The Consumer Packaged Good Dilemma

Oct 26, 2011

What type of loyalty marketing strategy can be developed to help consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers identify their best customers, grow their businesses, and ultimately increase patronage and loyalty toward their brands?

CPGs want to establish strategies based on unique insights into their customer base, but the distribution channel makes connecting with customers difficult.  It’s the classic CPG loyalty marketing dilemma. However, there’s good news.

Today’s enabling technologies can be leveraged to help CPG brands evolve from a mass marketing approach to a highly segmented strategy based on individual behaviors and desires. Consumers will embrace this approach if something of value is offered in return. Delivering on the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) question is the secret ingredient to any great loyalty strategy.

A few guiding principles:


Leverage the power of your brand.

Your brand’s positioning belongs only to you. Leverage all elements of this positioning in your loyalty plan and your eventual program execution by layering in specific program components, benefits, communications and technologies consistent with your target audience and the unique characteristics of your brand.

Think brand. Act enterprise.

While your loyalty strategy needs to be totally focused on the special circumstances surrounding your brand and program objectives, there may be resources, tools and systems available within you enterprise which can make your efforts easier, faster, less expensive and reflective of best practices. If a similar platform can be cost-shared and supported among brands, the entire enterprise wins.

Evolve or die.

Don’t fall victim to complacency. The best loyalty programs in the world are constantly moving down an evolutionary path.

Engage, don’t preach.

The historical directions of the communications effort have been one-way from brand to consumer. The loyalty game changes all of that. You must refocus your efforts on dialogue, listening and learning, and sharing and collaborating with your brand’s franchise. We have the tools today to accomplish engagement marketing across myriad channels, networks and technology platforms.

Keep score.

Your loyalty marketing program must be measurable. Being able to identify best customers and advocates, maintain their business, and possibly increase their yield and/or potential to your brands, are all hallmarks of loyalty marketing measurement plans.  While all CPG brands may not be able to track purchase behavior at the specific customer level, each loyalty initiative must find the specific behavioral, attitudinal and emotional metrics that can be correlated to business results in order to justify the investment.

A shake out is coming, especially in the social media marketplace. Unabated spending and experimentation will quickly take a back seat to performance. Develop and refine your scorecard. Don’t shy away from the scrutiny that loyalty marketing brings to your brand reviews.

We’re here to help you through every step of the loyalty process. Contact us at for details on how we can help your brand today.