Alison Martin: “Growth is about finding new shoppers”
In this edition of Perspectives we invited Alison Martin, our Marketing and Communications Director at the UK, Ireland and US. She talks about brands in the UK, the insights featured at the latest Brand Footprint, Kantar Worldpanel’s world’s most chosen brands ranking, and about how brands can still find room for growth.
“Brands in the UK are dealing with a very challenging market. There is squeezed disposable income, creeping inflation and of course there is the uncertainty that Brexit brings.”
Looking at the Brand Footprint ranking from a UK perspective, only 19% of the top 50 brands are actually growing their consumer reach points. Alison Martin explains that there has been a raise of the discounters and the bargain stores which means an increase of own labels and also an increase focused on price.
“Whilst this might be welcomed by consumers, is perhaps less so by those brands seeking to achieve value growth.”
But, is there still room for brands to grow in the UK? She is positive:
“Of course, there is still room for brands even in a challenging market. And of course, the empirical rules of brand growth do still apply and it’s first and foremost all about finding new shoppers.”
When we look at the Brand Footprint we see that only seven out of the top 50 brands reached more than 1% penetration growth.
“The opportunity remains in that there are only three brands in the UK that achieved 80% or more penetration. These are household names as McVitie’s, Warburton’s and Heinz, two local brands and one global brand. But don’t forget of the 900 named brands that we analise, 93% of them have a penetration of less than 40%.”
In her words, this means that:
“There’s still plenty of headroom for growth, there still is opportunity for growth, the issue is that that growth is more fragmented and therefore, more difficult to find.”
In this context, brands are facing two issues: they need to understand the needs and the preferences of their target and how they may vary, and they have to be clear on what their proposition is and how this actually appeals to those varying and changing needs for their target consumers.
“Those brands and categories that have performed well are those that either make consumers life’s happier, healthier, easier or more convenient.”
As also revealed at the latest Brand Footprint report, successful brands pull on a number of levers in order to achieve growth - finding new moments of consumption, seeking new targets, expanding across categories, having more presence and creating new occasions. Alison Martin reviews these levers through the strategies of brands like Magnum, Tena, Alpro, Ginsters and Arla.
“It’s those brands that understanding the changing and evolving consumers’ needs and preferences and that respond to this, that will find growth.”
Watch the full interview by clicking on the video above.
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