How FMCG brands can gain market share in the downturn: evidence from WARC, Nielsen and the IPA

Stephen Whiteside

One of the main challenges facing most FMCG brands in the current economic downturn is how to increase market share at a time when many consumers are reducing their overall expenditure levels. This is compounded by declining customer loyalty to both specific products and branded goods in general, with shoppers frequently trading down to cheaper, or own label, alternatives. Budgets are also being squeezed by advertisers under pressure to cut costs, and who are thus scrutinising every aspect of their marketing budgets.

In evidence of this, ZenithOptimedia, the Interpublic Group media network, forecasts that global adspend will decline by 5.5% this year, while GroupM, the media umbrella of WPP Group, has pegged this figure at 4.4%. Mintel, the research and insights company, also recently reported that 1,800 own brand products have been launched in the US grocery sector this year, while in the UK, three-quarters of consumers are said to have switched to lower-priced products in the same category, according to a survey published by uSwitch in August.