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The consumer goods industry is under siege. The rise of mobile and social technologies has given more power to customers, who now have access to more information and more choices than ever before. At the same time, nimble upstart companies are developing products at a faster pace, taking advantage of new distribution options and disrupting established industries. Established CPG companies aren’t equipped to compete in this new competitive landscape. They’re bleeding market share and they need to act quickly if they want to reverse the trend.

In a recent webinar, How to Win Back Fickle Customers: Lessons From the War Between Big CPG Companies and Small but Powerful Upstarts, we invited Joel Warady, chief sales and marketing officer of Enjoy Life Foods, to provide an insider’s look into the state of the industry. David Sevitt, vice president of sales at Vision Critical, joined Warady to discuss what CPG brands need to do in order to thrive. Here are three major takeaways from the webinar.

  1. Start with a customer-centric culture.

Warady reiterated the need to foster a customer-centric culture—one that puts the focus on the empowered customer. But most CPG manufacturers and retailers haven’t figured out how to engage with today’s empowered consumers for the insight required to remain relevant.

Urging companies to prioritize customer engagement, Warady concluded, “The customer is the conduit to your brand.”

  1. Create a meaningful relationship with the empowered customer.

In a world where the path to purchase is becoming more complex, the race to win CPG dollars won’t be won with shelf space. To win the business of the empowered customer, it’s not enough to know what, when and where your customers buy. CPG companies need to understand the why of customer behavior. That understanding can only be built over time by engaging with customers on a regular basis. Warady said CPGs need to open a dialogue with consumers. They need to adopt a one-to-one state of mind. “Think digitally but act analogue,” offered Warady. “It helps us understand motivations of our consumers.”

Sevitt added that closing the feedback loop and demonstrating that you’re listening helps to build the brand-customer relationship. Companies need to share back how customer feedback help shapes their decisions. Brands need to openly communicate the value of that feedback with their customers.

  1. Adopt an agile mentality.

Sevitt argued that unless CPGs become more lean, agile and customer-focused, they will continue to see their profits decline and share shift towards other players. Established companies need to take a page out of the startup playbook: “fail faster” and launch new products in the market sooner. To become more nimble, companies need greater access to their consumers, who can help them to make better decisions quicker.


Established companies can’t reverse their losses by doing what they’ve always done. Upstarts are hungry for more market share, and big CPGs can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. To win back the business of the fickle empowered customer, CPGs need to keep up with newer players. But more importantly, they need to put the focus on the same people they’re trying to win: today’s empowered customer.


Learn how a turnkey, online solution can help CPG brands engage with empowered consumers, anticipate emerging trends like ecommerce, and create better products in less time at less expense.

How to Keep Pace with the Evolution of the CPG Industry

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Kelvin Claveria

Kelvin Claveria was formerly a Content Marketing Manager at Vision Critical.

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