LETICIA NAVARRO TORRES
Head of Client Management - Insights,
Kantar Millward Brown
The past few years have marked the development of the age of hyperconsumption. There were brands reinventing themselves through product innovation, trends implementation, and seductive advertising. Thus, marketing increasingly encouraged the consumption of goods and services, to the point that today we have hyperconsumers with hedonistic features. They are prone to self-indulgence, allow their impulses to drive their choices, seek to fulfill their individuality, and have started to look for emotional benefits generated not only by the brands they consume, but by increasingly defined behavioral trends aimed at attaining increased harmony and well-being.
How can we sustain consumption when a country’s economy is uncertain, consumers’ trust is affected, and they seek lean consumption in the face of such a financial scenario?
The challenge for these brands is to satisfy those needs and to emotionally connect with people. In Colombia, what consumers value most is the emotional relationship with a brand. This is even more important than being well known or differentiated. Brands are aware of what consumers want and need to make them fall in love with them. Brands that understand these needs, and have a high level of affinity with consumers, tend to be more powerful.
This is why over 60% of brands fail to win a place in the minds of consumers. A fact reflected in fierce competitions in terms of volume share, and the entrance of new brands with a new retail proposal.
In the past year, we have witnessed accelerated growth in retail chains offering their own brands and products to consumers at better prices. This trend has leveraged the opportunity to connect with consumers by offering
A QUESTION OF LOYALTY
But, does this affinity translate into loyalty to the brands? Do consumers prefer these brands over other variables – such as more affordable prices – in their uncertain economic situation?
This loyalty depends on how consumers relate to the industry. There are some industries with more brand loyalty, such as OTC, baby care, and some within food, while there are others lacking loyalty and thus condemned to compete with a wide variety of options. It’s important to explain this because in Colombia there are many more small brands building their equity than global brands. Only one out of every three brands has a clear and well-defined equity.
products with a good cost-value ratio, resulting in brands with a long history being replaced by these chains’ proprietary brands.
According to the LatAm 2017 study by BrandZ™, retailers such as D1 (soft discount) and PriceSmart (hard discount) have the highest potential to keep growing. With its differentiating proposition, D1 has quickly achieved its place in Colombian consumers’ minds and convinced them to buy its food and household cleaners.
THE SECRET TO SUSTAINABILITY
The challenge is to sustain brand value propositions, and to have more robust categories so as to avoid the commoditization of industries in terms of brand equity. Only those brands with balanced brand equity, offering value and meaning for consumers, will be hard to replace. Likewise, they have to find the way to balance their value equation, since in a more challenging economic scenario consumers will be forced to decide whether to stay loyal to their brands or to look for a better-priced replacement.
Only the most powerful brands, with robust brand equity, will continue to make progress. They will do this by creating a balance within their offering between emotional affinity and the satisfaction of the needs of consumers at a suitable price.