THAIFEX 2019

Identifying key consumers and product positioning crucial for market survival – marketing expert

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Deepak Gunvante is the partner for APAC and expert consultant at the Healthy Marketing Team.
Deepak Gunvante is the partner for APAC and expert consultant at the Healthy Marketing Team.

Related tags: Marketing, Nutrition, Consumers

Identifying key consumers and crafting a message that resonate with them is crucial for new health and nutrition products to survive in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

This is according to Deepak Gunvante, partner for APAC and expert consultant at the Healthy Marketing Team.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia​ at the Thaifex-World of Food Asia, Gunvante pointed out that eight out of 10 newly launched nutrition products were eliminated from the market within one year of their launch, which constituted a “huge waste of effort”​ for the manufacturers. 

To address this issue, he stressed the importance of identifying the key consumer groups and positioning new products with messages that best resonate with these consumers.

“For any brands to succeed, it is important for them to know where to be, which consumers segment to target.

“Common mistakes that people do is that they will take a particular proposition and product and they target the wrong consumer segments and this doesn’t work,”​ Gunvante said. 

He gave the example of how a European start-up managed to boost the sales of its oatmeal product after changing its target consumers and product positioning.

Case study

According to Gunvante, the start-up initially positioned the oatmeal product as a healthy product that contains beta-glucan along with lactose-free claim.

After studying consumer insights and re-assessing the right consumer segments, the firm shifted the product positioning to a sustainability-centred claim aimed at attracting the millennials.

“It is the exact same product. Earlier, it positioned itself based on the beta-glucan and lactose-free claims, but the moment they change the positioning and target the right consumer group, the sales went up,” ​he said.

Asian consumers’ demands

Generally speaking, Asian consumers are becoming more attracted to health foods that are heavy on natural claims.

“It is not good enough to say that a product is free-from gluten and lactose. Consumers are looking at the source of the product as well.

“A lot of transparency is required, such as details on how the product was produced and the source of the ingredients,”

He explained that consumers look at these indicators to assess if a product that claims to be made from naturally sources was indeed naturally made.

On the other hand, he added that Asian consumers are also looking for customised nutrition solutions that suited their needs.

“Consumers also don’t believe in a one-size fits all solution…They are thinking if they can get good quality protein from a particular food, the right nutrients and nourishment.

“Consumers are not looking at food today as just a food anymore, they are looking at food as a building block and it is not just food, they get looking for food plus,” ​he said.

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