Five undercurrents that may impact the consumer product industry in 2020.
Undercurrent 1: Unfulfilled economic recovery for core consumer segments in the West where the middle class continue to be squeezed as opposed to the growth of the middle class in the emerging markets.
Undercurrent 2: Health wellness and responsibility as the new basis of brand loyalty. Emotional ties to national brands will likely decline due to growing consumer discontent with large companies’ perceived values coupled with an increased consumer focus on personal health, the environment, and social impact.
Undercurrent 3: Pervasive digitisation of the path to purchase. Concurrently new marketing channels to reach consumers, the convergence of sales and marketing environments, and the growth of disruptive retail models emerge. Traditional brick- and- mortar business models may be dismantled as consumers fully embrace digital.
Undercurrent 4: Proliferation of customisation and personalisation. Consumer spending will likely shift toward customised products and experiences across a broad range of consumer products.
Undercurrent 5: Continued resource shortages and commodity price volatility. The cost and cost volatility of key packaged goods inputs will likely continue to increase.
To help executives plan and act amid these undercurrents, five sets of specific steps have been developed to address each of the five potential uncertainties. Navigation aid 1: Revisit product portfolio, pricing, promotions, and merchandising. Navigation aid 2: Align offerings and engagement strategies around consumer interests and values. Navigation aid 3: Create seamless experiences via technology and collaborations. Navigation aid 4: Develop processes and business models to allow for customisation and consumer interaction. Navigation aid 5: View commodity decisions with resource preservation and social impact in mind.