Loyalty marketing through the pandemic

Exclusive brand loyalty is the privilege of legacy brands who had years with minimal competition to build an advantage in culture and your mind. Today, though, new CPG brands can expect a few years of sustained intermittent usage before the consumer moves on. This is especially true for premium CPG brands that live at the ‘modern,’ fashionable edge of every category. In health and nutrition, especially, the trend cycles appear to be shortening, not lengthening.

Yet, in a 1-3 year horizon, loyalty marketing designed to remind and increase annual sales volume per HH remains an under-utilized tool among many CPG startups. And yet, building social media followings and e-mail lists are happening. Earlier in the spring, during the most frightening days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I reminded founders to amplify e-mail marketing of offers, fun, and sheer reminder content to keep your fans buying, preferably at surge levels.

Weekly e-mails make the most sense so that you can get picked up in weekly shopping rhythms. The key is to use content that speaks like a concerned friend to your consumers during this pandemic. Talk about what you’re doing to remain in stock during the winter lockdowns, offer coupons for volume purchases, host online fan events, announce LTO flavors, if any, be interesting and concerned.

Winter lockdowns in the U.S. will drive down trial again after it has slowly returned. Consumers will retreat into survival mode again, and loyalty marketing will be your primary out-of-store tool again. Get ready. Map out your content in advance. Be there for your fans, and you will have an advantage over the brands that do nothing, lose trial, and see their small topline flicker.

The next epsiode of Startup Confidential, drops this Sunday morning, Nov. 1. It’s all about the Art of Saying No. Subscribe on iTunes now or bookmark my podcast page.

Dr. James Richardson

[email protected]