Succeeding in the CPG industry: How brands can use content to deepen consumer relationships

By Arabella Stephenson

5 min read

Succeeding in the CPG industry: How brands can use content to deepen consumer relationships

By Arabella Stephenson

5 min read

At Manifesto, we often evaluate the latest strategies which brands are implementing to deepen consumer relationships and correspondingly grow consumer LTV (Lifetime Value). From our perspective, a remarkable brand proposition will build upon its core product by offering a wholly connected experience, whether through incremental services, content, or by offering a sense of community to its consumers.


This article intends to examine how brands can use content as a key driver of engagement with the end-goal of growing consumer LTV. Specifically, we aim to throw light on CPG brands which are succeeding in the endeavour to inform, empower and entertain its consumers by lifting strategies from the media industry.


To illustrate our point, let’s have a look at some existing strategies adopted by CPG brands to deliver incremental value to their consumer bases:


Sharing brand specific recipes to encourage return purchases:


General Mills has produced its own recipe website, Tablespoon, which builds audience loyalty by publishing recipes which require ingredients from their family of brands such as Pillsbury and Bisquick. While Tablespoon’s content is free, by featuring brand specific recipes, General Mills encourages return purchases from its audience since its readers require its ingredients to recreate its recipes. Additionally, by allowing users to login and ‘bookmark’ recipes, it can gradually build an idea of its consumer tastes and interests through data collection. 


Interactive Product Quizzes to collect first party data:


L’Oréal launched which provides top tips, tutorials, and interviews with experts on how to apply their makeup. The purpose of is two-fold; by providing customers with accompanying advice around their products, L’Oréal educates and informs its audience base, while its inclusion of interactive quizzes to help users find their makeup match, allows them to collect first-party data while simultaneously serving their customers with recommendations.


Using content to build a community:


Brewdog created the ‘Brewdog Network’, a streaming platform which produces video series unique to the platform to build its fan engagement. The platform features everything from informative business interviews to amusing ‘beer bucket lists’ and cocktail tutorials. These videos build fan engagement by entertaining their audience base, while also producing a sense of community by contributing to the brands’ adventurous ethos, as well as stimulating awareness of its wider product base.


Leveraging new technology to understand your audience:


Unilever publishes ‘All Things Hair’ which allows consumers to explore the latest trends and find the product fit for their needs. By producing tips and tutorials it helps its readers make the right decision for their hair and links its readers directly to relevant products. The platform has recently partnered with Amazon Alexa to support users with personalised advice through its voice assistant – a clever way to support its readers while simultaneously collecting first party data.


Using apps to provide services:


Nike’s shift to D2C has been successful in part due to the additional content it promotes post purchase – its training and running apps Nike Run Club and Nike Training build a sense of community by offering free workouts for its members and promoting healthy habits through its podcasts. Allowing users to attribute their fitness journey to Nike’s products, enables the brand to surreptitiously integrate itself as its consumers’ primary workout provider of choice.


Image of Nike Run Club App

Source: Nike


What do these illustrated examples have in common, and what differentiates them from a traditional marketing strategy? Let’s remind ourselves of some of the ways that content can drive consumer LTV:


    Collecting first party data to understand audience interest and behaviours.

    Support the development of your brand’s reputation.

    Educate an audience by positioning the brand as an industry expert.

    Building usage habits and engaging consumers more frequently.

    Make your product the consumer’s first choice of brand, by promoting its benefits.


While these brands all offer unique, differentiated content propositions, they all successfully offer consumers additional value beyond their existing product base whether by education, recommendation, or entertainment. By offering their consumers additional content, these brands successfully supplant themselves as either industry experts or entertainers, and in doing so, drive consumer engagement. Additionally, by pulling on emerging technology or HPX levers to gather consumer data, brands can drive repeat purchases by personalising their experiences to establish a long-term relationship and build a lasting LTV. 


To find out more about how brands can use content to engage consumers, checkout The Audiencers’ thinking about how registration walls can be leveraged to establish an effective value exchange with consumers. 


Learning from the media industry:


Using our experience in the media industry, Manifesto has established that digital publishing houses should adhere to the following commercial model, which will enable them to generate consumer value by pushing consumers up and right along the ARPU curve below:



Media ARPU CurveSource: Manifesto Growth Architects


Moving consumers up each stage, from unknown to known, creates a richer profile of data and allows publishers a wider insight into the profile and habits of consumers and thus, offer them tailored propositions and grow value through transactions, subscriptions, and membership opportunities. Additionally, by segmenting an audience base into stages, from unknown to premium, publishers can pull on dedicated value levers to gain the maximum value from consumers within each stage – especially those who might not fit the potential consumer persona which can be moved up the curve. (To find out more, click here to read our report about engagement economics.)


We hypothesised that this commercial model can be applied in turn to the CPG industry, with brands being able to split their consumer base from the occasional retail consumer, to brand-loyal return consumers who will buy exclusively across a portfolio of products both in-store and online. Through our work with global portfolio CPG businesses, we discovered that up to 6x consumer value can be unlocked by putting this commercial model to practise in the consumer pet-care industry. 


Leveraging content to push consumers along the value curve:


Ultimately, an efficient way for brands to start pushing the consumer from promo-driven to brand-loyal is to begin producing content which provides consumers additional value beyond their existing product. Specifically, by applying techniques leveraged from the media industry, such as registration walls and subscriptions will allow CPGs to create a sense of exclusivity around their content for their brand loyal consumers, while simultaneously collecting first-party data to understand their audience and deliver them tailored or personalised content.


How can Manifesto help?


Manifesto are experts in identifying and implementing new business models that will drive consumer Lifetime Value. We have worked with a number of leading businesses across the CPG sector and have a proven track record of accelerating ongoing enterprise-wide change. If you would like to hear more about how CPG brands can deliver audiences incremental value along each stage of the curve, contact us to find out more.

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