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Marques_FMCG
  • Loyalty
  • FMCG
  • Article
14.10.2022

How can FMCG brands drive loyalty?

Que peut apporter une stratégie CRM aux marques FMCG, et comment ? Quelles sont les particularités de la fidélisation en grande consommation et quels sont les exemples de réussite ?

Acquisition and retention are two sides of the same coin in marketing: that of growth. For young brands, or companies launching a new product or product category, acquisition wins; while for brands that have reached maturity or become a leader, loyalty will become vital, to continue to grow by increasing customer value, or justifying a more premium positioning.

However, there seems to be one type of goods for which loyalty is generally relegated to the background, even for leading brands in their sector: these are consumer goods. For FMCG brands, the marketing strategy is often focused on media, activation and trade marketing. FMCG brands that have defined a customer engagement and loyalty strategy are still few in number.

Why this impasse on loyalty? What can a CRM strategy bring to FMCG brands, and how? What are the particularities of consumer loyalty and what are the success stories?

1. Loyalty is more complex for distributed brands

Loyalty generally implies being able to rely on CRM data. This CRM data generally comes from sales (therefore from direct sales, on or off line) or from services around the product (and first and foremost, after-sales service). But in the case of distributed consumer brands, neither of these two levers is really possible. On the one hand, the consumer product is often marketed by distribution networks. On the other hand, these products are often the subject of routine, frequent purchases, with a moderate average basket, and therefore do not justify any or very little service or after-sales service.

Without customer data, it is impossible to communicate directly, and even less to personalize this communication.

But concretely, what is customer loyalty for a consumer brand?

It is the fact of buying this brand more often than another: it is a question of repeated purchases (repeat purchase) of the products of this brand. The purchase of the product being frequent, current, the consumer is regularly faced with the choice of a brand: he will then potentially be tempted to try a competing product, to discover or compare. Customer loyalty is therefore constantly called into question and in mass consumption, retaining a customer means constantly winning them back.

Thus, the loyalty levers that work in other sectors, such as the provision of services or the creation of statutory benefits, do not easily apply to mass consumption.

2. Build loyalty by working on the brand: the top of the marketing funnel is also a loyalty issue

 

However, loyalty remains a key issue for consumer brands, especially those that have reached a certain maturity or a leading position in their market. But in a context where it is difficult to speak directly to consumers, how to retain them?

We naturally come back to the fundamental levers of marketing:

  • price
  • product qualities
  • brand strength

Let us add a factor, which relates to both the product and the brand: the commitments of the brand and the adequacy between these commitments and the concerns of consumers regarding environmental and social responsibility.

Thus, paradoxically, it is also by working on the top of the funnel (notoriety, image, consideration) that the brand continues to retain its consumers: the vitality of the brand and its ability to renew itself, to respond to constantly changing challenges , are loyalty issues.

The Perle de Lait brand offers a good case study to understand how a brand builds loyalty among its core target and strengthens its positions by working at the top of the funnel. The Perle de Lait Trophy, designed and organized for the 6th consecutive year by the Dékuple agency, aims to promote female entrepreneurship by rewarding projects by female entrepreneurs, selected for their originality and commitment. Thanks to this project, the brand is strengthening its committed brand image, and the consideration of its core target: women aged 35-50.

Trophee_Perle_de_Lait-site

 

3. Build consumer loyalty with a CRM strategy

For consumer brands, working the top of the marketing funnel helps build loyalty. But to call further, supplementing the marketing strategy with CRM levers is also important: this then makes it possible to exploit customer data to strengthen the loyalty strategy.
In the case of FMCG brands, CRM rarely concerns all customers, but it can often help to build a base of highly engaged customers, with specific use cases and already a great value in terms of insights.

With which tools to start this CRM strategy?

3.1. Loyalty programs

Creating a loyalty program for an FMCG brand does not always seem to be a solution: the low amount of the average shopping cart, the difficulty of getting out of a pure transactional logic (promotion against purchases) and the large number of consumer brands to which a consumer is exposed make this lever particularly difficult to implement. However, depending on the context, certain types of loyalty programs can be adapted, and allow the collection of customer data.

3.1.1. Multi-brand programs

First of all, in order to compensate for the fragmentation of the average shopping basket into many brands, a first strategy consists of bringing together consumer brands to create a loyalty program common to a large number of brands. The more brands the program brings together, the more useful it will be for the consumer, and therefore the more likely it will be to work. Indeed, this makes the “coverage” of the program wider, and it also avoids competition between loyalty programs (the consumer does not want to have to manage a multitude of loyalty programs).

Some programs are therefore entirely generic and are intended to bring together as many brands as possible: for example, FidMarques or Shopmium. These applications offer FMCG advertisers opportunities to use data to better target their consumers, and therefore to retain them.

It is also possible to follow this reasoning by creating a loyalty program for a product category: this is the choice made by Savencia with the “Qui veut du fromage ?” (“Who wants cheese?”) program.

3.1.2. Coupon programs

Failing to create a complete loyalty program, with a points pool system, an FMCG brand can also rely on a reduction voucher system. The customer experience is then simpler and more direct. The brand can distribute discount coupons to identified consumers, and animate the relationship thanks to this transactional loyalty tool.

The Rians brand overhauled its digital ecosystem with the Dékuple agency in 2022, in particular by integrating a discount voucher system.

These reduction coupons are distributed by email to subscribers of the brand or accessible on the brand’s website: to take advantage of them, the consumer must simply create an account.

Thanks to the data collected on downloads and the use of discount coupons, the brand can gradually personalize its messages by targeting consumers by affinity with its different product lines.

Rians-site-BR

 

3.2. Direct-to-consumer sales

If the intermediation of sales by distributors is the main obstacle to the development of CRM by consumer brands, it is sometimes possible to circumvent this obstacle, by selling directly to consumers, generally online. This is called a Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) strategy.

In most cases, consumer brands that adopt this strategy do not sell all their products, but a selection of their products, or even products designed specifically for direct sale.

D2C is particularly suitable for packs or subscription formulas on products consumed on a very recurring basis.

For example, Gillette offers packs of razor blades for 1 year.

Gillette-abonnement

Many coffee brands also offer online sales, and Nespresso goes even further by offering subscription packages.

The dietary supplement brand Zohi offers a fine example of D2C. While the main sales channel remains the traditional distribution networks (supermarkets and drugstores), the brand has also launched an e-commerce site.

Zohi-site-ecommerce

 

The Dékuple agency supports Zohi in the SEO strategy and the optimization of online conversions.

3.3. Increase the value proposition around the consumption of the product

3.3.1. Service creation

Although the act of buying an everyday consumer product is simple, it is sometimes possible to enrich the brand-consumer relationship by offering services around the product and its use. In this case, this additional value proposition can be a starting point for the CRM strategy, data collection and animation.

Adidas, which launched the very active “Adidas Runner” community in urban centers, provides a very good example. With this platform, the brand offers endurance running training sessions, all year round, with coaches. The community and local effect is very successful, and these groups of runners are very visible in town. The brand is consistent with its universe, sport and in particular racing. The link with the consumer product is indirect (shoes and sportswear), but this service helps to strengthen the brand’s image in the community, and loyalty.

Adidas_Runners

Let’s take a case even closer to mass consumption, with the Brossard brand of cakes.

During the redesign of the brand’s website, the Dékuple agency noticed that there was a particular enthusiasm for the famous “magnets” of the brand, so much so that exchanges were spontaneously organized on forums. A unique opportunity to offer an official service, making it possible to supervise and facilitate these exchanges: the Troc’n’Magnet was born! Thanks to this service offered on the brand’s website, it allows consumers who are fans of magnets to create an account to exchange their magnets. The brand can thus build and develop a base of “fan” customers.

Brossard-TrocnMagnet

3.4. Animate the consumer relationship through content

With a view to enriching the value proposition around products by providing usefulness and meeting needs or aspirations, content is also a solution. The content has the double advantage of contributing to SEO by responding to requests from Internet users, while allowing the enrichment of relational animation, in particular through social networks or newsletters.

Whatever the domain of the brand and the context of consumption of its products, there are often things to say and useful content to offer. The important thing is to do it in a sustained and regular way, because on the one hand the competition in natural referencing can be important, and on the other hand, the relational animation requires a certain regularity in the programming, to be coherent.

How to be useful to consumers when you are a brand of dairy products like Rians? Quite simply by responding to cooking enthusiasts by offering them recipe ideas based on the brand’s products, starting with the famous Rians cheese strainer! Inspirational content and recipes to meet cooking enthusiasts, depending on the moment and desires.

It is not easy to find a place in front of specialized culinary sites and blogs, but the brand has an advantage: its reputation on certain specific products, which are its specialty, such as cottage cheese and goat cheese.

Rians-Recettes
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