Observing and responding creatively to consumer trends can unlock growth in even the most mature of categories
Categories may change, but the questions that haunt brand managers generally stay the same. Among them: How can we increase our margins in a price driven category? How can we stand out from our competitors in a saturated market?
Ever since Wine Intelligence’s foundation we have tried to unlock the answers to these questions by examining and understanding consumer needs. While this sounds simple, it generally isn’t: Aside perhaps from consumer tribes around iconic products such as Apple, most consumers of most brands are frustratingly indifferent and mercenary. They may like something, but generally want to pay less for it, or have it tailored more conveniently for them at no extra cost.
This issue is not confined to the wine category. But there is an answer. As part of our research for the Wine Intelligence 2014 Trends Report we looked at how other categories tackle the challenge of adding value in a mature market, and we thought the following example from the UK fruit juice sector was interesting and relevant.
Since its start in 1986 Cawston Vale, based in Norfolk, was a pressed juice producer proud of their quality (we agree – it tastes great). But it was not until 2009 when Mark Palmer, former Green & Black’s Marketing Director and a former speaker at our Leading Thinkers series, took control that the brand began to take off. Just 12 months after the management redesigned the brand’s sales grew by 249% while also increasing the retail price from £1.49 to £2.09 for a 1L cardboard juice box*. Since then it has launched in Australia and is now going to grow with an ambitious canned soft drinks plan**.
The re-branded proposition tapped into consumer needs in terms of “Feelgood” (a trend we documented in 2013 and 2014) by offering a healthy pressed juice in distinctively British flavours such as Rhubarb or Elderflower, but it also does this by utilising one of the new trends we have highlighted for 2014: Visualization. Actually the whole packaging is one big visualization about how the product is made and why the juice is different to the competitors.
The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words has never seemed more apposite. Consumers now expect to see complicated news items, theories or instructions simplified in a graphical form. For the wine industry there is an opportunity to tap into the Visual trend in other ways. Consumers in all markets confess to a lack of confidence in their wine knowledge. Looking at some of the text-heavy books, websites and marketing material that confront them, it’s not hard to understand why; and not hard, either, to picture a different way of approaching things.
For information about our 9 trends click here.
Author: Juan Park