I often chat to brand owners about the crucial role of a disruptive brand, engaging design and conversational communication – all of which combine within the packaging presentation to deliver that all important, attention-grabbing stand out, whether that be on-shelf or on-line.
But delivering the promise is crucial in ensuring the consumer taste experience and product delivery matches or exceeds the expectation created by the packaging presention.
Whilst clever, impactful branding can attract a first purchase, it’s the organoleptic experience that will either see consumers coming back for more or rejecting the product based on their first taste experience.
With every product category hyper-competitive, delivering the best taste experience is challenging, particularly as it’s important to not push flavours so far in terms of differentiation so that consumers just ‘don’t get it’.
Rather it’s taking the familiar and either adding a twist or boosting the flavour in terms of its appeal through the use of real culinary and flavour expertise. And right now big and bold flavours are very much in demand with consumers choosing to eat more at home rather than in restaurants.
A key aspect of shaping the flavour profile of products is to carefully evaluate emerging trends – behaving differently and leading but taking care not to adopt an out-there positioning that leaves consumers confused and uncommitted. My recently published ‘Fabulous Flavours’ trends presentation explored in-depth what is hot and what is not combined with an evaluation of the hype factor around certain cuisines.
Understanding the parameters of flavour acceptance is critically important as its extraordinarily difficult to ignite consumers comprehension and engagement with products that don’t offer recognised taste reference points based on the familiar.
Mass market brands are expert in creating products that can appear mundane but this is because they never polarise opinion or push the boundaries of new product development to the extreme, ensuring they appeal to the largest possible audience.
But entrepreneurial businesses cannot compete with the mega brands – and nor should they try to. Rather they should look to focus on the delivery of exciting, innovative and bold products which significantly appeal to their identified, niche audience. And now, more than ever, delivering real foods which avoid ultra-processed, value-engineered manufacturing techniques and ingredients can really win through.
Niche of course no longer means small, but it does indicate a need to forensically understand the consumer, what they are looking for, how your offer can not only meet their needs but exceed them, and ultimately how your product can become part of their purchase repertoire.
In this way, it’s possible to attract the early adopters and innovators to a brand – and to use their vocal appreciation of your products to attract others as they perform the role of unpaid brand ambassadors.
But success requires a solid foundation on which to build. A real understanding of the market sector you are entering and how your product/s will replace existing choices.
It is no longer acceptable or indeed to desirable to be good – the objective is to be extraordinary.
The demand for the new has never been greater and brands that work hard on delighting consumers with exciting products and flavours that truly deliver will be the winners.