In TPI, we have a vast portfolio of clients from a range of markets. We often notice trends as a result which help us predict what is coming in the next 12 months. Here’s a quick snapshot of what we think will be the big things in 2017.
Health, awareness & social responsibility
If we look at trends around healthy lifestyles such as the explosion of kale in the supermarkets and movements like the recent Apollo House Protest, it’s clear to see that consumers are more conscious of what they eat, what they do and how they think. All of this leads us to believe that consumers want to feel good about the choices they make on a daily basis. How do we market to them in a way that makes our brand one of the feel good purchases? It’s no longer about flashy branding and slick communications. We need to build transparency into our message which will in turn builds trust amongst consumers. We must ensure that our brand stacks up against competitors as transparency means bearing ourselves to the consumer. We don’t want to be shunned by the ever more conscientious shopper. But how do we appear to be an ethical and wholesome brand while still maintaining a profit?
The topic of corporate social responsibility has been discussed around the board room table for years. Does it work and is it worth our investment? The indicators both in society and in corporate ethos says yes. Unilever have committed to producing only recyclable plastic packaging by 2025, publicly putting their corporate ethos into action. Unilever are one of the biggest players in the FMCG category, so we can assume that other major corporations will follow their lead. Often, brands will sponsor a major charity to help promote their position. Vhi Healthcare have sponsored the Women’s Mini Marathon – an event synonymous with health, wellbeing and charitable donations. This sponsorship reflects in a positive light on Vhi Healthcare and gives instant credibility to the brand making consumers feel that they can trust their offering. They are a company that understands the consumers desire to feel good about the brands that they interact with.
Make An Emotional Connection
Retail environments are filled with in-store theater that communicate marketing messages to the consumer right at the point of purchase. With so many messages promoting various products and offers it’s imperative that brands make a personal connection with the individual. There are multiple ways of doing this but a particularly effective one is personalisation. We relate to what is familiar to us, specifically our own name, job or area of residence. We feel proud when we see a personal aspect of our lives being brought to the forefront.
Nutella executed this perfectly with their ‘Personalised Labels’ campaign. Simply order yours online or collect in selected stores. This campaign created excellent gifts and made people feel special and connected with the brand and with each other. The conversation quickly moved to social media channels where consumers shared pictures of their name on the jar. This content was very organic and personal which further engages the emotions of the consumer. Social chat like can be more powerful than marketing messages alone. We are more likely to listen to what our friends think over what brands are telling us.
Make It Seamless
At first glance, it looks as though the battle for sales is as simple as ‘online’ vs ‘retail’. The real trend however is that shoppers are moving fluidly between online and in-store. A big challenge is to replicate the level of personalisation in-store that consumers have grown accustomed to in the digital world. Consumers are researching online before shopping in-store to find the best prices. Here’s a statistic that may or may not surprise you. 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases. (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
Brands that succeed in 2017 will build a seamless engagement between online and in-store. TPI have noticed a big trend for online competitions being advertised in-store, driving consumers to competitions online via in-store call to actions.
Waiting for anything is no longer acceptable. We are becoming more used to instantly being able to find what we want, at the lowest price and delivered to our home. Consumers will always need to visit a store in person, but it’s no longer as important as it was. Shopper Marketing needs to offer more to the consumer if brands want to keep up. Brands can’t expect to get noticed on the shelf unless they have spoken to the shopper at multiple touch-points. The difficult part is to know where to invest and where to avoid. This comes from knowing your consumers.
Social media has given brands the opportunity to know the shopper better. Brands can see who they are, what they like or don’t like about the brand and also which competitors they are interested in. This data has been gaining importance over the last few years and we believe that in 2017, data will be used to its full extent by marketing practitioners.
The Printed Image are available to discuss all of your in-store and shopper marketing needs. We have a sales team waiting to guide you in the right direction so feel free to reach out and discover ways to make Shopper Marketing work for you in 2017.