Kantar study: Filipino buyers have to be 'won over, again and again'

The recruitment of more buyers, especially new ones, is the most effective way to brand growth. Thus, brands should consider every shopping trip as an opportunity to attract more shoppers to achieve higher penetration. These findings are based on Kantar’s research on brand growth, which analyzed thousands of brands across all types of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) categories globally, including the Philippines.

Research from Kantar, the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company, finds that given the options offered to them, shoppers are likely to purchase from a repertoire of brands they will shop across. Hence, to grow a bigger brand, attracting more buyers is essential. However, this is difficult due to the ‘leaky bucket effect’: on average, a brand will lose 50% of their buyers from a year to another. In the Philippines, only 13% of brands tracked by Kantar managed to grow their penetration by more than one percentage point penetration between 2017 and 2018.

“It is essential for brands to realize that shoppers should not be taken for granted. There is a need to win over shoppers again and again,” Marie-Anne Lezoraine, Kantar, Worldpanel Division Philippines general manager, shares. She adds that demand for FMCG products may differ across the country. Brands that enjoy a higher market share in Metro Manila may not necessarily be popular in Visayas or Mindanao.

Levers for brand growth

According to Kantar, brands must understand the shoppers’ needs and expectations. This is a complex job as those needs and expectations can depend on a shopper’s life stage, shopping mission or consumption moment. This means gaining an in-depth understanding of how to offer the right product, in the right channel, in the right format, and at the right price.

Furthermore, brands should focus not only on understanding their existing buyers, but also in anticipating category buyers who may not buy their products yet but can be enticed to do so in their next shopping trip.

As part of its research, Kantar has observed some patterns that can help brands in recruiting more buyers. Lezoraine explains that the most successful brands practice five strategies, namely:

  • More categories: successful brands have broken category boundaries
  • More targets: successful brands expanded their target market in order to entice more shoppers
  • More presence: successful brands increased their presence through distribution into new regions or ensuring maximum presence across all channels
  • More moments: successful brands have tapped into more shopper moments
  • New needs: successful brands are able to anticipate new shopper needs

“There is no one answer that fits all brands when recruiting more buyers. What is key is to have a thorough understanding of the shoppers, a clear strategy and, most importantly, excellent execution. Having the right product or pack available for the target shopper at the right price and in the right channel is critical because the competition to penetrate the Filipino shopping basket today is getting tougher,” Lezoraine explains.