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Changing Trends in the Consumer Ecosystem

A recent study by the global consulting firm Mckinsey&Co suggests that, of the mega trends that will affect the Consumer Packaged Goods(CPG) Industry over the next decade, a change in profile of the consumer is ranked as one of the most significant of all trends. The changes in consumer profile is the result of demographic shifts in certain parts of the world, changes in consumer buying preferences (value products as opposed to 'branded products') and the all-pervasive 'rise of the digital consumer'. To address these changes, the CPG industry will grapple with multiple issues, related to consumer engagement, given the new paradigm of changing consumer preferences for products/ services. Significantly how these products/ services are delivered with the most relevant (and best) consumer experience on platforms which are innovative and accomplishing tasks in the most efficient and effective way

While it seems a tall order to change the traditional mode of engaging the consumers for a mature Industry, these challenges are being addressed by some of the leading CPG companies in innovative ways, where the key aspects of engagement  - Consumer, product and engagement context are brought together. Let's look at the example of a leading food and beverages company, which launched a unique contest to bring crowd-sourced ideas for new flavours for their popular brand of crisps. The result was that about 8 million ideas were generated covering multiple countries, with about 20 of these flavours being launched commercially. The significant outcome of this was that large number of consumers were brought on a platform where they actively participated in creating new products (consumer+product+engagement contex) for consumption by its own community. Take for instance the case of a leading footwear manufacturer who has innovated a kiosk which uses about 2000 sensors to enable orthotics solutions for its consumers, redefining the traditional mode of engaging the consumer, not just to provide more effective and relevant products but also customize the user experience.

There are multiple instances of innovation in the 'consumer engagement' space, especially given the growing pervasiveness of digital media, now being experimented and adopted by the CPG industry. The understanding is that digital media, changing mode of consumer engagement and the given mega trends that the Industry needs to address, more such innovations will become imperative.


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