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Your consumers don’t yet care about Generative AI.

Yes, that’s despite the excitement and buzz within the brand and marketing industries.

AI is on the rise within FMCG brand communications; spoken about at every conference, posted about whenever you open LinkedIn. We at Catalyx noticed this was true for titans of FMCG such as KitKat and Heinz, and we decided to get to the bottom of what their consumers really thought of it.

We’re thrilled to share the launch of a Catalyx whitepaper on AI’s use for consumer connection as part of our Innovatively Speaking series. This ground-breaking report dives into the impact of Generative AI on consumer-brand relationships within the FMCG industry, and reveals some startling truths for those hoping to hop on the bandwagon.

Using adverts from the iconic brands, KitKat and Heinz, as stimuli, we activated consumers from around the UK and strategically elevated our findings to bring you these insights. We found, on average, that responses were surprisingly lukewarm… and outright resentful at worst.

Our AI whitepaper dives into the big bet that’s falling flat

Our research uncovered a bombshell: 64% of the UK population is in the dark about AI, with many outright rejecting it or viewing it with suspicion. This disconnect between industry hype and public perception is staggering. Despite AI’s promise of efficiency, the clear majority of consumers see it as a threat, with major concerns about data protection, inaccuracies, and job security.

What’s more, the majority of respondents had, for one reason or another, never used AI and didn’t plan to. This reveals a broader issue: a huge segment of the population remains totally disinterested in the technology, but marketeers can’t seem to get enough of it.

The echo chamber separating brands from consumers

In their race to catch the wave of industry buzz, AI-proud brands have trapped themselves in an echo chamber that alienates the average FMCG consumer.

We discovered that familiarity with AI was the biggest predictor of a positive reception, and since the majority of people have no desire to become acquainted, this means brands adopting AI-centric communications are creating for themselves a non-starter.

In innovation development, a deep understanding of your consumers’ needs is vital, but it’s apparent that the allure of AI as a shiny new tool has overshadowed this principle. It’s a critical lesson: buzzy creative hooks, no matter how cutting-edge, must align with consumer needs and expectations.

The real challenge is fully understanding your consumer

So, what’s the takeaway for brands? Success hinges on putting consumers at the heart of innovation from the get-go. Authentic connections with loyal consumers aren’t built on gimmicks; they’re forged through a genuine understanding of real needs.

AI could be a powerful tool within brand-consumer communications, but not for the sake of itself. It must be integrated with a consumer-centric approach. We think it can be done right.

Our whitepaper also highlights a perfect execution of AI for brand growth by Dove, showing how thoughtful, consumer-focused integration of the new technology can, in some cases, resonate deeply.

Looking ahead: navigating the AI frontier

Brands must start with a deep understanding of their consumers. The FMCG landscape is ever-changing, and while AI offers exciting possibilities when it comes to content creation, balancing innovation with consumer relevance is vital.

Our whitepaper provides a detailed exploration of these dynamics, offering actionable insights that demonstrate the need to first meet your consumers where they are.

Are you ready to discover whether AI is exciting or excluding your consumers?

Download our whitepaper today to dive into these findings and learn how to navigate the complexities of AI in FMCG marketing.

Be one of the brands that wins

We’re ready to unlock your innovation’s success, and won’t settle until our work does just that.

Don’t just take our word for it; check out our new website’s Case Studies to discover how our qual at quant scale approach has supercharged the success of innovations across industries.

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Let’s talk. Click here to innovate with confidence.