Selling to Today's Consumer

August 1, 2004
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Selling to Today’s Consumer

Marketing candy should be as much fun as buying it—especially when the industry considers the vast diversity of today’s consumers. The many generations and ethnicities that make up the shoppers in the U.S. contribute to its mighty buying power, one that demands more creative segmentation, especially from confections. Candy may be a high impulse item—but that’s even more reason why it shouldn’t be put on the market impulsively.
“Candy is wholly a discretionary item, and it has the tendency to be very similar to other fashion-driven products that need specific target markets,” says Rob Frankel, a branding expert based in Los Angeles. He has been championing the fact that demographics are no longer the lead factor in the marketing strategies of such items; he puts much more importance on psychographics, which take into account lifestyles and emotional influences.
“Because confections are not usually something that most shoppers put on their list, it’s all about the brand connection, and the emotional bond that the consumer has with the candy,” adds Rodger Roeser, vice president of Justice & Young, a marketing firm based in Cincinnati.  He believes that what most marketers do wrong is not test products up front from a psychological viewpoint of a particular segment.
“Companies are numb with data, and yet 80 percent of new products fail because most marketers don’t know who the product is meant to motivate and why,” he says.
To help rise above this in our industry, Confectioner magazine is offering a breakdown of generational, cultural and even the two gender groups—they are defined by demographics, but they are deciphered by psychographics. Marketers are urged to have fun when unlocking such knowledge, which should bring more power and perhaps more educated risk-taking to the marketing of candy brands. n

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