The drinks industry is complex – ever evolving in order to engage the trade and consumers alike. The ways in which we do this must be reactive and adaptable, and moving with the times is a hot topic, writes Kara Duggan.
I recently attended a breakfast briefing, hosted by digital agency, Syzygy, and chaired by The Grocer’s features editor, James Halliwell. The session explored how drinks brands should be incorporating digital technology, such as apps and online services and platforms in brand planning and trade relations. The following themes delved into a changing digital culture to conclude that all segments of the drinks industry should adapt their approach with trade and ultimately consumers in light of them.
• Disruption: achieving ‘cut through’ with an audience
• Cognitive offloading: a ‘do it for me’ mentality
• Self-centricity: It’s all about me ‘because I’m worth it’
• Digital disloyalty: consumer desire to ‘change it up’
All interesting and accurate observations, I believe we should put more of a focus on digital technology in the drinks industry, though it is important to note that consumer groups are wonderfully varied and do not all fit neatly into boxes labelled ‘millennials’, for example. Many of us still carry cash, search out meaningful human interaction and love nothing better than a personal recommendation. Brand loyalty does still exist, though granted, brands and companies do have to work harder for it.
The role of digital technology has become fundamental in influencing a growing consumer community. Essentially, as we become an ageing population, there are more consumer groups than ever before – each of which embrace technology in different ways. A true understanding of consumer interaction with digital technology now underpins brand strategy, communications and supplier relations in the drinks world.
In my view, a personal approach seems to be the most sensible strategy: meeting the needs and wants of multiple consumer groups, so should they wish, they can engage with the industry on a platform of their choosing and preference.
Follow me on Twitter @KaraDuggan