Few categories are as competitive in the Indian marketplace as fast moving consumer goods (FMCG). The sector is expected to reach over $50 billion in terms of sales in 2016 as new entrants and old players jostle for favour with consumers. To stay on top of constantly evolving consumer needs, companies need to ideate and innovate smartly with streamlined internal processes that ensure that only the best ideas reach consumers.

Proposition Plays The Differentiator 

Traditional marketing strategy typically involves using the “5-P framework of product, place, pack, promotion and price.” To this we add two more components that have now risen to prominence – People and Proposition. ‘People’ – perhaps the most complex of these elements, entails dealing with acquiring a thorough and complete understanding of the consumer segments a brand determines to serve. Equally “Proposition” is a vital component, especially in the hyper-competitive FMCG space. In an industry where establishing meaningful product differentiation is becoming more and more difficult, a winning proposition can drive initial momentum, long-term success and loyalty.

Crafting a simple, focused and clear winning proposition is easier said than done. Consequently, marketers across organisations strive to extract learnings from the past and drive bigger and better innovations for the future. In this scenario, by using the proprietary BASES Factors for SuccessTM framework, we were able to evaluate propositions for their in-market readiness and ensure that only the best ones go through.

So What Do Successful Propositions Do Differently? 

We analysed over 200 propositions that have been evaluated in India, across several disparate FMCG categories to see what made winning propositions tick. The success of new propositions can largely be attributed to three factors:

1. Positioning The Consumers’ Problem Or The ‘Consumer Tension’ Effectively – When introducing a product, it’s important to identify a relevant consumer need or pain point, but positioning it appropriately is crucial. There are two things that need to be kept in mind while portraying the consumer tension – or the key issue that the consumer would like to address by using the product: (a) The right balance between Functional versus Emotional and (b) Identifying the Right Emotion.

2. Crafting An ‘Uncrowded’ Compelling Consumer Benefit – The consumer benefit needs to be at the heart of the proposition and be plainly communicated. While a simple, coherent story around the end benefit is non-negotiable, “throwing in” too many benefits may be counterproductive. We have seen that propositions that sell over three benefits at once often fail as consumers struggle to see the key benefit of the proposition.

3. Presenting A Persuasive Reason To Believe – Consumers need to be convinced about the claims made in a proposition. This is where leveraging an effective reason to believe becomes critical. A reason to believe is an ingredient or a process that explains why the product should work effectively in delivering the benefit it promises. 

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