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COVID-19: The impact on consumer goods

15 May 2020
COVID-19: влияние на отрасль потребительских товаров
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There’s no going back

COVID-19 is a once-in-a-lifetime health and economic disaster, which will permanently change the way people work and live. The effects on the consumer goods industry will be profound and lasting; we will not be going back to the world we knew. This crisis is fundamentally changing how and what consumers buy and is accelerating immense structural changes in the consumer goods industry.

Now is the time to heed this unprecedented wake-up call to be agile and relevant to consumers and customers—not just during the crisis, but also in the future. Consumer buyer values are already shifting to products and experiences which are more healthy, trustworthy, environmentally sensitive, and more supportive of the communities in which they live and work.

New risks and opportunities in consumer goods

Near-term, consumer goods companies will need to continually flex with rapidly changing conditions and begin building the structure and capabilities to face a volatile future.

Understanding the What, Who and How

To understand the key actions consumer goods companies, need to take immediately, answer these three questions:

1. WHAT are the key drivers of change — and what are the lasting and pervasive effects?

  • How are health and economic conditions changing?
  • What are consumers’ immediate needs — and what permanent changes are occurring?
  • How are value chain partners impacted — and what does this mean for your future ecosystem?

2. WHO do companies need to be connected with — both internally and across the ecosystem? Companies need to consider the full set of stakeholders and influencers.

3. HOW do companies respond to today’s crisis while also preparing organizations to reset and renew your business? Focusing on just one area is not enough. Companies need to be clear on your positioning across all 10 core action areas.

    Coronavirus & consumer goods companies: key actions

    The COVID-19 crisis has created a shift in priorities for consumer goods businesses. There are actions to take now to respond and sustain the core business, next to reset the relationship with stakeholders, and finally to renew and scale in a future marked by growth and resilience.

    NOW: How to respond to the current crisis

    • Stand up cross-functional command center with KPI tracking
    • Create Elastic Digital Workplace task force
    • Reshape marketing plan around new demand and brand purpose

    NEXT: how to reset our relationships and ways of working

    • Build deeper understanding of new demand spaces & paths to purchase prioritizing accelerated e-Commerce sales (B2B/D2C)
    • Reallocate and repurpose resources (e.g. field salesforce)
    • Enable the shift in product portfolio by flexible (3rd party) manufacturing & logistics

    FINALLY: How to renew ourselves to the new era

    • Accelerate move to intelligent data driven operating model (to support new business model)
    • Reprioritize enterprise investment plans for post COVID era
    • Scan market for M&A opportunities

    This is a challenging time for the consumer goods industry as COVID-19 accelerates the pace of change. While no one can predict how long the crisis will last, it is imperative that leaders act now while also preparing for the future.

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