My apologies upfront to William Shakespeare. But this idiom from The Tempest, with an ever-so-slight modification, perfectly sums up the transformation and disruption that CPG brands are experiencing today:
But doth suffer a sea-change,
into something rich and strange,
For the sake of this article, “sea” becomes “C” and stands for China, Consumers, Convenience, Cross Border eCommerce, CPG, Consolidation, Content, Change and so many more “C” words that are being affected or are affecting the way you do business today–and definitely the way you’ll do business tomorrow. Just as Shakespeare intended, I, too, propose that this change is both rich and strange, all at the same time.
The “C” change transforming your consumer’s shopping habits is truly massive in scope–from the marketing channels used to inform them your brand exists, to where they shop, how they pay and especially how promptly your product is delivered to them. Every possible link in that chain is being, or has already been, disrupted.
Well, what’s China got to do with all this? Far more than you may know. To begin with, this country of 1.4 billion people is forecasted to be the world’s largest middle class by 2030 (Euromonitor International) with a spending power unrivaled in history. In that same timeframe, according to a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, China is forecasted to bypass the United States as World #1 in GDP.
But it’s not just their spending power that affects you today, it’s the way in which they spend and their extreme disruption of our version of the shopper journey and the purchasing process itself. Their hyper-speed conversion to a cashless society, their new definition of convenience and the impatience that accompanies their definition of convenience, the fact that they completely skipped the PC/desktop/laptop generation and rushed headlong into smartphones and mobile commerce leads to an omnichannel shopping experience on steroids!
If you find any of this of interest, or just flat out scary, may I offer two opportunities?
- Tune back in to IdeaXChange in the coming weeks as we explore this “C” change. It’s here where I’ll have an opportunity to share much more in depth each “C” that is contributing to these changes. In succeeding articles I’ll include the thoughts and experiences of several experts on China and the opportunities that Cross Border eCommerce is providing Made in the USA natural and organic brands to reach a massive and growing consumer base that is truly begging for your trusted, transparent, and authentic brand.
- If you are attending the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, join us Wednesday, March 6th, for the Global Export Series sponsored by New Hope Media and the U.S. Department of Commerce. You'll hear from several export experts from the Department of Commerce, the Organic Trade Association and myself on how you too can take advantage of the export opportunities and the resources offered you as a Made in the USA brand. The event takes place 11:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. in ACC, Room 204C.
The reality is that change is coming, whether we like it or not. We can’t avoid it. But we can be prepared for it and prepare to take advantage of it. For those like me who do like change, that embrace it, that look forward to it, I hope you’ll continue to read our “C” Change series here on IdeaXChange. And, I sincerely hope to hear from you about your ideas and experiences as to how you are coping with and taking advantage of these rich and strange disruptive experiences.
For those of you on the fence, I’ll leave you to ponder the ominous last line of Shakespeare’s song from The Tempest:
Hark! now I hear them, ding-dong, bell.
Craig Ostbo is co-founder and the Chief Brand & Marketing Officer of hoopla Global, an eCommerce retail and logistics operator in China featuring exclusively Made in the USA natural, organic, and sustainable CPG brands. You can email Craig with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.