I received a lot of attention from my recent posts about how to improve the value equation through meaningful marketing, so I assume that this is a very relevant topic for readers and Googlers. A few weeks ago, our friends at MVI hosted a Future of Food Retailing Forum here in Cincinnati. I was unable to attend the event, but one of our star Client Service Managers, Andrea Bollin, provided our agency with a nice summary of the event, which hit again and again on consumers’ value needs.
The main purpose of the conference was to hit many topics that are useful for vendors and suppliers of all types that serve retailers—and we attended to get more perspective for Bridge Worldwide’s major food retail client, Kroger. There were two main takeaways from the two-day conference that hit on both value and meaningful marketing:
1. “The New Premium”—The concept of what consumers expect in a “premium” brand is shifting dramatically due to the economic downturn, a concern for environmental sustainability, and an overall desire by people to make a more positive impact in their purchases. According to MVI, the new premium brands are transparent and have a focused purpose. New premium brands also never mention price, but instead show added value through their social, sustainability, and health/wellness contributions. In a world where premium brands are less and less better performing than low-cost store brands, they must differentiate along other lines that people care about. I’m very excited to see the future of marketing when leading brands innovate and create marketing along these lines.
2. Teach People New Skills—One of the conference sessions shared some emerging themes in consumer messaging. One specific example is the opportunity for brands to help consumers learn or rediscover new skills. A few things are driving this: (1) People are increasingly interested in “doing it yourself” to save money and enjoy an experience, but they need to learn how; and (2) young adults today spent less time in the kitchens, yards, and garages with their parents learning how to bake a cake, landscape, or change the oil, respectively, so there is a skill gap waiting to be filled. Teaching a skill is one of the big opportunities for brands that I explore in the upcoming book, using examples such as Home Depot’s in-store classes. The idea is that brands can close a sale and earn long-term loyalty by helping people better themselves.
Overall, it’s great to see more and more industry minds triangulating on the importance of marketing that itself adds to the value equation by improving people’s lives.
As a special offer to readers of this post, you can read Andrea’s brief summary of the event by downloading it here.