The #1 Mistake CPG Brands Make

Nov 07, 2022

At Plantas, we have worked with and consulted for brands at all stages of the CPG Product Lifecycle. And in that time, we have found that the efforts CPG brands invest in often go to waste if this critical piece is missing. It is so deceptively simple, that many startup founders & CEOs neglect it in lieu of other more “important” things like raising money, go-to-market planning, or gaining distribution.

The #1 mistake that CPG brands fall into is:

Not having a strong enough consumer insight (or worse, not having a consumer insight at all).

This is a common pitfall across all CPG brands, from established $5B companies to start-ups that haven’t made 1 cent in revenue. It is even more pronounced in the plant-based space where new products are launched every day. Why is it so commonplace? Because founders, brand owners, and R&D folks often fall into the trap of thinking that because THEY like their product and THEY think it is a good idea, consumer demand exists. But consumer demand does not work that way.

The reality is, every successful CPG product has a strong consumer insight behind it. If your product is not addressing a true unmet consumer need with tangible benefits that consumers expect, then you can forget about that $200M valuation, those high hopes of getting into Walmart, or even building your e-commerce business.

So what can you do?

At the most basic level, you need to know who specifically your product is for, why they will care, and why they will change their current behavior to buy your product. And you need to know this through both quantitative and qualitative data that helps you build a nuanced picture of your consumer that is as comprehensive as possible. Without this, you risk becoming another of the zillions of brands that target “active women” or “Gen Z” and hope for the best. 

A strong consumer insight is the sweet spot at the intersection of consumer needs and your brand’s capabilities. It is, quite frankly, impossible to be successful in CPG without it. Because at the end of the day, there is a reason why the industry is called the consumer packaged goods industry. Consumers matter. Their decisions at the point of purchase are what drive your entire business. So why aren’t you paying enough attention to them?

Subscribe to the Plantas Newsletter 

Be first to know when a new blog drops and to get exclusive access to content for email subscribers. 

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.