Food brands to increasingly target ‘Super Leaders’ for cut through in Asia Pacific

As the world of connected consumers grows, brands face a more challenging, complex environment today, according to the Tetra Pak Index 2017. In Asia Pacific – now home to more than half the world’s internet users and 54 per cent of the world’s social media users , winning over today’s well informed and empowered consumers requires brands to go beyond the traditional rules of engagement. Other than this, a new customer segment known as the Super Leaders have formed, and are key influencers within the connected consumer segment.

Themed around ‘The Connected Consumer’, the 10th edition of the Tetra Pak Index explores the world of digital and online consumers, and how they are connecting with food and drink brands. The report showcases the formation of a new consumer segment, the Super Leaders. These are the most active social group, comprising of just seven per cent of connected consumers. They are the influencers, trendsetters and early adopters. Being well-connected and vocal, they are a great source for brands to leverage for advocacy and market insight.

According to the report, the previously linear customer journey is shifting to a complex network of multiple touch points. Consumers today search for product information before, during and after buying, referring to at least four information sources pre-purchase – many of which are beyond the control of brands. Greater connectivity and the proliferation of online platforms present a challenge for brands, as consumers expect a consistent experience and messaging across all the touchpoints where they interact, especially on social media.

Third-party, user-generated content is increasingly important with digital now accounting for 65 per cent of media time for the average global consumer and independent customer reviews being the second most important marketing influence, according to the report. Specifically, for this region, more than 1.5 billion people are now using social media monthly, with 95 per cent accessing platforms via mobile devices – the highest ratio in the world¹. Product research and convenience are also other key factors that motivate Southeast Asian consumers to shop online².

In addition, the report demonstrates that packaging has an important role to play in offering a gateway to greater consumer engagement. For example, digital codes printed on packages can improve transparency of traceability, allowing consumers to access information about the product right down to the source. The package can also be transformed into a platform for two-way information flow where brands can capture specific, valuable data about their consumers as well as share more information about the product itself.

“Packaging design is an effective way to build brands through delivering a multi-sensory experience. Packaging has evolved into a key marketing tool that can be used to capitalise on connected consumers’ love for deeper brand engagements. At Tetra Pak, we are piloting the use of new digital technologies like augmented reality in our packaging to help brands attract and connect with this new generation of consumers,” said Libby Costin, Vice President Marketing and Product Management, Tetra Pak South Asia, East Asia & Oceania.

In the past year, Asia Pacific alone accounted for 70 per cent of total growth in global Internet users, 62 per cent of the growth in social media users, and 64 per cent of the growth in mobile social media users1. These rapid growth rates are pushing brands in the region to pick up the pace of change and evolve their strategies in order to thrive, by initiating, joining and helping shape connected conversations.

“As Millennials and Generation Z come of age, it is essential for brands to rethink the strategies to woo the next set of power-spenders. Their attention spans are much shorter, having grown up in a digital age where smartphones and online shopping are the norm. Brands looking to engage with the Connected Consumers need to understand what drives them, and how to create a seamless brand experience that translates well both online and offline,” added Libby.

1) Source: Hootsuite and WeAreSocial, Digital in 2017

2) Source: Nielsen, E-Commerce: Evolution or Revolution in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods World?