Reimagine Experience

The consumer goods experience reimagined

Creating new consumer goods experiences
What really matters to consumers has changed fundamentally. With new preferences, behaviors and habits likely to continue beyond the pandemic, consumer packaged goods businesses (CPG) must evolve their propositions to build the deeper, more relevant and inclusive consumer relationships on which future success will depend.
Much about what we value, how and where we shop has changed permanently as a result of the pandemic. People are now living differently, buying differently and – in many ways – thinking differently.  

Our spending priorities have shifted – we are buying more essentials, for example, and also more local products from local businesses. We have embraced ecommerce. And we have grown used to many more of our purchases being delivered to us at home. 

Today, most consumers are making at least one lasting change to how they live, work and play, our internal research shows. Now, with no sign of going back, the time is right to reimagine the consumer goods experience. 

By listening and responding to today’s adapting consumer, consumer goods brand owners have an opportunity to build greater depth and relevance into their customer relationships and to outmaneuver future uncertainty. 

This entails organizing the whole business around the delivery of exceptional experiences, which is what we call the Business of Experience. It entails the rewiring of the consumer-facing functions of the organization – marketing, commerce, sales and service. The Business of Experience is an approach that allows organizations to become consumer and customer obsessed and reignite their growth. 

Here, we identify two key CPG opportunity areas, which are ripe for experience reimagination. 
We're reimagining experiences in additional industries besides consumer goods.​

1. Design for belonging

For years, CPG brands have set standards for what “normal” means in product offerings and stuck to them. But at a time when equality, diversity and inclusion have moved centerstage, the pressure is on to evolve beyond one-size-fits-all. Powered by inclusive design, CPG businesses have an opportunity to reimagine their products and services, experiences and propositions to be inclusive to all.

This is the business of designing for inclusivity.

2. Track, trace, trust

As people pay closer attention to the impact of the products and services they buy on communities, society and the environment, transparency has become a critical differentiator. The time has come for CPG businesses to fix broken traceability systems and create consumer experiences around provenance that add meaning and deepen relationships. 

This is the business of data that empowers.

Conscious consumption, shopping locally and ecommerce have all grown significantly over the past year and look set to continue.

The way we live now

Many people are still experiencing altered personal circumstances. Some may have saved money by not being able to go out, and others are worse off for being furloughed or losing their job. With many spending more time conducting more shopping and other daily activities – work, education, play – from home, connections to family, home and local community have strengthened. 

As a result, many consumers are redefining what they value and how, when, where and why they shop. They are buying different products. They are buying through channels they may not have used before. And many of these shifts are likely to continue beyond the pandemic.  

Human trends:

Long-established behaviors such as the daily commute and in-person shopping have been disrupted, reducing the exposure brands depend on. In the face of an ever-growing barrage of digital communications from brand owners, consumers are becoming pickier about those they choose to engage with. 

Recurring lockdowns, habits picked up from the pandemic and social restrictions continue to drive an increase in shopping online and atomizing the shopping experience into micro-moments spread throughout the day and across devices. The lack of many of the sensory cues on which people rely in a physical retail environment has changed how consumers approach buying decisions.

Conscious consumption, shopping local and ecommerce have all grown significantly over the past year and look set to continue.

Some 62% of consumers think the pandemic will increase their focus on environment issues moving forward while 79% think it will increase their longer-term focus on health.1

Meanwhile, 46% of consumers expect to sustain their increased purchase of locally-sourced goods during the pandemic once it is over, for example, while the same proportion expect to continue to shop more from local outlets or suppliers.2

New ecommerce users increased their usage of the channel during the pandemic by 156%, and plan to continue similarly after it has passed, according to Accenture consumer research.3 Shoppers are buying through text messaging and social media platforms. Brands are selling direct to consumers.

Consumers have increased use of omnichannel services such as home delivery, chat features and virtual consultations, and are highly likely to continue using these in the future.

Further, consumers are seeking greater relevance from increased personalization from the CPG brands they choose to engage with. And they are looking to consumer goods brand owners not to solve their problems but to enable them to create for themselves to meet their own needs.

In today’s multi-faceted omnichannel world, those organizations with a brand presence that is purposeful, inclusive and integrated across all channels will be the winners.
Business trends:

Having iconic power brands is not enough to command consumer loyalty or drive growth. End-to-end consumer and customer experiences will be needed that, besides being digitally enabled, are cost effective, add value, engage and delight. To do this, consumer goods organizations must deliver on a purpose and prove to consumers that they say what they do and do what they say.

Brand relevance to consumer values will help brand owners strengthen relationships (as trust is in short supply) and differentiate in a crowded market. To thrive in the new era, they will need to explore relevance further – dynamically adapting and making sure they have the right portfolio of brands to be enduringly relevant to consumers and customers. 

Increasing complexity in the consumer path to consumption requires greater focus and ambition on digital transformation. Consumer and customer engagement – and the associated operating model, including supply chain and manufacturing – will need to be radically overhauled. For example, they must accelerate the move towards artificial intelligence (AI) data-driven reinvention, including new ways of working.

Consumer goods organizations must deal with the unprecedented pressures their supply chains are now under to meet new demands, which is placing stress on business models. They must understand how to get value from existing assets, how to play in the ecosystem with other business-to-business players, how to manage an experience the company is not in sole control of and how to design for resilience and uncertainty. 

Consumer goods leaders who scale data, analytics and AI strategically outperform their peers, our internal research shows. This allows them to integrate the end-to-end analytics organization, set up new future-fit ways of working to sense and respond with agility and speed to previously unforeseen value chain disruption. 

Ultimately, CPG brands need to change how they operate to unlock value and enable new growth by launching new capabilities and streamlining existing ones. 

A final thought

Now is the moment to reinvent consumer goods business models and reintegrate the value organizations provide into a new societal landscape. The time to shape a mindset of bold business transformation powered by new approaches to technology and responsible leadership is underway. 

Organizations that set a high ambition level for human experience and embrace meaningful innovation will grow and sustain their mission while leading to a positive shift in the industry.

Consumer goods capabilities

Reimagining business through experience
We help reinvent the front office across products, marketing operations, sales and commerce, and customer service to unlock growth and drive new experiences that make lives easier, healthier, safer and rewarding.

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