your territory. Differentiation is the crucial difference between building a sustainable business and failure. Brand positioning studies can help you with this.
Myth 2 – You should target everyone to have the best chance of success.
You cannot be everything to everyone! This is one that lots of businesses are guilty of. Targeting everyone “just in case” (FOMO) is a waste of effort and money. Narrow your target audience by understanding who the core group of buyers are that your brand is the best fit for. This is where a customer segmentation study or a U&A study can help clarify who your customer is and how best to connect.
Myth 3 – You think you already know who your customer is and what they want.
It’s not what YOU think and say about your brand that matters; it’s what YOUR CUSTOMER thinks and says – their feelings and emotions about your brand. Great market research can provide you with the insights for better targeting or marketing. Also, just because customers share the same age, gender, ethnicity, income or place of residence does NOT mean they will use the same kind of technology, drive the same car, eat the same food or use the same kinds of health care products. A U&A study can help, as can exploratory focus groups or online communities to get deeper insight.
Myth 4 – You can’t afford research to find out who your customers are.
Don’t try and guess who your customers are and how they think and behave. The single best investment you can make in terms of time and money is research. Try to set aside 5-10% of your marketing budget, but if you can’t afford customized research, there are other options: observing your customers in action, or Google… there’s lots of information out there. You should also conduct a brand health audit and track your brand awareness and any campaigns that your run.
Myth 5 – Customers love to spend all their time thinking about your brand.
Avoid overcomplicating your brand offer / point of difference. The core of your positioning should be quickly and easily understood by your target audience. Don’t make the customer think too hard by being obscurely clever Think about Aldi. They just say Good, Different. That’s enough! That’s because the hard positioning work has been done in the background and Aldi know their customer intimately.
The trends affecting FMCG companies over the past few years are clear.
- The number one impact has been changes in consumer behaviour due to Covid-19. Forced hibernation due to lockdown has driven a greater focus on working, living and eating at home. This in turn has led to behavioural changes – more cooking, exercise and personal care at home, meaning better fortunes for FMCG businesses.
- An overall trend of affordable luxury has hit FMCG…with people wanting more affordable, splurge-worthy products to treat themselves from food through to personal care. This is a simple way for people to reward themselves without overspending – given the pandemic is putting downward pressure on budgets.
- FMCG has been rocked by the emerging poor trade relations between Australia and China. Tariffs on exports mean that local exporters need to find new markets and domestic consumers know this. Consumers are now expecting to see better prices on premium goods, from $20 lobsters to bargains in premium red wine and luxury goods.
- FMCG businesses must get on board with the “new normal” and start to think about the “next normal” and develop agile pivot strategies to cope. McKinsey & Company suggest these might include:
- Increased price sensitivity
- Higher digital engagement
- Rise in attention to wellness and hygiene
- “Nesting” at home
- A redefinition of brand purpose
- Channel shifts to more local and smaller food service
FMCG stands for Fast-moving consumer goods also known as CPG or Consumer Packaged Goods. These are products that sell quickly, tend to have a short shelf life and are available at a relatively low cost. FMCG products are driven by high consumer demand (e.g., toilet paper, sweets, commodities like rice, flour, or sugar) or because they are perishable (e.g., meat, dairy products, and baked goods).
The industry itself is typically driven by manufacturers who sell the goods to wholesalers, and/or retailers, who in turn sell it to the consumers. The industry has been disrupted in recent years with the digital age and some manufacturers sell directly to consumers (e.g., online) and new channels are constantly emerging through social media and localised offers. Manufacturers have all the big FMCG brands that you know. Brand development research is a core of the FMCG industry to help businesses differentiate and target their brands and offers to consumers.
FMCG research with consumer can help unpack needs, drivers and barriers to products, messaging and channels.
The global food and beverages market in 2020 is expected to grow from $5943.8 billion in 2019 to $6111.1 billion in 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.9%.
The Australian food industry is hard to break down and is an intricate maze of ingredient and packaging suppliers that have different supply chain management solutions and this makes answering this question difficult. For example:
- The foodservice sector counts for AUD 57 billion in 2018. The food-service industry is a very niche market and is subject to trends.
- The supermarket industry has continued to grow over the period, with revenues expected to grow at an annualised 2.0% over the five years through 2023-24, to $114.4 billion.
- The retail market accounts for approx. AUD 115 billion and can include retailers such as fast-food service franchises such as McDonalds and Hungry Jacks.
We suggest reviewing publications by IBISWORLD and Neilson for more accurate market assurances.
You should always conduct market research to understand the key market drivers before going to market. There are numerous books and resources on this subject, but here are a couple of guidelines:
- Set a clear goal. What are you trying to achieve? Financial and business goals are critical and a market research agency can assist in helping you clarify these if you are starting out.
- Know what you want to investigate. Consult with your key stakeholders and a market research agency like Ruby Cha Cha
- Write a market research brief. Clarify your objectives, key research questions, timing and budget.
- What does the market look like – invest in a Usage and Attitude study to be clear on how to target your product and how to message.
- Know what target market to survey. Invest in market research to help with buyer personas or even a market segmentation.
- Do not try to construct surveys or run focus groups yourself. Get help from people who know. They can get you true insight that can supercharge your marketing and business strategy.
- Invite the consumer in to help you co create products and services that they want
- Great market research can actually recommend a clear launch strategy for you and help you with trade stories to your key buyers.