As we begin working toward a return to ‘normal’ or as most are calling the ‘new normal’, and consumer package companies are considering re-starting in-store brand and promotional activities, this ‘new normal’ changes how to more effectively do that.
I just attended a Path To Purchase IQ webinar. Click here to link to their website. Organizers of these events must be enjoying the unprecedented numbers attending these days.
I was certainly impressed by the value of the content provided. What really caught my attention was the reminder that the retail experience has changed and likely that change will be permanent. This will require consumer product goods companies to change how they go to market with their products. How they create brand experience and launch promotional campaigns may also be significantly altered.
Here are a few things to consider:
There is more and more discussion around the contactless shopping experience. For discoverability of new products, this may pose an issue. For example, the other day I noticed a new cauliflower pizza crust at my local grocery store. I am a label reader and, although I wasn’t entirely comfortable picking up the box, I really wanted to see the ingredients before I purchased. Consideration could be given to how to appeal to those label readers in a contactless manner. Does the packaging need to adapt to this new normal? Does it lend itself well to a promotional window decal on the freezer door or a tag that highlights all the great benefits of a product? Do companies that have items people want to touch and try on ensure the safety of their products by building displays with ‘sanitation stations’?
Trip consolidation will continue as shoppers choose to limit their exposure. This may become a new normal, as people discovered that by getting it all done in one trip, they opened up time in the rest of the week. Look at what that may mean for promotion timing and length of any program launched.
Economic value and value in general become increasingly important as the country struggles economically. Promotions around value will get more notice, likely.
Shoppers are looking for convenient solutions. On this recent shopping trip, there was an ingredient for a meal I wanted to make, and I couldn’t find it on my first pass through the store. With the efforts of reducing my actual time in the store, I abandoned the idea. After participating in the webinar, and this recent experience, it made me think that perhaps this is an opportunity for creating an overall meal solution on an endcap with supporting signage.
Short-term Planning and Response
The experience of Covid-19 has inspired Retailers and Brands to respond in ways they didn’t think possible prior. In March, retailers, and many suppliers to retail suddenly found themselves having to rapidly shift regular business and respond to the crisis. In many cases, TNG Retail Services was asked to help, and we responded. Ongoing, a precedence has been set; there is increased comfort with shorter-term planning. Quickly responding to opportunities certainly aids in addressing the changes that consumers are experiencing.
Like with any change, there comes opportunity. Every opportunity, however, needs expert and quick-response execution at store level. We’ve always been there for CPG companies and retailers, and we proved that throughout the crisis period.
TNG Retail Services has managed to perform far above expectations (retailer and client) during the Covid-19 crisis by utilizing our local management teams for coverage in stores across the country. Statistically, visit compliance stayed above 90% during March and April even when our merchandiser leave of absence numbers were greater than 20%. Moreover, TNG executed at 94% or better in several continuity programs during the entire period. We even rescued a few projects for companies that were in a bind.
TNG’s field management infrastructure is unique because of the strong, local presence and density of teams poised to execute in contingency situations.
It is our national footprint and our local structure that really results in our consistently high execution levels. Retailers are going to play catch up getting assortment back; we can play a role in quicker movement of that assortment. We can get displays changed out, merchandise product, get those extra touches such as replenishing your sanitation stations. We are often able to respond quickly to set up point-of-purchase materials, all to help your increased brand activity. Swapping out old fixtures with new ones that address the ‘new normal’ is also in executed with competency and high compliance.
For CPG companies, we become your ‘good brand’ ambassadors at store-level ~ moving products that ultimately moves your business forward.