I saw (and shared) a recent blog on storebrands.com about consumer confidence in private brands where I came across a new expression – well, to me at least – when Shaun (Bossons) referred to “the noisy eaters”.So, who are the noisy eaters and why do we care?
Well in this case it isn’t those people loudly rustling wrappers and crunching snacks at the theatre, or sat at the back at the movies. If that is what we were referring to it is hopefully obvious why we’d care. I’m also not referring to the song The Noisy Easter by the Avalanches. The subject of the podcast was private brands, so in this context: who are ‘the noisy eaters?’
The so called ‘noisy eaters’ are the consumers who are increasingly more and more vocal. More willing to complain. More willing to share reviews; good and bad and more willing to make their opinions known via social media.
And the loudest of these are the millennials. The millennials are a much talked about demographic (defined as those aged 18-34 in 2015) and the reason there is so much focus on them is at least two-fold. The first is their significance, because in 2016 millennials surpassed the ‘Baby Boomers’ as America’s largest living generation. The second is that they are so vocal; they are the ‘noisy eaters’; a generation who are not only keen to engage with brands but also keen to share their views with the rest of world, be it positive or negative.
Particularly in the US private brands or so-called store brands have for a long time been seen as budget alternatives to the national brands. The podcast references research in the North American retail market where 77% of consumers don't completely trust private brands as safe to eat. But this is changing, particularly in the UK where there is a move towards premium private brands. Meaning that private label brands in food, retail and CPG are taking over a significant market share and as covered in Forbes this is a growing trend that’s largely driven by millennials.
Remember that many millennials are on a budget: They are perfectly willing to trade up and trade down, depending on the perceived brand value. The reasons are cultural and economic, in economic terms this generation remains underemployed and on a budget as they start homes and families, so value matters. In cultural terms, social media is their norm, so they want to be involved and that means being vocal to build or destroy brands. Therefore, premium private brands which deliver on their brand promise are now winning the market share.
At S4RB we believe that successful private brands need to improve the way in which they listen and our UBX Cloud Services software is about consolidating the multiple inputs of complaints, returns, depot QC, competitive benchmark assessments and customer reviews into ‘one view’ of product performance and importantly sharing this with their private brand suppliers so that they can work as ‘one team’ to deliver winning private brands. When consumers, retailers and suppliers work as one community in this way it is a game changer focused not simply on customer experience but on a Unified Brand Experience (UBX).
Retailers have and I’m sure always will listen to consumers but with the proliferation of social media the number of channels continues to increase so this has never been more important… and the ‘noisy eaters’ are turning up the volume. To learn more about Unified Brand Experiences CLICK HERE to request a free copy of our book: New Thinking About Private Brand Success.