Design Power in CPG Brands

Jessica Gaedeke, Chief Revenue Officer and Hilary Rekrut, Senior Vice President, Analytics at Designalytics talked about how they were going about disrupting brands with design research at the NEXT2019 Conference in Chicago earlier this summer. Below are three design insights that highlight why their work is boundary pushing and why their panel resonated so much for any brand trying to be itself better.

1. With this growing trend of NoName and Sustainable Packaging in CPG brands, will design still play a key role in growing your brand’s recall? 

Gaedeke: Absolutely – the package design is the common denominator across all aspects of the consumer experience. It’s present in any advertising that pushes consumers to the brand; it’s present at the first moment of truth when a purchase decision is made; it’s present during the product experience; and it’s present in any social sharing that happens after experience. It’s pervasive. Many brands are shifting to sustainable packaging or minimalist branding, but the package is still the personification of the brand, and the design will always play a critical role. Even the brand “Brandless” is a brand, with a corresponding brand strategy manifested through its design.

Eight in 10 Americans buy private label products frequently or occasionally in order to save money.

 IRI Private Label Report 2018 

2. You talked about ankle-biters, a concept less talked about, the rise of smaller brands or microbrands. How would you quantify their growth or impact in the marketplace?

Gaedeke: Ankle biters refer to the rapidly growing brands that can have a disruptive presence seemingly overnight, carving out share from the top players. Because ankle biters typically do not enjoy healthy advertising budgets, they tend to leverage innovative design strategies – since that asset needs to work so hard to earn trial. According to IRI-BCG data, approximately $20 billion in industry sales have shifted away from large and medium to smaller and private label manufacturers since 2013.

The IRI’s data below reveals the consistent growth of smaller players:

The rise of “ankle-biter” small brands in the past four years

“Companies with annual sales of less than $1 billion account for 51% of 2018 New Product Pacesetters, the largest share ever.”

Larry Levin and Joan Driggs, IRI New Product Pacesetters 2018

[The rise of microbrands is a global trend that seems to be impacting CPG companies more. This trend has been blogged about in the GreenBook Blog.]

3. What is the most disruptive technology hitting the world of design research? 

Gaedeke: Designalytics is the most disruptive technology hitting the world of design research. It’s because we represent more than “research” – we are a constant stream of market intelligence related to design. Our newly invented methods to capture mental availability and distinctive assets are revolutionizing how CPG marketers measure design effectiveness. Our market tracking and change detection enable marketers to proactively understand competitive dynamics. And our syndicated approach provides first-view data quality for every metric measured, meaning we have the industry’s first truly objective metrics. We are providing the much-needed performance dashboard that will enable manufacturers to grow their brands with greater returns on limited funds.

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