(Photo: Business Wire)

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies must re-focus on the consumer rather than goods, according to a new book from Accenture (NYSE:ACN) entitled The Fluid Consumer, by Teo Correia.

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(Photo: Business Wire)

(Photo: Business Wire)

Accenture estimates that the consumer goods industry will grow by as much as US$700 billion globally by 2020, with much of this growth coming from beyond familiar brands. To capture a share of this growth, CPG companies need to exceed the expectations of today's consumers, providing them with a new set of experiences for each brand, enabled by new agile and competitive ways of running their businesses.

"Digital disruption has created new, fluid consumers who have different expectations and demands for faster and easier choices," said Teo Correia, a senior managing director at Accenture. "They are more difficult to predict, finely segmented, more technology savvy, and are increasingly favoring engaging brands with excellent shopping experiences. To win their loyalty, it is imperative for consumer goods companies to reinvent how they interact with consumers, using digital technologies."

The Fluid Consumer explores how digital technologies are driving profound shifts in consumer behavior. New levels of consumer empowerment are being enabled by smarter technologies, which have changed how consumers choose and make purchases. The book identifies the key characteristics of today's consumers, who use mobile digital technologies to flow easily between different types of transactions and channels at any time and in any place. Today's consumers are more informed and will review, compare, consult and contrast purchase activity at any time in nearly any location, making digital and social influence important and trustworthy sources.

"This book dissects and explains one of the most pressing issues of the digital age - engaging the distracted consumer. The Fluid Consumer can help leaders in the consumer goods industry understand how to build competitive advantage in a world of easy access, where consumer attention is the new scarce resource," said Sangeet Paul Choudary, author and co-chair of the MIT Platform Strategy Summit.

The Fluid Consumer provides a new model for digital branding and a new framework to help CPG companies position themselves for growth. The book outlines how CPG companies need to assess their brand through the eyes of the fluid consumer. Brands are given guidance find the right place and profile for their brands, where to prioritize spending, and how to boost their agility to compete.

"Digital technologies allow CPG companies to put the consumer first, so leading the engagement with the Fluid Consumer in any given category is a real source of competitive advantage and can allow brands to regain the consumers' trust, not only relative to other brand owners but also ensuring increased channel power," said John Zealley, senior managing director, Consumer Goods & Services, Accenture. "However, to secure this position, CPG companies also need to re-invent the way they operate their business, giving them the agility and economic headroom to capture the new value creation opportunities on offer."

About the Author

Teo Correia is a senior managing director at Accenture, serving global clients and leading Accenture's Consumer Tech initiative. Teo has more than 28 years of experience in the consumer goods industry, with expertise in sales and marketing, and branding, helping clients transform their businesses.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions - underpinned by the world's largest delivery network - Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 384,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

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