BW 8 How CPG Leadership is Evolving | BrainWorks
03/29/2021

How CPG Leadership is Evolving

The consumer-packaged-goods industry continues to change rapidly, leaving many leaders to rethink their respective organizational agendas. CPG leadership needs to keep evolving to meet new consumer trends and behaviors. Below, we will take a closer look at these trends and what leaders are doing to meet these new demands and keep up with the competition.

Assuming Greater Risk Appetites

CPG companies are leaving safe solutions behind in favor of bold category disruptors. Leaders are taking more calculated risks by leveraging consumer data and predictive analytics to discover fresh opportunities and marketing concepts. That is why building a top-notch data analytics team is essential to the overall success of CPG companies. Additionally, leaders are assuming a different approach to innovation. Industry and category leaders must focus on learning and outpacing trends to compete with startups and category disruptors.

Embracing Digital Mindsets

Machines and artificial intelligence are prevalent in the CPG industry. Repetitive, low-level jobs that people once held are being automated. This change means that leaders have to assume forward-thinking, digital mindsets because the skills that made them successful in the past aren’t going to be as relevant in the future. Since digital is impacting everything from customer service to supply chains, the next generation of CEOs will need to be students of data with digital savviness and have a grounding in the humanity and needs of the consumer and personnel.

According to Consumer Brands SmartBrief, “External data, such as consumer trends, competitor initiatives, market innovation, and brand health are where more established companies can truly flex some muscle, with product innovation departments that tap these insights regularly and know how to contextualize them.”

Increasing Organizational Agility

CPG leadership is evolving away from corporate bureaucracy in favor of inclusive, agile organizations. Companies are enabling organizational agility by creating work environments that inspire and reward employees in meaningful ways. First, leaders must embrace changes to corporate structure, processes, people, and strategy. You can promote agility by moving away from organizing as a hierarchy and encouraging a more organic system that enables more team collaboration. Project managers can apply agile working principles to stress team accountability, consistent communication, and a shared sense of ownership.

Conducting Purposeful Business

An ever-growing number of consumers are looking for purpose in their purchasing decisions. The way brands have built loyalty in the past is in question as consumers now seek out and expect brands they support to have a social purpose or demonstrate that they give back to communities. CEOs are evolving to meet these challenges by showing a purpose beyond profit and a set of values that connect more deeply with consumers. Successful CPG leaders are also focusing more on creating proactive and innovative sustainability initiatives.

CPG leadership is evolving. Cautious strategies that used to work around the industry, like playing it safe, will only hold you back from competing with nimble startups, challengers, and disruptors. On the other hand, increasing digital skills, organizational agility, and purposeful business are helping companies perform better in the market.

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