Given the amount of change in society in the last 12 months, the reason people buy your products might have changed. One of the subtle differences we spend a lot of time on at SKUFood is the difference between features and benefits. Your customers and consumers want your products for the benefits they deliver, not the features.
If you think about the retailers first, your customers, do you think they list a cookie because it is gluten free? No, they list a cookie because of the sales and profit it will generate for them. They are also interested if it will drive traffic in their stores and keep consumers coming back.
Second, do you think consumers pick up that package of cookies to put in their shopping cart because it is gluten free? No, they make the decision to buy because of the taste, the value and the fact the cookie fits into how they want to or have to eat.
They both want the product for the benefits it delivers, not the feature. Yes, you need to tell people it is gluten free but it is not the only reason they will want it on their shelf or in their shopping cart. Focus on the benefits of gluten free, not just the feature of being gluten free.
When you ask the question ‘why do people buy our products?’ focus on the benefits. So much has changed in the last 12 months the reason people buy might have changed.
One of the things we did was get away from at SKUFood in 2020 was our C.A.R.T. process. In a time of rapid change, people need to react and find solutions and do not always believe following a process is the right decision. When we learned more and began to understand we are in this for a longer period of time we revisited our C.A.R.T. process and one positive was that it really is effective in this time of change. It forced us to ask the right questions.
There is no doubt much has changed and we need to ask these questions today. It is interesting how some of the answers for your business might be different. It is time to think about how your consumers have changed. The third question in our C.A.R.T. process is:
Why do people buy your products?
Perhaps people are using your products differently. With so many people working from home breakfast and lunch are very different meals. Your product could be something they need to make some of these meals at home. Hopefully you have provided recipes and ideas for them to help them.
We know there has been a significant shift from food service to retail and a considerable amount of these food dollars are coming from people in the millennial generation. They might use your products differently than other consumers and they might need more guidance in how to use them. They will seek this information in different places and they will put more faith in online product reviews. They might be more likely to buy your product after reading an online review from someone they have never met than from an expensive ad you created. It is more important than ever to be aware of what consumers are saying about your products online.
Retail price is an interesting dynamic right now. We see food prices increasing overall and many inputs are continuing to rise. If temporary price reductions were part of your strategy this might have to change. Some consumers appear willing to spend more or small indulgences because things like travel are so restricted. They can’t go away so they might prepare some special meals or even if possible, have some people in for a meal in small groups. There are also people who have been negatively impacted and they are more price conscious than ever. You really need to understand your target market and how people might use your products.
The key is to ask the question:
Why do people buy my products?
Once you know the answer you can think about some of the changes from even 1 year ago. As you build your sales and marketing plans are you addressing why they buy your product today or are you stuck with what they were doing 1 year ago? Consumers are changing fast and you need to keep up.
If you have any questions about how to get your local products on the shelf or in the shopping cart you can always call me at (902) 489-2900 or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.