E-commerce and direct-to-consumer are major opportunities for brands, especially during lockdown, but they are not a replacement for existing retail strategies, says a digital media agency boss.

Writing for WARC, Ed Cox, Managing Director, Yonder Media, acknowledges the huge uptick in online shopping and the growth in DTC, but adds some relevant perspective.

“Where a food or drink brand creates a DTC offering to supplement its traditional distribution in grocery multiples, DTC tends only to account for a tiny proportion of sales – usually less than 1%.”

“And, if you look at those FMCG brands that started out as DTC businesses, where are they looking now for their next phase of growth? Why, the multiples of course.”

Either way, brand building remains essential as most FMCG purchases, says Cox, are still subconscious, emotional, and “system one” choices. “You need to build salience and mental availability – so that whichever aisle your customer walks down, whether physical or digital – they choose you.”

An example from his own recent experience has seen a complete change in the marketing strategy for Propercorn, the popcorn brand. When lockdown happened, both eating habits and leisure habits changed: instead of leading separate lives, families and flatmates were coming together more, putting a greater value on those moments of togetherness – which were increasingly in front of the TV.

“We switched the whole marketing strategy, in a matter of weeks, focusing on driving purchase of sharing bags in the big weekly shop, by positioning Propercorn as the perfect snack to enrich those moments of togetherness,” Cox relates.

“In reaching upwards of 60% of the population with this campaign, the brand is capitalising on the immediate sales opportunity as well as investing in future growth.”

For more, read Ed Cox’s article in full: How FMCG brands can blend traditional retail and e-commerce post-COVID-19.

Sourced from WARC