The dumbest quote from Consumer 360

  • Nielsen’s Consumer 360 conference was full of too much pontification.
  • The dumbest quote was “”modern consumers expect more from a brand. They want to know brands, to like brands, for brands to be relevant to them.” – Peter McGuinness (Chobani).
  • Brand are becoming irrelevant to consumers as private label sales continue to increase.
  • What’s really important to consumers is a good product.

Most marketing conferences, which is a revenue and self promotional silo, are garbage, but perhaps the dumbest quote from the CEO of Chobani who said “modern consumers expect more from a brand. They want to know brands, to like brands, for brands to be relevant to them”. Ha?

I spent a lot of time eating M&M’s in market research rooms and I can tell you that no shopper expects more from their peanut butter or frozen pizza brand than a good product.  My Haagen Dazs ice cream is not personally relevant to me or anyone in my family.  This is just another way to make marketing “self important”.

Marketing can sound woefully fluffy. The language of “emotional engagement”, “consumer passion-points” and “key influencers” the industry has become so fond of is a tough sell to senior executives under pressure to deliver hard returns from their investment in advertising.  The idea of a phone, a car, a shampoo or a running shoe having much meaning sounds like an ad executive’s outlandishly lofty promise for “a product that will change your life”

Most people around the world would not care if 73 percent of all brands disappeared. There are even more sobering findings in Europe and the US, where [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]consumers would not care if 92 percent of brands disappeared.[/inlinetweet]

The disconnect has not happened overnight. But what caused it, and how can brands be more meaningful? In mature markets, brand saturation may be part of the problem. You hardly need to spend long in an American supermarket to conclude there are simply too many indifferent brands out there. More importantly,[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] too many brands have been making promises they cannot fulfil. Slightly less than a third of consumers think brands communicate honestly, resulting in growing distrust.[/inlinetweet]

Marketers are over estimating the relationship that consumers want to have with brands.  Consumers reward brands that listen to them, provide good quality, innovative products at fair prices and make their lives happier, easier and healthier.

Within the past year, sales of private-label brands have surpassed those of manufacturers’ brands, according to a Nielsen report cited by Food Navigator.  The most recent “Total Consumer Report” from Nielsen stated that after trading negatively in the last quarter of 2016, store brands were “posting dollar growth of more than three times the rate of branded products” by the last quarter of 2017. Much of this growth was coming from premium private-label products, the report added.


Trader Joe’s, Aldi and Lidl, among many other retailers, have emphasized store brands both online and offline with great success. Private labels are helping them bring in more revenue — as well as build customer loyalty and differentiate themselves from competitors.

No, most consumers don’t want a relationship with 99.9% of the brands in the grocery store.  They want a good product at a fair price and that key brand promise is not being kept.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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