Changing Behavior: YA Survey Shows Discounts and Offers on Consumer Packaged Goods Increase Brand Loyalty and Help Marketers Adapt to Evolving Consumer Preferences

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More than three-quarters say offers cause them to buy one brand over another. Eighty-five percent would be likely to try a new product if offered a sample or discount.

A recent study by YA, an industry market leader in delivering high-impact omni-channel marketing promotions for the nation’s most respected brands, shows that consumers will shop differently if given special offers on consumer packaged goods (CPG), which are items consumed every day such as food, beverages, paper products, etc.

The June 2017 survey of 1,001 adult Americans found that 85 percent of respondents say they would try a brand or a CPG product they’ve never tried before if offered a discount or free product. Only 1 percent of respondents said they would not try a brand or product when given a discount offer. In addition, 78 percent of all respondents - and 82 percent of millennial respondents – say redeeming a CPG product offer has changed their habits to pick one brand over another.

“CPG brands that take advantage of discounts and other offers have a clear opportunity to win and keep consumers and create ongoing loyalty,” said YA President and CEO Chris Behrens. “And with the level of technological sophistication available with today’s discounts, marketers can gain increased insights into consumer habits.”

The vast majority of respondents (89 percent) say they conduct research (e.g. on their computer or mobile device) prior to buying a new product. Forty-two percent of all respondents (36 percent of millennials) say that when researching products, a free sample would most incent them to try something new, with 38 percent (37 percent of millennials) saying a buy-one/get-one offer or discount would be the top reason they’d choose a product while researching what to buy.

“Today there are many ways to influence purchasing decisions in advance of the actual sale,” said Vlad Lamadieu, vice president of Business Development for the YA’s CPG clients. “For example, brand marketers may use an email or text campaign to offer targeted consumers a pre-loaded card that can be redeemed for a free sample. With the pre-paid card, marketers will know who redeemed the offer, and then allow them to give subsequent tailored offers to keep the relationship with the customer going.”

“Marketers continue to search for ways to engage consumers with their brand without defaulting to discounts. However, given the increasingly important role that technology plays in consumer engagement strategies, there’s an opportunity for a shift in thinking,” said Shawn Anne Buttschau, a YA senior director who specializes in the CPG industry. “Brands are able to encourage trial and solicit the initial interaction with a brand through a discount offer and are able to apply an ongoing one to one communication to keep them engaged with alternate interactions, measuring the long-term value each consumer contributes.”

According to the survey, specialized groups respond well to promotions tailored to their interests and those promotions are a way to segment consumers to best understand who would be most inclined to buy a product. Of the respondents with specific nutritional requirements and preferences, 75 percent say they would participate in programs that offer recipe contests or online communities that focus on their specific dietary issue.

In addition, the survey also reveals that ongoing loyalty programs are a viable option for CPG brands. While the survey found that consumers are more heavily influenced by quality product offerings than price, brand and offer when it comes to brand loyalty, nearly three quarters (74 percent) of respondents say they would participate in a CPG program that allowed them to collect points for free items on future visits.

CPG promotions are also a boon for retailers. The survey found that retail traffic can be influenced through CPG offers, though to a lesser degree with millennials. Eighty-two percent of all respondents (71 percent of millennials) say they would shop at a store they normally don’t go to if offered a product discount. Convenience is still a factor, so offers designed to drive retail traffic need to be compelling enough for them to invest the time.

“At the end of the day, it’s important for CPG brands to look at their overall goals for reaching consumers to come up with longer-term promotional and engagement strategies that will help them win and keep consumers.” said Buttschau.

About the Survey
YA commissioned the online survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults in June 2017.

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Survey Responses

1.    Would you go to a store you normally don’t visit if it had an offer for discounted CPG products?
Yes if it’s on my way                        57 percent
Yes even if it’s out of my way                    25 percent    
No, I like the store I normally shop at                18 percent

2.    To what extent would you agree with the following: “I would participate in a CPG program that allowed me to collect points for free items on future visits” (e.g. Buy a face wash 5 times and your 6th product is free)
Agree strongly                                   32 percent    
Somewhat agree                             42 percent
Neither agree nor disagree                        18 percent
Disagree to some extent                         5 percent

Disagree to a great extent                        2 percent
3.    How often has redeeming a CPG offer changed your habits to pick one brand over another?
Several times                            17 percent
A few times                                61 percent
Never                                22 percent
4.    How likely would you be to try a brand or product you’ve never tried before if you received a discount or free product offer?
Very likely                                34 percent
Somewhat likely                            51 percent
Wouldn’t make a difference                          9 percent
Somewhat unlikely                              4 percent        
Very unlikely                                 1 percent

5.    When in the market for a CPG, how often do you research the product before purchasing?
Never                                11 percent
Some of the time                            45 percent
Most of the time                            28 percent
All of the time                            16 percent
6.    If you do research on a product before purchasing, name the top way you research
On my computer                            57 percent
On my mobile device                        22 percent
Through friends                                        7 percent    
Looking at print ads                             8 percent
Looking at TV ads                              6 percent
7.    When researching which brand of CPG to purchase, what type of offer would make you choose one over another (pick top choice)
Buy one get one of the same product at a discount            38 percent
An offer to try a sample for free                    42 percent
An offer to get a free or discounted complimentary
product (e.g. buy soda, get free chips)                17 percent
The opportunity to enter a contest,
such as recipe contest, or an online community             3 percent
8.    What most impacts your decision to purchase one brand of a food product over another?
Price                                 30 percent
Belief that it is the most
respected brand in that category                     4 percent
Nutritional / dietary content
(e.g. gluten free, fat free)                          12 percent
Taste/quality                              45 percent     
Offers/discounts                                                       9 percent

9.    What’s the top reason you continue to buy one brand or product over another?
Belief that it is the most respected
brand in that category                                      6 percent
Taste/quality                             61 percent    
Price                                 27 percent    
Ongoing offers/discounts                                   7 percent

10.    If you have dietary restrictions (e.g. gluten, dairy) how likely would you be to participate in a recipe contest or online community that highlights those restrictions
Not at all likely                                  15 percent        
Somewhat likely                                         28 percent    
Very likely                                      18 percent    
I don’t have dietary restrictions                         38 percent

11.    What is the best vehicle for receiving a discount offer?
An App                                 8 percent
A discount / offer card mailed to your home                23 percent
In-store instant offer                         30 percent
An email                                32 percent
A text                                 7 percent
12.    Do you have any CPG Apps on your phone?
Yes                                    20 percent
No                                    80 percent
13.    What is the top reason to have a CPG App?
To receive discount offers                        67 percent
To participate in contests/activities                      8 percent
To learn about new products                    25 percent
14.    If you received an offer for free or reduced-priced products through an App, how often would you redeem the offer?
Never                                  6 percent    
Some of the time                            34 percent
Most of the time                            39 percent
All of the time                            20 percent
15.    Do you review retail Apps (e.g. Target Cartwheel or Walmart) when preparing to shop for consumer product goods
Yes                                    47 percent
No                                    53 percent    

16.    What most grabs your attention in the store while shopping for deals?
Endcap display                            18 percent    
The offer put directly on the product package            32 percent
Aisle signage                            18 percent
Someone giving out samples                    33 percent    

About YA
For 45 years, YA has been a leader in promotional marketing services. We deliver high-impact, data-driven, digital, social and mobile promotions, such as rebates and rewards, enter to win, referral and loyalty programs, to the nation’s most respected brands. With deep expertise across multiple industries, our end-to-end management of 3,500+ promotions each year creates tens of millions of consumer interactions annually. We then analyze these interactions to understand the drivers of consumer behavior. This makes us experts at turning even first-time customers into loyal brand advocates who take action, buy more and spread the word. For more information, visit:

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Tracy Kurschner
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