Create a Meaningful Voice in a Crowded Market

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We live in a crowded and noisy world. 

Everyday 60 billion messages are sent through Facebook, 500 million tweets are posted and 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram.  We are faced with tens of thousands of choices on supermarket shelves and multitudes within categories.

With all this information and stimulation, it's not surprising a recent survey found when it comes to making purchasing decisions, 60% of Australians suffer from analysis paralysis.

At the same time however, consumers are looking to connect with brands that demonstrate values they share. Shared values enhance the meaning of a brand and this can help you be heard in a crowded market, in turn being good for long term business performance.   

Research by the Havas Media Group found brands considered meaningful outperformed brands with lower levels of meaning by 206% over the 10 year period between 2006-2016. Meaningful brands were also 137% more likely to meet important KPI’s, including the ability to charge a premium price, a 9 times greater share of wallet and an increase in brand advocacy and repeat purchases.   

So what does it take to be meaningful?

When analysing this question, Havas found that to rise to the top of the meaningfulness scale, a brand needs to not only meet the functional needs consumers have, but also needs to demonstrate how it is contributing to the collective well being of society. 

Being meaningful therefore involves the ability to look both inwards, and outwards beyond the needs of the immediate consumer to also address the greater needs of society.   

This is in line with the changing mood of society that indicates long term business success will require not only the ability to make a profit, but to also serve a social purpose in a real and genuine way.

There's a whole buffet of options for addressing the greater needs of society however to operate with the greatest integrity, it makes sense for food brands to address the food related needs of society as a whole. 

There are plenty to consider and here are some thought starters:

1. Society's need to be educated about food.
What to do: Consider the adoption of values around food education, seasonality and transparency. Put your internal experts forward as educators. Example here - Brasserie's baker on how to make artisan bread.

2. Society's need to reduce the environmental footprint linked to food production.
What to do: Consider the adoption of values around the practises of your suppliers or the amount of plastic used in packaging. Communicate your commitments publicly. Example here - Harris Farm's #BanTheBag campaign promise to be the first major retailer to ban plastic bags from checkouts from 2018.

3. Society's need to preserve food culture.
What to do: Consider the adoption of values around preservation of seasonal eating, traditional harvesting and processing techniques, recipes or heirloom ingredients. Explain why this is valuable. Example here - Danone's now CEO Emmanuel Faber talks on the future of biodiversity

Overall, being meaningful provides a significant opportunity for brands to develop a stronger voice in the market, differentiate from competitors and contribute to a greater purpose, in turn engaging stakeholders, suppliers and consumers and contributing to a better world.