Trends in the EU & UK: Same as Before, Served with a Twist

As we continue to ride the wave of COVID-19 recovery, it is a good time to take stock of what is on the minds of clients in the EU/UK region.

It is fascinating, actually. We hear from clients that they are broadly interested in the same things they have always been interested in, even before the pandemic – with a decided twist.

Clients definitely want to know how their pack performs versus the competition at-shelf – but now there are definite, multidimensional nuances. “Shelf” now encompasses the digital shelf of e-commerce, and competition is now challenger brands – upstart new entrants and even stores’ own brands!

They want to know if a pack redesign is better, worse or about the same as what they have now? But they need faster, iterative solutions that don’t necessarily involve a new study. Time frames are tight, and the need to be right and avoid delisting by the retailer is paramount.

They want to understand what it is that customers actually see and notice about their packs? If clients are leading with a sustainability message, is the pack conveying all the functional messages too (because as much as consumers SAY they will make sustainable choices, they still want value and function – and we have research to prove it!).

Clients need to persuade the retailer that giving their brand increased shelf space and a better position will make both of them more money, which means they need to know (and demonstrate to their trading partners) the evidence of the dynamic interdependence of Pack, POSM, Planograms and Pricing.

Clients are recognizing that consumer choices are complex and hard to understand in an increasingly digital, omnichannel world. In a COVID-19 recovery retail landscape, it is mission-critical for clients to understand how shoppers are researching online and buying in-store, researching in-store and buying online, doing both, doing neither – because it is highly unlikely consumers are just doing exactly the same as they have always done before. Armed with those insights, they want to shape behaviours that impact the path-to-purchase to the benefit of their brands.

Our EU and UK clients are definitely looking for ways to understand and influence consumers using a behavioural framework. They know they need to understand what people say they do, that they actually do; say they do, but don’t do; don’t say that they do, but clearly do; don’t say that they do and don’t do! They need evidence-based, reliable approaches, grounded in a proven track record of experience in their categories and the world of shopper research, fueled by behavioural principles to define and diagnose the factors that will really impact shopper growth, even as the landscape for retail shifts.

Without appearing over-confident, these are all challenges that Behaviorally are well-positioned to address.  With a digital-first approach, decades of shopper marketing research experience and a simple behavioural framework, Behaviorally is more than ever seen as a trusted partner in the quest to help clients, across Europe, to drive shopper growth.

Alex Batchelor HeadshotTHE AUTHOR
Alex Batchelor is the Managing Director of the EU & UK for Behaviorally (Formerly PRS). In addition to his role at Behaviorally, Alex is the Chair at Watch Me Think, the global consumer empathy agency, and an advisor to several private equity/venture capital funds. He has worked in senior international marketing and commercial roles on the client-side for TomTom, Royal Mail, Orange and Unilever, as well as on the agency-side with BrainJuicer (now System1), Interbrand and Saatchi & Saatchi. He served as a former Chair of the Marketing Society as well as a fellow of the Marketing Academy, and has been an active member of marketing and market research societies in the UK, Australia, South Africa and the US.

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