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Discover how to drive consumer engagement in a cost of living crisis – part two

Win on brand, not only on price*
*Take the focus off price and generate customer loyalty for your brand

In part one of our cost of living crisis series, we highlighted how Catalyx can maximise the success of your product portfolio even in the toughest of markets.

Now we focus on the importance of consumer engagement to maintain and build customer loyalty for your brand when increased prices are forcing selection of spending. How can you ensure your brand is top of the mind for consumers in an inflationary environment?

It’s very clear that consumers are prioritising the brands they love, while cutting costs by switching to cheaper products where there is less loyalty.

So it’s more important than ever to know how to win with consumers by making the best strategic choices that your consumers will love.

Price can quickly become the main thing that businesses are competing against, so it’s essential to stay close to your core audience and build the value proposition of your products.

Be clear about your consumer response
Importantly, you need to know your audience’s thoughts, feelings, desires and actions during these turbulent times.
Here are just a few examples of consumer reactions to the current cost of living crisis…

There are some consumers who can’t do anything but afford a certain price for a product:

“To save money we have switched to a lot of own branded foods and are shopping at Aldi. It seems to be the cheapest and great quality food. I have also stopped using my dryer and am drying all wash loads outside although come winter this won’t be possible.”

But there are many consumers who are making smart choices and not changing their behaviour if the product they usually buy is a priority – sticking with the brand they love even when times are hard:

“I think everyone is struggling and the purse strings are tighter, but I wouldn’t cut off my Netflix.”

While others can afford it, but change some spending behaviours because they’re anticipating what might happen. They take on the behaviours of people who have less money, but can be persuaded because they have money to spend:

“We have noticed the price increases when it comes to food and drink and have started to make some cutbacks. We’re not struggling but have chosen to be proactive and start making little changes now and see how things go as prices continue to rise.”

When people are having to, or choosing to, make smart choices through prioritising what they spend their money on, the emotional drivers and need for relevance becomes heightened.

It’s important to bring the consumer voice into this to focus your efforts on how your brand can be making a difference to consumers’ lives. Can you enable them to focus on what matters? Make their lives easier? Or simply bring a moment of joy to their day?

Driving engagement by providing your consumers with exactly what they need and desire will generate brand loyalty and growth for your brand.

First, you need to navigate the strategic choices needed to make this happen.

Using our systemised approach, through our award-winning Consumer Activation System, we can guarantee you’ll discover the strategic choices for growth in an inflationary environment. For instance:

Play in the right places
To ensure growth you need to stay close to your core audience because their behaviours are vulnerable to change in an inflationary environment. Use the Catalyx Category Where To Play module to be aware of shifts in category and how to make strategic choices that will ensure you’re playing in the right places against a backdrop of consumer change.

How to win?
Savvy brands will be asking consumers to make ‘smart choices’. To do this, you’ll need to know how to win with consumers as they prioritise the brands that they feel most engaged with. Understand how your brand can cut through the pricing noise with engagement that is emotionally driven, which will override their rational pricing choices. Brands will need to be brave, bold, and creative in their messaging. What may have worked in the status quo will not be as successful now, so you need to work out how to invest in smart ways to make your money go further. You’ll also need to know how to adjust the nuances for your different consumer groups. Catalyx’s Consumer How To Win enables you to make these smart strategic choices.

Discover unmet needs
In a testing economic environment where consumers aren’t in auto drive when choosing products, meeting consumer unmet needs will have significant impact to drive product purchase. To quickly respond with innovation that you know will drive growth for your product portfolio, you’ll need to not only understand what the top unmet needs are but have solution territories and ideas to springboard innovation from

Build innovation
Innovation fails more often than it succeeds, particularly in an environment where price is king. Your consumers can help you go from a blank page to innovation territories that matter to them and help you to tap into growth, even in a tough economic environment.

Let us show you how to discover the strategic choices that will help you to drive consumer engagement. Contact the Catalyx team today and find out how we can help you to grow even in the most challenging markets.

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