NCS Releases New CPG Industry Research: Focus Now on Buyers – All Buyers – For Growing Your Brand

Landmark project continues to uncover the science behind building strong CPG brands

April 16, 2019

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–At the ARF’s annual AUDIENCExSCIENCE conference, NCS announced today new findings from the ongoing research study, How to Build Brands. The new analysis proves that the most effective way for brands to impact both current and future sales is to focus on the purchases they can influence now.This phase of research dove into which advertising strategies are most closely aligned with driving sales. As evidenced by real in-store purchase and advertising exposure data from 50 CPG brands over 3.5 years, the number of brand buyers over a 4-week window has a 97% correlation to sales. Which means: the best strategy for driving brand growth is increasing the number of buyers now.

The most effective way to increase the number of buyers now is to deliver advertising to existing brand buyers. That’s because it is proven to be more efficient to get existing buyers to shorten their purchase cycle or choose your brand more often than it is to bring in new consumers. It is also proven that, when advertising drives a purchase today, it drives the consumer connection into the future.

“At Anheuser-Busch, we believe that the strength of our brands lies in their strong brand purpose. This is especially important for legacy brands; they have incredible top-of-mind awareness, but now exist in a landscape where consumers needs are changing and beer is not always the first drink of choice,” said Joanie Kwok, Director, Anheuser-Busch. “In 2016, we tested different national and local advertising strategies on a heritage brand to understand what would connect best with buyers. Our primary focus was recruiting new buyers, but we learned a lot about balance. To maximize sales, we need to remain relevant with loyal consumers first and – with new strategies and partnerships – position ourselves to new buyers.”

“Over the past few years, the competitive CPG environment has pushed brands to focus on acquiring new buyers to drive market penetration, which has meant that the focus has shifted off of building loyalty. Acquiring new buyers requires messages that either expand the use case for the brand or reposition the brand, which can be expensive and may alienate existing brand buyers,” said Leslie Wood, Chief Research Officer, NCS. “To build your brand, focus on cultivating that consumer connection today—which starts with your existing buyers. That doesn’t mean ignoring potential new buyers, but don’t let that be the primary focus.”

In an ongoing effort to advance the science of advertising and move the industry toward greater effectiveness, NCS has worked together with leading CPG brands and publishers to answer some of advertisers’ biggest questions. For this impressive body of research, Chief Research Officer Leslie Wood has received the ARF’s 2019 Erwin Ephron Demystification Award.

In addition to shaping the way the CPG industry approaches advertising, Wood’s research has shaped the direction of NCS’ products and services. Giving brands a holistic picture of their advertising effectiveness across channels, even while in-flight, allows them to be flexible and agile and enables them to compete in today’s market. To learn more about the company’s closed loop solution, encompassing Target, Optimize, Measure and soon to be Forecast, visit the website at