Think Marketing sat down with Dahlia Zayed – A long time Brand strategy & Consumer Insights practitioner. She gave us a sneak preview of the insights from her upcoming Innovation TALK to take place in Cairo Dec 21st, 2017.
You just came back from a few back to back International forums, tell us more?
Consumers preferences are evolving so fast. Brands are hardly able to keep up . In food and Beverage industry for example consumers are developing an appetite for bold new flavors, healthier and more eco-friendly options. Consumers are empowered. They expect more control over how their food gets served, delivered, and made.
Catalyst to this are smart phones where there are no borders and full exposure to every culture. Expectations are high to personalization and relevance. Not too many brands are able to keep up .
At Brand week Istanbul , there was so much about millennials which are talked about very often but also mushrooming new sub segments like Kidult who are 20-30 yr old, have a fear of moving out, have money to spend on their self-indulgencies and they associate themselves with child-like brands and behaviors.
So twisted color candies, multi-color smoothies, shiny jeans and flashy mobile covers were only the start. Some of these are high street brands and can only be afforded by Kidult not teens on a budget.
You also mention shoppers and retail?
‘Small is beautiful’. A shopper trend that is picking up as an example.
Big players like Target are re-thinking their format strategy where Millennials are dictating new rules.
Skipping long aisles and big shopping catalogues to a more intimate in store experience. You are looking at millions of new investments needed to tap into this segment.
How do we really make use of trends in our local market? Some seem far-fetched?
The trick is to first differentiate a trend from a fad. A solid trend- that will stay -is that which builds on a genuine consumer insight that can travel. A need gap in a life context not within a category or a brand world.
Localizing trends and breaking them to subs has a process out of which you choose which is a good match to your business and brand fit and then start generating innovation ideas.
For example, years back, the sub-trend was ‘a need to de-hydrate ‘. Something Nestle Waters picked up and created the category. Packaged and bulk water continues to be the one category that is still growing post the devaluation. Further the trend now is moving to a need for premium functional water. Consumers are seeking ‘a water experience’. They don’t want boring water. That is for sure a clear go-ahead trend that can easily be rolled out in our markets. I’ll flash more on this in the TALK.
We get lots of feedback from non-FMCG brands that trends are useless for them?
By default FMCG are always in the ‘know’ to keep up with consumers changing needs but, if you think about it other industries will sure benefit from understanding trends.
Let’s take a furniture manufacturer, if they want to stand out in their product design, they can leverage 2 current trends a- Back to land b- Texture. The latter is building up heavily in the last 2 years where cupboards are best having a rugged rough matt -look and feel to it. This is what consumers are looking for not smooth flashy.
Back to land is about feeling grounded. Consumers need to connect to something meaningful. This can be reflected in material choice as well as positioning – playing on the emotional gratification.
Not to mention packaging designs !
What’s the top innovative launches in 2017 ?
In FoodMatters Expo in London I sampled a few interesting brands.
For example – ‘Quench your hunger’.
UK brand U FIT has 225 gm high protein as well as vitamins & fiber to support an energetic life styles . Consumers expect a one stop shop for their nutrients in an on-the-go format crossing over a drink/snack/pick-me up meal.
There is also a lot innovation in the area of how we produce our food and what ingredients we use in an attempt not only to provide healthier options but combat world hunger like meatless sausages and Pasta made of chick peas.
I’m excited about the future. There is so much opportunity to grow. I hope Egyptian businesses pick up on them , think strategically so as not to be left behind.
You can reach Dahlia Zayed via email@example.com