How product attributes can build an audience


How product attributes can build an audience

When consumers search online for a new product, they might not know what brand they want but they do know what they want the product to do for their health, for the environment, and for the greater good. They’re looking for caffeine-free. Sustainable. Anti-inflammatory. Certified organic. This is the world of product attributes, and it increasingly is driving the world of marketing.

The attribute opportunity

Four-fifths (78%) of grocery searches on Amazon are unbranded. Eighty-four percent of brands fail to claim one of their top three attributes. In a world where 200 million American shoppers follow some sort of diet or health-related eating program, this means that marketers may be leaving 90% of incremental penetration opportunities on the table. 

Product attribute data, which identifies which attributes best define a product, can not only close that gap; it can help build strong and loyal audiences.  

Intertwined with consumer data on other product qualities (price, size, and flavor, let’s say), product attribute data can identify which adjectives emblazoned on a product resonate with which customers, then use that foundation to create audiences for those products.  

In short, product attribute data makes granular and market-friendly sense of the product-attribute universe, which, in the NIQ database alone, includes 27,000 attributes, 450,000 ingredients, and 9 million product claims. 

Using product attributes to build a bigger audience involves six basic steps: Assess the data. Analyze it. Innovate with it. Use it to position products. Communicate that positioning to customers, then measure the results. Here’s a quick walk through. 

Relevant attributes

Assessing and analyzing data helps discern which among the thousands of attributes, ingredients and product claims will resonate with your target customers. Do they look for certain ingredients or products free from certain ingredients? Do they want a certification (say, organic)? Do they want a product to fit their lifestyles (convenience, perhaps)? Product attribute data hitched to a company’s existing marketing data will provide the answers. 

Richer customer data

This is where innovation and positioning come in. Most CPG companies have more than one target audience. Connecting existing data with product-attribute data yields insights that help marketers reach each of these segments. Take plant-based cheese as an example. The category is growing 2.3 times faster than dairy cheese. A marketer might brand such cheese as vegan or dairy free, but in reality, customers are looking for another attribute: Plant-based. Without that tag, a marketer is missing 97% of the market. That’s because customers looking for such cheese are searching for “plant based,” a search term whose volume has risen 68% in recent years. Long story short, richer customer data can reveal insights that fuel personalized marketing and product development for each of a company’s customer groups. 

Build tailored audiences

Once a company knows which attributes resonate with which consumers, it’s time to communicate with customers by building tailored campaigns. One audience might gravitate toward “all natural” products, while another might leap for “sustainable” or “recycled.”  Product attribute data can help marketers effectively use newer attributes, among them “real,” “natural,” and “adaptogenic,” each of which has seen search volume leap by nearly 500% over the last several years. Tailored campaigns include not just messaging that resonates with customers; it offers promotions tailored to them, too. And that final step? Measure the results to see what’s working and what could be crafted even more sharply to reach an audience.

We’re in a new marketing landscape. Online searches and the desire to use food as more than a vehicle for energy and nutrition has contemporary consumers hunting for products that will boost their health, save the environment and make the world a better place to live.

Product attributes used the right way can help consumers find a way to your company’s digital doorstep, provide you with a competitive edge, and help your customers accomplish all they want with the products they purchase.