Success in consumer packaged goods? It’s built on trust.

Several business differentiators can help fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies gain momentum and generate revenue growth: brand, speed, smarter supply chains/factories and customer trust. In our fourth installment of blog posts focused on FMCG, we will discuss how to improve customer trust in our industrial processes to better meet the needs of every consumer.

Earn customers’ trust with a green approach

Green attributes like organic, locally sourced, environmentally friendly, sustainable, CO2 neutral, healthy, plastic-free and cruelty-free are more important than ever to buying decisions in many markets. 73% of consumers say they would definitely change their consumption habits to reduce their environmental impact, while 49% are inclined to pay higher-than-average prices to do so1.

Growing awareness

Inherent in the value of a brand is the customer’s trust in the consistent quality of the product. When a company’s traditional benefits complement sustainability issues, both have the potential to raise or decrease brand value. Customers will react sensitively to promises not kept and expect companies to prove the correctness of their claims.

Again, technology can help a great deal on a vast number of these issues. CO2 reduction can be supported by:

  • Defining the as-is situation with digital decarbonization assessments
  • Planning with decarbonization roadmaps
  • Brainstorming different steps to take toward decarbonization
  • Measuring and documenting with decarbonization management systems

Building relationships through IT and social media

IT can help reduce excessive CO2 through better planning, identification of energy waste, and through the decarbonization of its own components.FMCG marketing will weave information about successful initiatives into their communications — which at the same time, need to become increasingly digital and personalized to manage the consumer relationship on, with, and sometimes in contrast to the online platforms.While traditional print and media marketing has enabled FMCG organizations to widely promote their brands, online and mobile technologies enable FMCG to dynamically adapt their customer messaging in response to real-time feedback down to the individual customer level.

Web, mobile analytics and social sentiment analysis have become mainstream tools in recent years. New levels of digital insight can be gathered through the adoption of customer experience platforms that bring new degrees of sophistication to managing customer perception and expectations.

FMCG organizations that aggressively adopt such technologies see significant returns on their ability to react to campaign lifecycle events, demographic or environmental behavior changes and competitor challenges.

ikeahackers example: A clear example of this is the way that IKEA supports the “IKEA hacker” communities that are prevalent online.

Inherent in the value of a brand is the customer’s trust in the consistent quality of the product. When a company’s traditional benefits complement sustainability efforts, both have the potential to raise or decrease brand value.

Embracing and promoting the use of its product lines as building blocks that enable customers to personalize and adapt its furniture to their specific needs, IKEA has successfully leveraged an army of loyal customers and interior designers to create additional demand for its products without massive investment in direct marketing. This concept is demonstrated by the site, which has been in existence since 2006 and has nearly 500,000 active followers on its Facebook site.

cratejoy example: New levels of customer interactivity and engagement can be created by adjacent or complementary physical and digital services that enhance a core product offering. Using men’s grooming as an example, many shaving subscription companies are now rapidly expanding their product portfolios to become lifestyle brands by including skincare, dental care and clothing in an attempt to leverage the perceived convenience that subscription-based home delivery services like have created.

Creating simple digital tools that enable customers to share their experiences, access continuously updated grooming tips and buy related products creates a simple, easy and convenient experience that customers now demand. We also see these strategies being applied in other manufacturing-oriented industries from which FMCG can learn.

In closing, a word of advice: Don’t be caught unaware of business trends like the proverbial deer in the headlights. If the FMCG industry wants to find its way back to stable, profitable growth, it must reflect on its strengths and reinterpret them before being struck down due to stagnation.

Those who can maintain and expand market share will also be able to maintain customer relationships across digital channels. The winners will be the ones who can automatically analyze offers, providers and platforms — and who can develop new products and services in an agile manner.

Standing in the headlights and waiting to see what happens is not a good strategy — not for a deer, and especially not for the FMCG industry.

For the full white paper that breaks down the potential growth prospects for the FMCG industry in today’s dynamic business environment, please download the Atos white paper, “How FMCG can win in a virtual world: Grappling with the new retail reality.”


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About Dr. Matthias J Förster
Partner, Vice President and Global Consulting Industry Leader, Manufacturing
As Global Consulting Industry Leader for manufacturing, Matthias Förster brings to life multimillion-euro implementations of artificial intelligence, analytics, software factories, automation, robotics and customer experience solutions. Before Atos, Matthias held leadership positions at Computer Sciences Corporation, IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has decades of experience advising large organizations on how to use technologies to improve business performance and was, in fact, first appointed partner in July 2000. Matthias earned a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and a doctorate in Economic Sciences from Berlin University of Technology, and today he lives near Frankfurt, Germany.

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About Steve Cockerill
Vice President and Consulting Partner, Global Manufacturing

Steve is an experienced business technologist with over twenty-five years of technology and digital consulting experience gained in the Manufacturing, CPG, Automotive and Telecoms sectors. He has held several international consulting and blue-chip roles, leading multi-country consulting and programme delivery teams to support clients across the UK, Europe and the US. Steve is an Atos patent holder for his work upon real-time analytics in the Rail industry.
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