Transport cost hike, and power costs have become competitors for FMCG companies- Expert   

Tobi Adeniyi, the Customer Supply Chain Director at Unilever Nigeria Plc has said a shift in perspective for consumer goods companies is for these operators to recognize that traditional competitors extend beyond industry boundaries, now encompassing essential aspects of consumers’ lives.

Factors like transport costs, electricity bills, and phone credit compete for the limited purchasing power of consumers. 

Speaking during the NewsTimes Industry Economic Outlook event, Adeniyi stresses the importance of conveying value to customers in the face of these challenges.  

  • He says, “That’s sort of the starting point because if you miss it at that point, then everything else you’re just sort of chasing shadows, you know.” Adeniyi highlights the significance of functionality in maintaining a brand’s reputation, emphasizing that “your brand has an image, and therefore the functionality it delivers is something that determines the reputation of your brand.” 
  •  Adeniyi suggests that organizations must determine their target consumer segments and maintain product superiority while adapting to market dynamics. He notes, “You need to, therefore, as an organization, determine how far across the pyramid of consumers you want to serve. However, still maintain the product offering and still keep my loyal consumers.” 

To navigate the evolving landscape, Adeniyi proposes the segmentation of business portfolios based on consumer needs.

This involves determining the level of accessibility and affordability across different consumer segments.  

  • “So I think the most important thing is for FMCG companies to understand how to position their brands with the mind of the consumer. You know, are you essential or are you discretionary? And, you know, as much as possible you try to fall into the essential category such that you get consumed consumers to a point where they believe that you know they can’t go about their daily lives without interacting with your product.”  

Emerging trends in the FMCG industry 

Looking ahead, Adeniyi anticipates emerging trends, including companies exploring creative solutions and diversifying portfolios to maintain scale.

According to him a heightened struggle for consumers across various income levels leads to conscious choices and decisions.  

The fundamental challenge for FMCG companies lies in positioning their brands as essential rather than discretionary, ensuring that consumers perceive their products as indispensable to their daily lives. 

In response to these dynamics, there would be a likely increase in organizational campaigns, promotions, and engagements that appeal to consumers emotionally.

The goal is to establish a connection with consumers’ hearts and minds, fostering a sense of indispensability.

Ultimately, Adeniyi encourages FMCG companies to stay attuned to consumer sentiments, continually adapting strategies to meet evolving needs and preferences in this dynamic landscape. 

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