I consult on marketing and market research for a variety of consumer packaged goods and agricultural products, including wine, spirits, beer, cider, olive oil, cheese and chocolate.
I can design and execute consumer research on brand image, purchase intent, packaging, pricing, advertising tests and more. This can help you answer questions such as:
- How does my product stack up against its competitors in consumers’ eyes? What are the closest rival products?
- What is the likely effect on consumers of a brand name or label change?
- Which package changes will best support my sales and image goals?
- How will different pricing or communication affect my target consumers?
I have expertise on industry structure and key issues involving sustainability, importation, distribution, pricing and sales of food and beverage. Combining this with market research, I can provide:
- Data and advice on integrating organic or sustainable processes into trade and consumer communications, as well as product appeal and positioning.
- Advice and planning for new product conception and introductions.
- Applying sales, trade and consumer research to make decisions on distribution and channel management.
- Optimizing product mix.
Surveys or experiments with customer or visitor mailing lists and customer data can help you answer:
- Why do some customers join the club or shipment programs but others buy ad-hoc?
- Which combinations of services, price, quantity, timing, and type of products have the most appeal?
- How do my customers differ from the average consumer in my category? What do they “get” about me and how can I expand that to the broad market?
- Who are my most important and direct competitors?
I have experience in training and working with sales and marketing employees to use research and data in sales and relationship management. I can aid your sales and marketing force in:
- Preparing effective fact-base sales presentations using scan or sales data, consumer and trade research.
- Developing product-positioning strategies based on consumer perceptions.
- Managing and exploiting category management trends in retail stores.
- Using software to spot and analyze sales trends.
I also carry out industry research on such topics as supply and demand trends, consumer demographics, business strategies and economic trends. These studies can help you determine:
- The long term outlook for consumer demand for my type of product.
- Whether your grape costs are likely to rise or fall. Is this a good time to lock up grape contracts or go with the spot market?
- What your optimum product mix is, given your vineyards and capital
- The interaction of the wine trade with local economics and trends. What is the likely effect of economic or demographic changes on your business?
There are many foods and beverages that are similar in terms of fragmented small producers, widely varying grades of quality and prestige, complex distribution channels and differing consumer images and usage. Chocolate, cider, olive oil, craft or microbrew beers, and artisanal cheese are particularly relevant. The market research and analysis techniques I use can be applied to any of those categories.