Tetra Pak suggests brands focus digital strategies on 'Super Leaders'
- The food industry would be wise to engage with so-called "Super Leaders," the influencers who interact with brands the most via social media, according to the Tetra Pak Index 2017.
- The company's just-released annual report of consumer trends found that these Super Leaders — who represent just 7% of the online population — regularly create content using various mobile devices that can influence both in-store and online purchases.
- More than half (57%) write brand or product reviews every week, and nearly two-thirds (65%) say they are more likely to do so after a positive experience. Also, almost four out of five (78%) expect brands to reply to their reviews and ratings, and say that interacting with brands on social media improves their opinion of those brands (79%).
Consumers today are typically consulting four different sources for product information before they buy, the Tetra Pak Index reported. Many of those sources are beyond the control of brands.
"They are looking not only at pricing as a big driver and comparing prices, but also recommendations because they trust a conversation with their favorite brand or by searching the brand website. They also look for recommendations for a product or service, so there's feedback," Alexandre Carvalho, Tetra Pak's marketing services global director, told Food Dive.
It's important that brands respond to such opportunities for consumer connection because it "gives a lot of credibility," he said. "Brands can talk one to one with these Super Leaders, so they can amplify good or bad things."
He described Super Leaders as being between 25 and 34 years old and connected six to eight hours a day by using an average of 2.5 devices — iPhones, iPads, smartphones, tablets, PCs or "something wearable."
Many brands have websites these days, which is usually their major social media channel. Yet food companies should also be aware that 95% of these plugged-in consumers write reviews about brands and really want to give their opinions about products and services.
Strategies food companies can use to directly and effectively connect with brand influencers include creating a story about the brand, practicing consistent and open communication that conveys authenticity, and developing more innovative and personalized packaging.
"So the packaging industry will need to adapt to this trend at a certain level not only by printing digital messages but by creating digital triggers that will help connect" with consumers, Carvalho said.
In China, QR codes are popular on products and connect to platforms such as WeChat. "Packages drive content," he said. "You scan the code and it goes to a website, you download an app, or it drives credits that download to your account."
Worldwide, packaging technology incorporating augmented reality and virtual reality is evolving into a trend because of gaming.
"If we dream about the future, some technologies are being experimented with that could drive new trends," Carvalho said. "We see a lot of engagement and millennials really want to experiment among brands and generate content as well. If brands engage in AR/VR, customers are increasingly open to this kind of personalized experience."
- Tetra Pak Tetra Pak Index 2017