SUMMARY: Consumers have a lot of money; that’s great news, but unfortunately, when they’re ready to, they often find the products they want are out of stock. Marketings should create demand for your product, but when your product is hard to find and is going for more money than your audience expects, there is a severe disconnect.
My friend Josh was ready to buy a new car and checked out the Hyundai Palisade SUV mainly because of the ads he saw. When he got to the dealer, he found that their inventory was non-existent and that he would have to pay a price that was over MSRP.
This will be the winter of product shortages, price increases, and consumers blaming everyone and everything. Bacon prices have gone up as much as 50%, and supermarket shelves are once again empty. Is it time to pause marketing? No, but marketing should take into account how consumers feel right now.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 5.4 percent before seasonal adjustment.
Consumers are paying more for just about everything from gas to bicycle parts. Next year’s social security raise will be negated by inflation. Consumers are blaming politicians, but they don’t have control over various marker forces. The media amplified the complaints but haven’t been that loud because consumers still have a lot of money. But it’s going to get worse.
Brand marketers should embrace an empathy view and react quickly when the mood goes from “I understand the reasons for price increases and shortages” to “come on! Enough is enough”.
Recently I was in the market for a new eBike. My favorite brand is Trek but the lead time on the model I wanted was over 100 days. My local bike shop, however, had a Specialized model in stock, and I bought it. After using it for a week, I’m in love with the brand. I kept asking, “Is this happening to other brands as well?”
Suppose your company has supply issues; you need to pause your marketing and accept that you’re losing market share. Acknowledge the problem and tell your loyal customers that you’re doing everything you can to restore inventory. Staying silent communicates that you don’t care and that the product shortages are just part of “doing business.” Unfortunately, consumers don’t want to hear that.