Consumer dialogue is a reciprocal exchange of information between businesses and consumers.
When brands focus on the consumer dialogue in their brand building efforts, they use the consumer point of view to inform their branding and packaging decisions. With respect to packaging design, the consumer dialogue must focus on catching people’s attention through remarkable packaging design and communicating the brand message to the consumer via packaging. The goal is to create an authentic, transparent brand story.
This makes sense because, after all, if consumers aren’t engaged, they’re more likely to choose another brand. It’s not always easy to ask questions and hear honest answers but doing so is the key to establishing a mutually beneficial conversation that leads to products consumers want while building a stronger brand.
Why Consumer Dialogue Is Important to Brand Building
Gone are the days where the conversation with consumers was one-way, starting with the brand and ending with the consumer. The internet and particularly social media have made the conversation decidedly mutual, with consumers enjoying greater influence over the products that populate their lives.
The path to purchase is less straight-and-narrow now. Consumers can quickly find products from multiple brands at their fingertips. Furthermore, people talk about brands all the time online, and the average consumer may pick up brand information, whether they’re explicitly searching for it or not.
Brands that don’t engage in this two-way conversation can ultimately damage their own brand by coming across as tone-deaf, and by ignoring the increasingly strong voice of the consumer. How well is your brand communicating with its current strategy? Is that strategy based on consumer input?
Tips for Engaging in Consumer Dialogue
Successfully engaging in consumer dialogue requires a strategy and commitment. Research tools like surveys and online chat tools specifically designed to capture real-time consumer reactions to products and packaging are part of the conversation.
But brands must be prepared for a dialogue that takes place in more public forums, like social media platforms. Social media listening tools can be invaluable in helping brands know when their brand and products are being discussed so that they can participate in the conversations. Most importantly, they must demonstrate to consumers that they are listening, and that consumer input is meaningful and taken seriously.
Insights That Can Be Collected from Consumer Dialogue
Insights that come from consumer dialogue can inform everything from product features to packaging features to marketing strategies. You must be willing to listen, though, and to use feedback and survey tools that consumers are willing to use.
Insights from the consumer dialogue can also help steer brands away from choices that don’t resonate well, and that’s a good thing. By indicating both what they like and what they don’t like, consumer dialogue can help brands avoid wasting money on products, packaging, and marketing that are unlikely to be effective.
Consumer dialogue is here to stay. No longer can brands talk “at” consumers. Today they must talk with consumers, listening at least as much as they talk. It’s not easy to hear negative feedback, but if you think of it as valuable information that can help you avoid mistakes and help you better fulfill consumer needs, you can gain tremendous value from it. PKG Brand Design is always on the forefront of new CPG branding and packaging initiatives; please subscribe to our blog for the latest package design industry news!