7 Ways to Stay Relevant as a CPG Brand
Staying relevant is hard. Unless you live in the “what’s happening” section of Twitter—uh, we mean “X”—it’s difficult to keep up with the trends. This is true for individuals as well as brands. In fact, it may be even harder for businesses. Companies have enough to do without worrying about what’s going on socially, politically and otherwise outside of their own industry.
Staying relevant isn’t easy, but it’s critical in marketing. Culture is always changing, which means your customers’ needs, thoughts and behaviors are always changing. As a marketing agency that’s worked a lot with CPG brands in the kids, beauty, and food and beverage industries, we know staying relevant can be especially hard for CPG brands. Fortunately, we know a thing or two about how to elevate your relevance!
What does it mean to stay relevant?
First of all, let’s address the big question: what does “staying relevant” even mean? It’s an ambiguous phrase that presents an even more ambiguous task. For us, staying relevant as a brand means ensuring you’re up to date with your customers’ needs and world. If your audience personas are being hit hard by a recession and you aren’t aware, you may publish some insensitive content. If you post a meme with a celebrity in it but that person was “canceled” yesterday due to a scandal, then you look out of touch.
How can my brand stay relevant?
Following TMZ on Instagram will surely get you the latest cultural knowledge, but it’s not the only way to stay relevant. In fact, it is probably the hardest strategy. There are plenty of ways to ensure relevance!
1. Understand your target audience.
It may seem like a ‘duh’ tip, but you need to know your audience. You’d be surprised how little companies know about their consumers. Identifying your audience personas is the first step to understanding their needs. If you know that your ideal audience is primarily Gen Z and Millennials, then sharing a post about how Donna Summer was the G.O.A.T. isn’t a great idea. Likewise, if your audience is generally in lower economic brackets, they don’t want to see behind the scenes how you treated your entire team to a steak dinner. Get to know your audience’s general needs and behaviors so you can make some solid assumptions when cultural events happen.
2. Keep up with trends.
Staying on top of current trends will keep you in the conversation. Is it hard? Yes. Is it a strong strategy? Also yes! Brands are constantly coming up with new ways to promote their products, and you don’t want to be left behind. You can’t leverage the latest trends in your market if you don’t follow the trendsetters and influencers. It’s also important to take a look at what your competitors are doing or create your own A/B tests to understand micro trends. Be sure to adjust your marketing strategy and make the trend work for you.
Just because you should keep up with popular marketing trends doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think outside of the box too. Sometimes the trendiest thing you can do is to make a new trend. Create your own ways to market your products and communicate your USPs to stand out from your competition. You may find a way to relate to your audience that is unique to you. One way we’ve seen CPG brands innovate is by thinking of unconventional or unintentional ways your audience could use your product. (Watch Scrub Daddy’s TikTok for inspiration!) But be sure you do the work of understanding your audience’s needs so you don’t innovate in the wrong way.
4. Use social media.
Social media is a powerful tool for staying relevant. Not only does it let brands reach many people at once but most platforms specifically call out trending content. What’s more, social media is a fun and effective way for CPG brands to market to their audiences through user-generated content (UGC) and videos. Seeing the way your customers use and think about your products is a great way to learn what’s relevant. Post great content, and post often! And be sure to engage your audience with question prompts. There’s nothing wrong with asking your audience directly what’s relevant to their lives and needs.
5. Be collaborative.
You don’t have to market your product all on your own. Consider collaborating with influencers or non-competitive brands. A mutually beneficial relationship where you and the other brand exchange what you know about your audiences can be golden. Partnerships allow you to expand your reach and give your potential customers another way to relate to your brand. If market research shows that consumers who use your product also use a specific service or use an ancillary product, consider hitting up one of those brands—but be sure the brand you choose is also “relevant” or else you’re doing your own relevance a disservice.
6. Offer personalized experiences.
Personalization is becoming increasingly important to consumers, so don’t be afraid to reflect that in your marketing materials. One of the simplest and most effective ways to seem relevant to your customer is to call them out by name. Use data you collect from email marketing campaigns, for example, to provide personalized experiences, such as segmented email campaigns based on interest or personalized SMS or in-app experiences. You can even go so far as to personalize the entire customer journey.
7. Listen to feedback.
“Feedback” is one ‘F word’ that every brand should use. Audience feedback is invaluable in curating marketing strategies and building brand loyalty. Listen to reactions and reviews from your customers and use them to improve your interactions with them. We recommend you get creative with your feedback too. Asking, “What’s your favorite part about our product?” is obvious. Asking, “What’s your favorite vacation destination?” and then sharing photos of your product in the top answer, however, isn’t so obvious—but a potentially great way to show you’re listening.
Finding ways to stay relevant can seem like a herculean task, but it doesn’t have to be. And if you are looking for ways to elevate your brand’s relevance, then you know who to contact! Connect with us to learn more about how we can ensure your CPG is relevant today, tomorrow and beyond.
Written in collaboration with ChatGPT
Founder & CEO