Design - Opportunities to Interact with the Consumers

What got me to write this article is my encounter with a company executive who had come home to deliver a candle(filter) for the water purifier. Basically, the water purifier is sold at a relatively low cost but it requires candle replacement periodically for which the company executive visits the customer premises. I am assuming in this article that the company has its own servicing team. The company that I am talking about is an Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) giant with presence in almost every consumer category.  They have a robust distribution network across cities, towns and rural areas.

That sounds great! But, the bigger question that kept ringing in my mind is that what a fabulous opportunity to Interact with the Consumers?

Having said that, I looked at exploring the following three opportunities:
  1. Direct Selling
  2. Sampling
  3. Feedback
Why Direct Selling?
It offers a fantastic opportunity to cross sell. Let’s say the company creates a card on which they mention all the products available and the company executive who has come to deliver the candle hands it to the customer. Consumer ticks all the products required for a bulk purchase. This is delivered to the consumer on the next purchase of the candle (Assuming periodic replacement). This channel then becomes an additional point of contact for reaching the consumers apart from the regular retail channel.

Why Sampling?
Whenever the company executive is coming down to a consumer place to change the candle, he can offer FMCG products for sampling. This is a cost effective solution for sampling and the marketer can get instant feedback from the customer.

Why Feedback?
Since the company executive is interacting with the consumer directly, spontaneous feedback can be solicited from the customer on various products.

These suggestions are purely on the basis of the observation that I made while interacting with the company executive of one of the biggest FMCG player and needs to be proved through a pilot. Moreover, not all FMCG companies can implement it as most sell only through a retail channel.

- by Anuj Chaudhary

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