How much gets filled into a shopping cart and the types of brands which get in are determined by the consumer’s budget. This is a straightforward and innocuous statement to make, given the fact that this is a general belief held sacrosanct by marketers and retailers, and any attempt of even trying to suggest otherwise is bound to be met with opposition and ridicule.
Nevertheless, Grey and G2’s Eye on Asia – Retail study threw up an interesting set of numbers which tells quite a different story and provides me enough ammunition to re-think my stance on the issue.
Brand loyalists, brand evangelists or however you may want to define them, are amongst the most precious people in any brand owner’s life.
We count their numbers, keep a hawk’s eye on the progress of that number and do everything possible to increase that number and protect it. It is not just a day job, it is a mission.
“Tryvertising” or trying-before-buying was first spotted as a global trend by Trendwatching.com in 2005 and continues to proliferate until today; more consumers are making up their minds about brands based on their experiences and less so the messages conveyed to them. This upward trend reflects the findings in Grey and G2’s Eye on Asia – Retail study which uncovered that within the deep melting pot of in-store communications, a smorgasbord of tactics ranging from packaging, leaflets and brochures to scripted storekeeper advice, it is trial packs which are ranked by Asian shoppers as the most memorable brand interaction in-store.
Clearly, the potential of the trial pack is great, particularly in higher investment (and therefore riskier) categories such as beauty and health supplements. According to Grey and G2’s Eye on Asia – Retail study, almost 33% of Asian shoppers who purchase beauty products and 30% of shoppers who purchase health supplements prefer brands that have trial packs available. Trial packs are also particularly relevant in this day and age when there is truly an abundance of choice, and a positive product experience can make or break the sale. However, despite this potential, the power of the pack is still under-leveraged and has considerable room for growth.
In general, we see the common picture of the aggressive and annoying salesperson bothering Asian shoppers who generally are seen as quiet, shy and patient as they listen to the sales pitch without rudely interrupting them. We also expect that at the end of this picture, the shopper ignores the advice completely and ends up purchasing something else.
In truth, the value of in-store advice is much more complex and has a multi-layered element to how the information is absorbed by the Asian shopper. The Asian shopper might not actively seek advice, but certainly when they do seek advice, they have certain expectations about the way sales staff provide the information.
All good things must come to an end, and that end is near for what we fondly know as ‘the promotion’… well, not completely come to an end but like big hair, and 80s fashion, ‘the promotion’ needs a well-deserved update.
According to Grey and G2’s Eye on Asia – Retail study, 62% of Asian shoppers do not buy products on promotion. Even more astounding is that *two-fifths of the 38% who DO buy a product on promotion say they were NOT influenced by that promotion, which means promotion or not, they would have bought the product anyway. This means existing promotions are likely:
1) rewarding shoppers who already have a brand as a part of their repertoire
2) rewarding shoppers already loyal to a brand
3) Not as effective for acquisition
You could have been the boring front-bencher, the popular one or the one who lives by the phrase ‘It’s all Greek to me’. However, no matter what kind of a student you once were, you never stop being one, even when you grow up. It comes through in little ways and this is especially so, when you are out shopping.
You must have gone grocery shopping at one point of time in your life, so just reflect on what you do when you are inside a store. If you take a walk down a shopping aisle, you will read the back-panels, compare prices, talk to the staff and ask about promotions for that new brand that caught your eye.
Whenever we discuss psychographic segmentation, there often seems to be a variety of new ‘labels’ to describe these groups, but not enough about how to apply this segmentation system into true marketing applications.
The big difference with the psychographic segments mapped out in Grey and G2's Eye on Asia - Retail study is that at first glance, there just seems to be four new labels for four new psychographic segments that need to be learned in order to understand the research. But the fact that we can track these segments across national borders and that pan-Asian campaigns can be customised based on this segmentation system makes it very unique and very useful.
The four psychographic segments in Eye on Asia - Retail are Loyal Listers (26% of Asians), Passive Value Fans (22%), Whim Indulgers (24%), and Engaged Info Seekers (28%). Each group was classified based upon shopper behaviour tendencies.
For example, for Engaged Info Seekers, actively seeking product promotions, demonstrations and experiential marketing are key motivations in the shopper journey. While Whim Indulgers, as the name suggests, tend to be more chaotic and tend to be more influenced by brand messaging and ‘new’ items. And across a general Asian spread, the groups tend to be more or less even in numbers (all close to a quarter of all Asians).