HEADLINES THAT FUEL EMERGING INDUSTRIES & AMBITIOUS BRANDS
If you’re a smaller consumer brand, it might feel impossible to compete with the big guys. But according to Nielsen, in the United States “manufacturers outside of the top 100 have contributed to 52% of their region’s annual fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) growth,” that’s an incredibly promising trend for any consumer product, from skincare to cannabis. But the challenges to increasing market share aren’t imagined. In some categories, especially consumables, over 50% of consumers have no brand preference. This underscores the importance of small, independent CPG brands to invest in branding with awareness and loyalty strategies. Neilsen IQ has done some fantastic research for small, independent DTC and CPG brands.
69% of consumers are actively looking for new and trendy CPG products. Tapping into current trends is a key way to appeal to this audience. Whether the brand is launching, or already launched, there are always PR opportunities to increase sales by driving awareness and loyalty. The key takeaway on all the most recent Neilsen data: premiumization is absolutely key for small, independent CPG brands.
Driving Awareness for Small Consumer Brands
When Snapple tea was a small independent brand, it relied on PR, including crazy stunts with two ambitions in mind: acquisition and sales. When they were acquired by Quaker Oats, the PR stunts stopped and sales decreased. In fact, PR is often responsible for trends that drive consumers. Before CBD, a wellness ingredient that almost everyone now knows was allowed to advertise, it relied on firms like Avaans Media to create PR campaigns that educated consumers and created awareness for their brands. PR is almost single-handedly responsible for launching CBD into the public’s general knowledge. Other wellness products have benefited from PR, including melatonin.
Independent brands often turn to PR because while PR is an investment, it’s still more affordable than many other branding initiatives such as advertising, especially when you include videography costs. Facebook is famous for launching thousands of new DTC brands, but of late, many independent CPG brands are finding Facebook’s advertising to be less effective. Ambitious consumer product brands are turning to PR in ever greater numbers to reach consumers, and stay in front of buyers. A PR campaign can reach hundreds of billions of annual impressions. Is it any wonder that everyone from new consumer products to old standbys is moving dollars to PR?
New CPG brands can use PR to validate the brand. An upfront burst of PR is a powerful trust indicator. Many consumer brand startups showcase PR wins on their website and in advertising as a way to increase consumer trust. Independent boutique products use PR to nail their launch because they need to appeal directly and immediately to their consumer. As Nielsen notes in small brand, “There is little room for error in small launches. Nailing your activation requires planning and strategic execution. Whatever your differentiation—hitting your target, justifying your premium or communicating a new usage occasion—it must land, and land well,”
Driving Loyalty for Independent CPG Brands
If your consumer brand isn’t exactly new, but also isn’t a household name, then using PR to increase loyalty and awareness is effective. 25% of consumers are mainstream followers who sometimes try new products, but don’t seek them. This is a critical audience to penetrate. If you’re broadening your audience to this important, but slightly elusive group, you want to make sure your customer product reviews are solid, and that your early PR had at least 1-2 tier 1 press hits so you can use the ever-so-important social proof to lure this audience in. Good PR also allows existing customers to have their choice validated and is a great opportunity for them to sing your praises to their friends.
But that’s not the only way PR helps early and mid-stage CPG brands. PR helps your customers see you understand who they really are. Bob’s Red Mill used PR to improve its already stellar reputation through purpose-driven storytelling. Not only does PR help new consumers find your product, but it also reinforces the good choice your current customers have made. A good PR firm will help you identify ways to differentiate and to secure brand-improving earned media.
We’re just about to round the corner to a key consumer buying season: the fall. And about the only thing that’s certain is consumer uncertainty; but consumers aren’t giving up on conscious consumption. Nothing shows that more than the latest consumer trends from Google Searches. What do Google searches have to do with PR? Consumer media outlets keep a strong eye on consumer trends, and usually respond with seasonal content that matches the customer’s mood. Fitting into that season content is key to earning digitally savvy PR during the fall. There’s another important reason to get it right this fall: you’re likely to have a larger share of voice for any of your marketing efforts as some competitors will pull back, so if you’re not pulling back, or you’re jumping into the market now, it’s great timing because research shows that brands who stay with marketing during economic downturns, get ahead.
What does this mean for consumer brands?
It gives you insight into key themes you can use in your PR and marketing this year. While some of these facts seem contradictory, put these in context with what you’re seeing from your customers.
Searches for “specials this week” is up 60% year over year / Searches for “designer outlet” have grown 90% globally year over year
Keep in mind, that consumer spending remains strong, so this is about the consumer feeling the need to feel like they’re getting a deal. 31% of consumers say they are still rewarding themselves by buying things they want. Consumers haven’t stopped loving name brands, they’re just in need of a discount. They also want to feel their brand choices are premium choices.
Luxury and premium brands with strong brand affinity should lead to smaller, more affordable items for the masses, rather than discount the brand. Premium consumer brands can use this mindset with bonus gifts.
Align your brand with premium publishing outlets by getting an early start on your consumer PR and ad re-targeting. Have your programmatic and PR teams talk before they launch their respective campaigns.
Consumer brands should publish any kind of black Friday promotions well in advance, and use competitor pricing as a benchmark (25% less than a comparable brand), to anchor value.
Now is also the time to focus on loyalty for existing customers. Don’t make your customers search you out. Be there during the key buying triggers for your customers. If your customers tend to buy on Fridays, be there on Thursday with the bonus giveaway or loyalty reward.
Searches for “say no to plastic” have grown globally 200% year over year
Consumers want brands who want what they want. This new purpose-driven alignment applies to all consumer brands. Even if you can’t get around plastic packaging (yet), now is the time to celebrate your sustainability efforts. What’s comforting to consumers right now, more than anything is brands they can trust. So if you’ve been working hard on building consumer trust, now is the time for you to celebrate the efforts in a way that reinforces your consumer’s choices.
Consumers want personal content
87% of consumers said they want personal and relevant content. Keep this in mind with your email marketing and social media. Use your own data to ensure your delivering the right message to the right audience. Consumers want to see themselves in your content – by the way, editors know this trend too, so positioning your brand clearly allows editors to follow this content expectation too.
One of the most notable attributes of “relevant” content is content that is emotionally resonant. Your consumers want to know that you understand them. Note that during previous times of uncertainty, nostalgia and comfort messages surge. Very often, this means consumers would prefer to stay with their favored brands, but that favored brands need to continue to provide the experience customers have come to expect.
More than ever, having digitally savvy and data-informed PR, branding, and advertising will make a difference in your seasonal marketing. Now is the time to dig deep into your customer insights and give your agencies the information they need to supercharge their efforts this fall.
CPG and DTC and Consumer Product PR and News
As the holiday season approaches, product PR becomes more important than ever. Competition from major brands, standing out from the crowd, and capturing people in a buying mood are all great reasons to do product PR during the holidays.
Now you might ask, “which holiday season do you mean?” The answer: whatever holidays are most important to your company or brand.
There are a few key reasons why product PR is so important during the holidays, and why Avaans is now offering Product PR Holiday Sprints.
Competition from Major Brands
Most of your competitors won’t invest in holiday PR, but if you do, it gives you a considerable edge when people search for your brand or product.
You simply can not outspend the major brands with advertising, but using PR evens the playing field a bit, especially since a lot of journalists prefer to showcase smaller or boutique brands, or at the very least want to include one as an alternative to more well-known brands. It’s also an opportunity for smaller brands to showcase diverse founders too, something big brands just can’t do.
Ever since iOS14 rolled out, which allows consumers to opt out of allowing apps like Facebook and Instagram to track browser history, CPG and DTC brands have seen a considerable decrease in ad effectiveness. And to make matters worse, the massive brands have far more data and the ability to buy ads on a multitude platforms, so it’s nearly impossible to compete during the holidays when digital advertising costs surge.
In contrast, when you secure PR beside major brands in holiday gift guides, your brand receives a trust bump, so you’re benefitting from all the brand recognition of the larger brands, alongside the brand recognition of the outlet.
People are in the Buying Mood for Product PR
First, people are generally more receptive to marketing and advertising during this time of year. Holiday PR is an ideal way to capture people when they’re in the mood, and in the moment.
The average person spends $1,463, during the holidays (Deloitte Holiday Survey)
There are a few things that contribute to this increase in spending. First, people tend to travel more during the holidays and spend money on things like gas, hotels, and food. Second, people buy gifts for their friends and family, They’re also more likely to be thinking about gifts for loved ones, which means they’re more likely to pay attention to products that might make great gifts. . And finally, people tend to spend more on themselves during the holidays – maybe they buy a new outfit for a holiday party or get a massage to relieve stress.
Less than half of consumers are worried about higher prices on discretionary purchases (National Retail Federation)
Stand Out from the Crowd with Product PR for the Holidays
The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, so standing out from the crowd is essential. And that means meeting your consumer where they’re at. Consumers are searching for gift ideas and they value gift guides because they trust journalists to test the products (they do). 99% of products never receive any press, by simply securing press, you’re already standing out. And you can leverage your press all year long.
Avaans Media now offers PR Product Sprints. Designed for CPG and DTC brands, these micro PR campaigns are perfect for brands with ambitious plans, but not ambitious budgets.
Whether your product is beloved or brand new, it will benefit from PR during elevated buying seasons. Yet, not all consumer brands want long-term contracts. That’s exactly why we’re reinventing PR with our Sprint Packages – Product PR for Holiday Gift Guides.
These PR sprints are a consumer brand’s dream: consistent press coverage during key buying seasons without long-term PR contracts.
We’re breaking all the rules with these packages, and we’re doing it so it’s easy for consumer brands get the coverage they need to grow their brand without long-term contracts.
Our product PR for holiday gift guide sprint packages includes our extremely successful history of placing consumer products in lifestyle publications as diverse as Rolling Stone, Self, Popular Science, Engadget, and even the Today Show.
What are the Product PR Sprints?
They’re special because they offer micro contracts alongside competitive pricing to give DTC and CPG brands a competitive advantage during the most important consumer buying seasons.
When are the Sprint Seasons?
Our DTC and CPG sprints center around two key buying seasons: holiday (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday) and spring (Easter/Passover/Ramadan, 420, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Pride), with even shorter add-on sprints for mid-winter (New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day) and mid-summer (4th of July, Back to School, Pool/Beach Season).
What’s Included in Product PR Sprints?
We will pitch an unlimited number of products to an unlimited number of lifestyle and consumer magazines that your target customers are reading.
These packages are easy for you to implement and give you the lasting results that come from your product appearing in media outlets your customers are reading! The added benefits are countless: SEO, visibility to investors, and best of all – coverage that never goes away. And you can maximize these PR wins with our simple recommendations.
Editors and journalists plan content months in advance (yes, even in the digital world), so it’s never too early to plan for your most important buying seasons.
Request More Information on Product PR Sprints Here