Have you noticed how many things seem to be upgraded through the use of words and descriptions? Take, for example, the humble crisp. 30 years ago, they came in ready salted (or ‘plain’), salt and vinegar or cheese and onion. Now there are many variations of this simple trio – sea salt, lightly salted, balsamic vinegar, mature cheddar, vintage, spring onion and a plethora of other fanciful descriptions.
We are even given the heritage of the ingredients. They’re made with ‘cheddar from Somerset’, or ‘real British vinegar’. Are we really taken in with these claims? Does anyone care?
The point is that the cheaper brands are having to compete with the more expensive ones that have upped the game. Nobody wants to imagine that their crisps are mass produced in a factory and sprayed with chemicals and flavourings, so by suggesting where the ingredients come from, the manufacturers are creating a connection between reality and something we can relate to. If you take a look at some of the big brand websites, they’re creating a personality for the crisps.
Even though, in the case of the cheaper brands, nothing has really changed, they are keeping up with the times by adding messaging that will appeal to customers, and make them think they are buying something better and more traditional.
The point is that you need to keep up with what the market wants. Review what you’re offering and tweak it if necessary, even if it’s only in the way it’s presented.