Our second of three scenarios looks at the shift from selling standard brands to sharing experiences with consumers.
By 2025, the last out-of-town “big box” supermarkets are closing all over Europe and North America. How did we get here, and when did shopping stop being boring, and become an experience?
Big brands used to promise consistency, but consumers increasingly want personal engagement, with a clear understanding of what their choices stand for. This explains the rise of the microbrands – for instance small scale artisanal brands for beer and spirits – which tell appealing stories that connect with their customers. The packaging for these microbrands is smart and connected – allowing consumers to trace every bean in the chocolate bar, and every detail of where the pack has come from, and how it will be recycled.
People stop needing to own things, and start sharing – why own a drill or champagne glasses when you only use them twice a year? At the same time, huge FMCG brands start converting to lifestyle services companies - think Dollar Shave Club. They also start customising products on a colossal scale – where Levi’s stores stop selling jeans and instead become places where customers are measured for clothing that is then bespoke-tailored and delivered. All these new ways of enjoying products and services require revolutions in packaging and logistics.
By 2021 big FMCG companies are spending more on marketing in stores than they do on television and online advertising together. Supermarkets and shopping malls become theatres for brands, with fashion shows, crèches, and coffee shops. In this environment just as shops become the new nightclubs, packaging becomes the new advertising.
We don’t pretend to have all of the answers but we’re hoping that our customers, our suppliers and other stakeholders will enjoy debating these issues with us as we seek to develop partnerships for the long-term based around shared understanding and value.
You are invited to join the conversation at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter with #rehearsingthefuture because we intend to be one of the companies that will not only thrive in the future but to be one that shapes it too.