The idea that shoppers are loyal to brands is a myth in the world of FMCG. To ensure your product is chosen above the rest, it needs to speak to the person at the moment of purchase at every single possible occasion of purchase.
In many sectors, brands have proven remarkably successful at this by building a long-term “mental availability”. You see a technology brand or a fashion brand on the shelf or on Amazon and you recognise it. Better yet, you know it. Even better than that, you feel some emotion for it; be that trust, admiration or aspiration.
But what about those brands that impact your life in a lighter way, those that – unlike clothes and smartphones – don’t necessarily have a place in a social setting or speak to your personality? It is safe to say, for example, that few people knowingly feel emotionally involved with their toilet tissue brand. Why would they be? A product regularly bought and quite literally flushed down the toilet; it holds no obvious long term value or connection.
Creating emotion around the mundane and everyday has long been the challenge for FMCG brands, especially through their advertising. An emerging trend is for brands to offer not only a functional purpose but have a social value as well, for Lifebouy theirs is aiding public health across much of Asia.
Our fourth annual Brand Footprint report, a ranking of the 50 most chosen global FMCG brands, proves there is a strong correlation between the most chosen brands, and those that are tugging on shopper’s heart strings. Not only does a personal touch build stronger brand advocacy – it also influences how many times your brand is chosen by shoppers.
Here are four brands that stood out in this year’s global ranking, who know the best way to a shopper’s trolley is through their hearts:
Ariel – Share the load
Here is a brand campaign so influential that Sheryl Sandberg cited it as one of the most powerful she had ever seen. In India, the laundry detergent noticed that a continued increase in women working outside the home does not always positively correlate with men assuming more responsibility for household chores.
This award winning advertising campaign, poses the question: ‘is housework just for women?.’ Told from the perspective of a father who watches his daughter come home from work and clean up for her husband, the narrative laments how stereotypes and the father’s own behaviour have contributed to her situation and, heartwarmingly, promises to change.
In the year since this campaign launched in India, winning a Cannes Glass Lion in 2015, Ariel has grown its Consumer Reach Points* by 8 per cent in Asia.
Downy – What does your laundry say about you?
The Procter and Gamble fabric softener remains one of the fastest growing global brands, having moved its way up the Brand Footprint ranking for three years running. This year, it continues to go from strength to strength, increasing its Consumer Reach Points by 11.2 per cent. Fabric softener is not a product people would typical associate with an emotional connection, however, to increase the brands range Downy expanded the use of its product beyond the usual laundry cycle.
In 2015, for example, the Timeless Collection was launched in Asian markets, reaching into occasions long confined to the personal care space – such as perfumes. Each product in the range was designed by a famous fashion house to emulate the scent of an iconic movie star. Using the tagline “Do men notice their women?” the brand drew a groundbreaking, but convincing, connection between a woman’s laundry scent and her personal style and allure.
Nutella – #NutellaStories
Recruiting 7.2 million new shoppers over the course of the year, Nutella is among the fastest growing brands in the top 150 ranking. Growth is most notable in the Middle East where it rose 14 places in the ranking and experienced a 24.3 per cent increase in Consumer Reach Points.
Long at the top of its game in marketing, the brand is likely still reaping rewards from its 50 year anniversary in 2014. Anchored in social media – using the hashtag #NutellaStories – the campaign invited fans to share their favourite memories of Nutella. These were curated on a dedicated microsite which now features over 76,000 user-generated personal stories.
Coca Cola – Hello Happiness
The world’s most chosen brand for the fourth consecutive year, Coca-Cola is a formidable player in the FMCG market. This beverage giant has a heart to match the size of its global reach, with its initiative helping to connect separated families. Under the ‘Hello Happiness’ banner Coca-Cola in Dubai turned used bottle caps into currency. In a specially constructed phone booth, migrant workers could phone home by inserting a bottle cap as payment for the call.
When a brand makes a consumer feel something, they carry it with them. They might tell their family member’s about an ad that made them laugh, or share the hashtag on social media, contributing to a wider conversation.
Give consumers a reason to remember your brand above the rest – create something meaningful and memorable.
*Consumer reach points measure how many households around the world are buying a brand (its penetration) and how often (the number of times shoppers acquire the brand).