Showing posts with label consumer need. Show all posts
Showing posts with label consumer need. Show all posts

Friday, 22 August 2014

Degree of 'dislike' as a KPI in unprecedented times...

Whilst traditionally we used degree-of-satisfaction, or the consumer’s regard for a brand as a key measure of brand health, unprecedented times may cause us to have to work at the other end of the spectrum - degree of dislike - for guidance on retaining consumers…

Incidentally, perhaps this subconscious need of brand owners to explore all growth-avenues is a reason why yesterday’s Birds Eye survey of Top Foods that British Consumers Dislike Eating, attracted our highest readership of the week.

Cost-management as a driver
In the case of a well-known ‘Liver salts’ brand, if the manufacturer still used the original 1930’s ingredients, the product would cost upwards of £3k per tin onshelf, and would probably remain there… Given this escalating cost, the key driver of product innovation was a search for less expensive ingredients that tasted the same and produced the same physical effect on the consumer… i.e. a need to avoid known dis-satisfaction limits for regular users.

On a more personal level, many years ago in the marketing department of a well-known milk-based beverage, we faced similar issues with ingredient-cost and had to search for less expensive substitutes. We fed the ‘revisions’ to our captive audience via the canteen, and I was charged with spending break-times there, monitoring the ‘degree-of-grimace’ on the faces of colleagues as they unknowingly tasted the modified brew…

Whilst we may have risked losing an employee or two, this testing-model ensured that little risk was taken with our precious consumer franchise…

Although we should always aim to delight the consumer by ‘over-delivering’ on performance, perhaps we are in danger of moving beyond satisfying the needs of the consumer if carried to excess... In other words, we are ‘contracting’ with the consumer to deliver a combination of Product-performance, Price, Presentation and Place that compares well with - i.e. is marginally better  than- equivalents available in the category.

Delivering significantly more than the consumer is ‘buying’ by ‘over-engineering’ the product runs the risk of confusing the consumer, costing more, and may even make us uncompetitive.

The real issue therefore is to fundamentally understand and manage the expectations of the consumer, thereby releasing resources for communicating the proposition and innovation.

…and if that approach causes us to monitor ‘degree-of-dislike’ of the brand, perhaps it is preferable for us to explore and avoid that point, before the consumers vote with their feet…?