Last week I had the pleasure of participating in the eBev Europe conference. It was the first event organized in Europe as these events have mainly taken place in the USA. The main topic of the conference was digital disruption in the beverage industry.
And it was great! The key speakers were industry professionals who shared their brand stories and lessons learned. I made a short summary of the main ideas that seemed the most interesting. Check them out:
It’s all about consumer experience marketing… Nowadays, huge amounts of money are being spent toward product experience. If you are a brand owner, how do you create product/brand experience for your product? Transform your bottle and packaging in genuine touch points for brand experience and discovery.
If you go digital, you go all in… It seemed very strange to hear that the big guys are only starting to discover the advantages of digital marketing. Marketing managers are still struggling to prove to their managers that there is an alternative to television advertising. However, they are already taking the first steps (very big ones) and discovering that digital marketing is a valuable tool for their brand communication. Digital marketing budgets are increasing, which is a sign that soon it will not be only startups and SMEs playing in this field.
Unilever is betting that Direct-To-Consumer is the next big thing… Big guys are researching the ways they can communicate and sell directly to consumers. The main goal is to understand how to reach consumers directly. Their first testing project was launched in France T.O. Lipton. Check it out here.
By the way, Unilever also believes in the importance of personalization and subscription trends.
Use Big Data to determine consumer trends… Finally, the impact of big data was acknowledged. It seems that more and more companies are using data to analyze consumer trends. Big data becomes a huge competitive advantage for companies who are trying to understand their consumers.
Generation Z (births starting 1995) will change the world… These people do not know a world without technology. For them, it’s a different world than for earlier generations. These are different consumers for which we need to be prepared.
To sum up, digital disruption is already happening in the beverage industry. Technology is changing how brands are communicating with consumers. Technology enables brand owners to better understand these consumers and to try to predict the future accordingly. Those who are not playing this game will just be crushed.