IN BRIEF: The so called “experts” need something to write about so they’re trying to convince you that the pandemic has changed marketing forever. That is bullshit! Despite what they say it’s still about delivering on a promise of a good brand/product experience.
When consumers spend their hard-earned money, they are buying a promise. For example, the promise of Starbucks is a great cup of coffee or other coffee-based beverage with great service. McDonald’s delivers a tasty quarter-pounder burger whether you go to their restaurant in Maine or California. But what about the products in the grocery store?
The statistic that the majority of consumers wouldn’t care if their favorite brands disappeared is not entirely true. Sure, they might chose a different pasta brand but if their favorite brand is on the shelf they’re going to put it in the cart.
Consumers don’t make rational decisions when it comes to shopping. Choices are often based on convenience, packaging, and what, in their minds, tastes good or makes them happy. Consumers are tired of COVID news, and some are making up for negative headlines by buying brands and products that make them feel good. 42% of Americans gained weight while stuck at home during the pandemic. On average, the survey found, people gained 29 pounds, while Millennials reported the highest average weight gain at 41 pounds. That is a direct result of both lockdowns and finding gratification with food and brands that make them feel good.
If I’m a CPG marketer, I’m focusing on two things right now. First, ensuring my supply chain has recovered from the pandemic, and second, delivering a great brand experience at retail can be, a lot of the time, out of my control. I will also work with my market research people to learn all I can about my current customers. I want to know where they are buying my product, why, and where they shop online.
The other key point I want to make is that marketing tactics vary by product category. Someone who wants to buy an expensive road bike doesn’t make a choice based on “impulse.” They will research the product category online and listen to what others say, including the salespeople at their local bike shop.
Electronics have unique challenges, such as the reputation of customer support after the sale. Product reviews, in this case, can play an essential part in the purchase decision. When a customer reads, on social media, a problem with a product and that the brand has responded and reached out to help, it can really go far in swaying the purchase decision.
I keep reading that marketing has changed so much, but I feel that’s not true in actuality. Brands need to show consumers they care, and CEOs who side with the wrong side in politics can mute all their equity very quickly. FOR EXAMPLE, the CEO of My Pillow has really gone off the deep end to the point the media is saying that the product is complete garbage. I guess they won’t be around much longer when consumers are boycotting retailers who carry the brand.
Just give me what I pay for and make sure your product delivers on the brand promise and I’ll keep coming back.