Competition among consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands is daunting; the industry is estimated at $2 trillion and most segments are highly saturated. In fact, an estimated 56% of U.S. consumers said the number of brands they consider for a given product or service has increased significantly over the past 10 years. It makes sense, then, that when brand affinity is not a factor, consumers will often make purchases based on price alone.
When markets are mature and saturated, it can be difficult for your brand to gain greater market share. Loyal customers want to stay with the brands they’ve already chosen. Cost-conscious consumers want the lowest price. Among all this competition, how can your brand hope to gain market share from its competitors? The answer is in leveraging digital marketing partnerships to reach new customers and build brand awareness.
The significant growth of the CPG marketplace over the past decade means that mass advertising and shelf placement are no longer sufficient to excite shoppers and convert them into customers. CPG brands often turn to coupons to entice and grow their customer base, but in the modern age of digital shoppers who are looking to deeply connect with a brand for more than just its price point, these steep discounts often result in nothing more than a one-time purchase—at a loss.
If your CPG brand wants to remain competitive in the new world of digital marketing, you need an alternative to the expensive discount programs of the past. This alternative can be found in mobile apps that drive consumers toward your brand as they shop. When consumers receive brand messages in real time while they are in a retail location, the sales funnel becomes short and effective, allowing your brand to naturally convert awareness into a purchase.
How Your Brand Can Leverage New Technology to Improve Market Share
In a study involving a diverse group of consumers, eMarketer noted that 73% of consumers cite price and value as top sales drivers. This hasn’t changed much in the history of selling CPG products. What has changed is how brands make consumers aware of their value and quality. Brands have to be able to gain the attention of consumers—and the digital space is the place where they must do it.
62% of millennials, one of the largest groups of consumers, use digital services to locate products. To gain the attention of these shoppers, your brand needs to shift its focus to the digital world, particularly mobile apps that travel with shoppers. The top benefits of mobile apps for CPG brands trying to determine how to gain market share from competitors are:
- GPS technology accompanies consumers on their shopping trips: Given permission, smartphone GPS technology allows companies to follow consumers throughout their day, offering mobile deals when they’re most likely to buy—and close to a store entrance. Those quick trips to the store can be used to remind consumers of a particular brand, ensuring it is at the forefront of their mind while they’re about to make a purchase.
- Online rapport with customers: 81% of consumers research products online before making a significant purchase—and that number continues to grow. With reviews, comparisons, and the like available at their fingertips, savvy shoppers are becoming increasingly likely to turn to the internet before a purchase. That means that you may be able to take market share from CPG companies that are without a digital presence simply by having one yourself.
As we review the statistics above, it becomes clear that a digital presence is crucial for any CPG brand competing in today’s retail market and attempting to gain market share over their competitors. However, developing an online presence requires time and significant investment, even for well-known brands like Band-Aid or Kleenex, names synonymous with a particular product. 2 million blogs, according to Hosting Facts, are published every day, with countless brands all trying to create an online presence.
Brand awareness is a major component of gaining market share. That’s no secret. But gaining that brand awareness requires the ability to stand out on digital platforms, which are often saturated with other brands attempting to do the exact same thing. To gain an edge in a highly competitive market, your CPG brand can’t start at square one. Instead, you need to find a way to use strategic partnerships to gain notoriety in the digital space.
Building Partnerships with Popular Shopping Apps
Instead of a high-cost, full-scale online marketing campaign, many brands are finding ways to work their way further down the sales funnel, reaching out to consumers where and as they shop. By leveraging the ease and flexibility of existing mobile retail apps, CPG companies can incentivize consumers without damaging their bottom line. Partnering with popular app offerings which have an established foothold in the retail market offers brands the opportunity to build product awareness and consumer trust which, in the end, leads to a greater share of their target market.
How is this accomplished? Consumers want to feel like fiscally savvy shoppers. However, CPG brands, often operating on slim profitability margins, can hardly afford to slash prices to make a sale, especially since this can lead to long-term devaluations of their brand name. After all, greater market share and customer loyalty don’t necessarily equate to profitability. Shopping apps that aggregate rewards from partner brands benefit both the consumer and the brand in three ways:
- They can help reduce overhead associated with a full-scale digital marketing campaign: A full-scale digital marketing campaign is not a cheap endeavor. However, by working with an established app as a part of their entire marketing campaign, brands are able to reduce some overhead costs.
- They target motivated consumers: Shopping apps don’t target the general population. Instead, they target consumers who are interested in learning more about products. When consumers download these apps, they want the app to contact them about the brands they partner with. Rather than simply advertising at consumers, these apps interact with consumers. That interaction leads to brand affinity and ultimately larger market share down the road by creating a value exchange between the brand and the shopper.
- They offer an existing audience base: One of the biggest challenges in app marketing is gaining adoption. This is particularly challenging for CPG brands as consumers are very unlikely to download an entire app focused on one single product. This is why established shopping apps are ideal for CPG brands: they offer a built-in audience.
CPG brands spend roughly $225 billion on marketing each year, with discounts that cut into margins. Brand managers are beginning to approach marketing in a new way, however. App-based advertising programs are becoming a highly profitable addition to digital marketing strategies as they draw in consumers without requiring companies to compete at a loss.
Brand awareness breeds greater market share. Partnering with the right shopping apps can significantly increase awareness of your brand, allowing you to claim a greater share of your market segment from your non-digital competitors. By leveraging strategic partnerships with popular mobile shopping apps, your CPG brand is given access to an active user base in the digital space—and all without the risk and high cost of a stand-alone digital program.