When I was the brand manager overseeing Hellmann’s Mustard, one strategy for growing the business was identifying emerging trends that could translate to new products. In 1999, the major trend was grainy or honey mustard varieties. Back then, trend-spotting meant that I was reliant on a nice salesperson to buy a package of mustard, snap a picture, develop the film, and send it to me. Today, the expectation is to get information much faster than waiting for pictures in the mail.
Fast-forward to current CPG marketing and the influx of instantaneous access to consumers through social media and mobile devices. Shoppers now walk down the aisles of a grocery store, department store or sporting goods store with their smartphones. The consumer is better equipped to make a more informed purchase.