Implementing Agile Usage and Attitude Tracking in CPG

Published Nov 24, 2021

Lucia Juliano, Head of FMCG Research at Harris Interactive

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Across the globe, consumer behaviours and attitudes continue to rapidly evolve. For CPG brands, it’s imperative to stay on top of these changes in order to position themselves—and their products and services—for success in the marketplace.

Consider these findings from Wave 17 of our Global Consumer Barometer, which was fielded between 16th and 21st September. Forty percent of global consumers say they’ve changed the ways that they save and spend money, and 59% say they’re open to trying a new product for the first time. When combined, these factors mean that CPG brands must find ways to stay connected with consumers in real-time — or risk falling behind.

This rapid pace of change underscores the need for agile usage and attitude (U&A) tracking. Below, we’ll take a look at findings from our U&A tracking efforts—on a global level and in the UK, specifically—and discuss how leading CPG brands are adapting.

The increasing role of brand values

In Wave 17 of our Barometer, we found that consumers are holding brands to high ethical standards. Overall, 88% of global consumers believe that brands should be accountable to them—and it’s not just lip service, either. Eighty-five percent of global consumers say they go out of their way to engage with brands that align with their values. Perhaps even more notably, 53% have stopped supporting brands that don’t.

Which values do consumers care about, specifically? Concerns around health and wellness, poverty, and environmental issues have seen the highest increase since the beginning of the pandemic.

58% are more concerned about health and wellness

53% are more concerned about poverty

50% are more concerned about environmental issues

Ultimately, U&A tracking helps brands understand which values are most important to their consumers in real-time.

Insights from our U&A tracking in CPG

We surveyed UK consumers to understand changes in usage and attitude with regard to the CPG industry, and one thing is clear: health & wellness continues to be a huge focus. In a survey fielded on October 8, 45% percent of UK adults 18-54 declared wellness as a key priority of theirs, and this has translated to attitudes toward flu season. Whether it be purchasing medicine, exercising, or getting a flu jab, UK consumers are taking proactive steps to manage their health.

They don’t just care about their own health, either; they’re concerned about the wellbeing of the planet, on the whole. In a snacking category survey fielded on October 8, 23% of respondents said that sustainability was a relevant choice driver for them in the last month. An additional 32% plan to check whether a product was produced sustainably more often in the future.

This push toward sustainability has been a boon for plant-based snacks, in particular. Over a quarter of respondents had eaten a plant-based snack in the past month, and a similar proportion plan to eat more in the future.

How leading brands are adapting

Today’s leading brands are tracking consumer behaviour more frequently and in more agile ways. With short, repeatable, flexible questionnaires that are tailored to the specifics of your sector, you can anticipate changes and drive business for your brand. Some of the key business drivers and decision-making insights from U&A tracking include:

Current and future usage patterns for products, services, and brands. This includes expected versus actual usage, new trials, and switching

Consumers’ needs, motivations, and obstacles when choosing products, services, and brands

How consumers are accessing/purchasing products and services

The impact of brand values and social, economic, and environmental responsibility considerations on performance

Brand strengths and weaknesses

A wealth of profiling information that can be analysed to place findings in context

Ready to get started with your own Usage and Attitude tracking efforts? Download our eBook to learn how to fuel your brand’s success with an agile approach to U&A tracking.

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