This article is part of our November 2018 series about the state of retail. Click here for more.
The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) space can be tricky business for marketers: Purchases are often made in the moment, and brand loyalty is often sacrificed for low prices and promotions from competitors.
Yet innovative FMCG brands in Asia Pacific are devising fun ways to make connections with fickle customers and give them experiences to remember. How so? Read on.
Involve Your Customers
“Brands no longer influence people–people do,” said Ben Essen, executive planning director at global consultancy firm Iris. He described brands thriving in the new economy as “participation brands”–those “activating the power of people to build their brand and create content and conversations that people actively want to participate in.”
Case in point: Nivea Men. The personal grooming company recently ran a campaign in Malaysia aimed at creating a deeper affinity with its target market–20- to 35-year-old lower- to middle-income males–and narrowing the market share gap for their products.
The campaign, titled MYPadang, leveraged the popularity of padang (a Malaysian term for grassroots neighbourhood football) among the brand’s core demographic to create a neighbourhood football championship tournament, where local teams could face off–and maybe even have a conversation about skincare along the way.
Local teams were encouraged to submit UGC videos with stories about their padang in order to be selected for the tournament, with the winner going on to claim cash prizes, Nivea Men products, and bragging rights as the MYPadang champions. The final was aired on national TV.
The campaign was hugely successful. Marketing Interactive reports it drove more than 500,000 daily page engagements on the Nivea Men Facebook page and that the brand received its highest-ever recorded market share, with the value of sales increasing nearly 20% year over year.
Reimagine What You Know Best
Snack foods occupy a large fraction of the FMCG space, and free product samples have historically been an effective way to recruit new customers and build brand loyalty. Who can resist?
As effective as these activations are, they can be costly and don’t always allow for deeper engagement with a brand. The Smith’s Snackfood Company, based in Australia and owned by American multinational corporation PepsiCo, recently offered a digital solution in the form of an app that harnessed the power of social media influencers and eliminated the need to send product out.
“With our voucher delivery system in [partner’s] Social Soup app, we know when a customer has the product in their hand, and we can deliver them a voucher to redeem at the checkout,” said Sharyn Smith, Social Soup founder and CEO, in a statement. “This is a game-changing process that allows us to know where the customer is and track their full experience journey with the product and get feedback. Ultimately we can also reward them for sharing in social media, which provides authentic influence from a real experience.”
The campaign saw more than 2,000 social posts created and garnered more than 200 reviews for Sunbites with an 82% positive sentiment, according to Marketing Mag.
Don’t Be Afraid To Try New Tech
Andrew Clarke, global vice president of Mars Wrigley Confectionary–one of the world’s largest FMCG conglomerates–said trying new things is important to the company’s advertising strategy and staying relevant in the minds of consumers. He described his budget breakdown as such: “We have 80% of our media budget on established, proven channels that have got proven ROI. We allocate 15% for testing and learning, and then 5% is just out there, to try new, very innovative stuff.”
Mars’ foray into the experimental paid off with its award-winning Snickers Hungerithm campaign, which began in Australia and has since spread to other parts of the world, including the U.S. The Snickers Hungerithm is an algorithm that monitored online mood and priced Snickers at 7-Eleven stores accordingly. The angrier the Internet, the cheaper the Snickers.
According to the Association for Data-Driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA), the algorithm was built on a 3,000-word lexicon, analysing 14,000-plus social posts a day and updating Snickers prices over 144 times daily. Hungerithm updates were then promoted via social to drive people in store.
The novelty factor of the campaign was popular with the public and the media alike—so much so that over its five-week duration, Snickers mentions on social media increased by 120%, ADMA said. The brand also saw a 67% sales increase.