Building Unbreakable Bonds: The FMCG’s Guide to Customer Profiles


SitecoreOwn the experience

Thursday, September 2, 2021

There was a time when consumers were almost indifferent to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands and would choose whatever was convenient and fitted their budget.

Article 6 Minutes
Building Unbreakable Bonds: The FMCG’s Guide to Customer Profiles

However, there is now an almost overwhelming variety of goods on the shelves and customers are no longer basing their purchasing decisions on price alone. Convenience, availability, branding, sustainability and ethics all play a role, along with the fact that consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the way the FMCG industry impacts the environment.

Because of this, competition is fierce, with many small disrupters utilising flexible production methods and catering to more niche and ethically conscious consumers. Ultimately, the success of these products depends largely on consumer trends, packaging, distribution channels, ethical practices and strong marketing strategies.

Most FMCG providers will already be aware that the key to gaining a competitive advantage lies in the abundance of customer data around the products, as well as the wealth of opportunities to gain feedback from customers. This can help to build those important unbreakable consumer bonds, and we’re going to look at this in more detail below.

Welcome to the age of customer centricity

Discover how to deliver the best digital experience to keep your customers coming back.

VISIT THE HUB ifp.ClickDetails"

How the FMCG industry nurtured a successful value-creation model

For years, FMCG brands have been able to nurture a successful value creation model, achieving strong organic growth. This method has remained relatively unchanged since the 1950s - it relied on mass-market brand building, product innovation, hitting developing markets early and building advantageous relationships with grocers and mass retailers.

In most cases, these brands also perfected their model for consistent execution and cost reduction, as well as using merging and acquisition to position themselves as industry leaders. But despite all of this, there are now signs that this growth is stagnating, making the industry increasingly competitive.

The trends disrupting the FMCG industry

With this long-successful model losing steam, organic growth is slowing down. There are a number of reasons for this:

Expectations of younger generations

It’s been proven time and time again that millennials are fundamentally different from older generations in the way they shop. They tend to favour newer, smaller and more ethical brands that typical mass produced goods, therefore the typically advertising channels are ill suited to them.

The rise of retail giants and smaller brands

There has also been an explosion in smaller brands, as well as the overwhelming success of retail giants like Amazon who offer almost every product under the sun. This means competition is fierce and those FMCG businesses caught in the middle are no longer coming out on top.

Digital engagement and evolving customer experiences

Finally, the speed and ease with which the internet has made goods accessible means the conventional trip to the supermarket no longer brings the results it once did for FMCG brands. This digital revolution has also changed how consumers learn about and engage with brands, as well as how they engage with their customers. This means yesterdays marketing strategies and standards are almost obsolete.

How customer profiles can help FMCG brands overcome these challenges

Customer profiling is a technique used by retailers to get a better understanding of their existing customers. These customer profiles are designed to represent a typical buyer and focus on the different goals and scenarios the customers might find themselves in when engaging with and buying from your brand. For example, whether they're shopping online, in-store, through a catalogue, etc.

These profiles help businesses to make better decisions based on your customer’s wants and needs, as well as allowing them to take full advantage of the data you have available to develop a competitive advantage in your industry.

This ability to better understand your customers through data can help your brand to secure new customers and to create a loyal customer base. They can also help with:

  • Identifying prospective customers by knowing who benefits most from your products
  • Helping you to lower customer acquisition costs (CAC)
  • Empowering you to better serve your customers and to meet their wants, needs and demands
  • Helping you to target your customers where they spend most of their time, for example, social media, websites, in-store, etc.
  • Helping to reduce customer churn by allowing you to attract and serve the right customers who actually want to buy your products
  • Allowing you to grow your FMCG business and boost your profits

These are by no means all of the benefits FMCG brands might see from creating and implementing strong customer profiles, but are certainly some of the biggest reasons that you should consider this technique in your business if you haven’t already.

Tips for creating successful FMCG customer profiles

If you’ve not created FMCG customer profiles before, you might not know where to start. Below, we’ve pulled together four tips to help you do this.

1. Understand how your products are being used - and by who

First and foremost, if you hope to create an accurate customer profile, you need to fully understand your own products and who they are created to serve.

Though this process will be ongoing and will need to be revisited regularly, the way you package, position and market your products will impact the types of people that decide to buy them.

There are plenty of ways you can gather useful data and insights, including using your own company website, data from supermarkets or retailers that stock your goods and social media engagement and analytics.

All of this can help you to create a bigger picture of who your customer is.

2. Ask for feedback

One of the best ways to find out who your customers are and also why they choose your products is to simply ask them. You could do this by surveying customers in-store or offering incentives for taking online surveys. You can also do this by checking reviews of your products on retail sites and social media. 

3. Dont forget demographics

Customer profiles are about more than just demographics; they’re about goals, behaviours, and characteristics. That being said, taking demographics into account can help you to better identify your customers.

So, when gathering and analysing data for your profiles, think about important aspects such as age, location, gender, etc. This will help you to add to the bigger picture and give more substance to your buyer personas.

4. Keep your profiles up to date

Our final tip for creating customer profiles is to keep these as up to date as possible. After all, customer demands and needs are always changing.

Today’s consumers are more concerned about their impact on the planet; therefore, introducing more eco-conscious practices into your business is very desirable and in this case, you'd need to update your customer profiles to reflect this.

Plus, we are now living in a digital, on-demand society, so customer’s behaviours and preferred ways of shopping are always evolving. So be sure to regularly revisit your profiles and make any changes where necessary. This is the way to build and nurture breakable bonds with your customers.

If you’d like to know more about how you can build a 360° view of your customers in your business, you can check out our comprehensive guide here.

Further reading


Sitecore is a global leader in digital experience management software that combines content management, commerce, and customer insights. The Sitecore Experience Cloud™ empowers marketers to deliver personalized content in real time and at scale across every channel—before, during, and after a sale. More than 5,200 brands—including American Express, Carnival Cruise Lines, Kimberly-Clark, and L’Oréal—have trusted Sitecore to deliver the personalized interactions that delight audiences, build loyalty, and drive revenue. 


Join the conversation...