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What keeps you awake at night?

How to rest easy on winning new customers
Written by: Vittorio Raimondi
Date: April 19, 2023

Too much caffeine? In need of a herbal tea? Or is it that you just can’t switch your brain off? At Foresight Strategy we love to help our clients rest easy. So, we often ask them what it is that keeps them awake at night?

It may not come as a surprise that the number one reason our clients toss and turn is winning new customers: moving people from not buying your brand to doing exactly that…and then make it a habit. This is a challenge almost every organisation faces. The Holy Grail for a healthy, sustainable brand is recruiting new consumers and becoming part of their lives.  Once converted to loyal customers, they are the ones that bring long-term or lifetime value to a brand.

For many brands, it is easier to understand how to build consumption frequency, or how to increase revenue. But put simply, where your revenue comes from starts from the number of people that buy your brand multiplied by the frequency with which they consume it, multiplied by how much they consume each time, multiplied by how much they pay for it. So, increasing the number of people who buy is the first step to then activating all the other levers.

At Foresight Strategy we want our clients to rest easy. Our modelling helps them understand where their brand is today, how much of the growth should come from recruitment and how important this is versus other growth levers such as frequency.

Increasing the frequency consumption or getting revenue through increasing pricing is relatively simple – because consumers are already engaged with your brand. You can communicate with packaging, and they’re more likely to pay attention to your advertising because of that existing connection. But winning over new people is harder because they are not connected to your brand…yet!

What is fundamental in recruitment, is to engage people in the right moment. If you attach your product’s consumption to a happy memory, then that is a great trigger to make a person buy your brand. Think about Coca-Cola and the magic of the specific life memories that the drink is connected to. Maybe you started drinking it when you were a teenager. This was a drink to share with friends, on a sunny day. If you recruit consumers at the right time, people will stay with you for life.

These are our top tips on how not lose sleep over consumer recruitment.

Do your math right

Before jumping to conclusions, make sure you understand how much of your future growth should come from recruitment versus frequency, loyalty, or any other growth levers. The Ehrenberg Bass teachings that you should only go for penetration is just a myth and often misunderstood. For some brands we find that 80% of growth should come from recruitment, while others have a very high penetration with 90% of people consuming the product on a weekly basis. So, in this case, there’s no point losing sleep over recruitment, as it’s increased frequency that your brand needs.

Do all your insight work

If the math tells you that recruitment is what you should focus on, then spend time identifying your target. Define demographics, locations, competitors, drivers, barriers, and triggers that you need to address to achieve your recruitment goal. What consumer behaviours do you want to change? You can get the relevant insights for growth only by targeting the right people.

Go back to your plan

Check your marketing plan to be sure your programs reflect your goal. Sometimes brands have plans in place which are not designed to support recruitment, even if it is proven to be a top priority.

We help our clients understand what the key occasions or moments for the brand are to be relevant. There are several ways through which you can do that. Sponsorship is one of them, as it helps link the brand to events that people are passionate about. Looking again at Coca-Cola – they leveraged FIFA World Cup to recruit into Coke Zero.

For a super deep sleep, you can also run a stress test and make sure that the plan you have in place is built to fully achieve your goals. For example, if 80% of your growth should come from recruitment, you would expect a lot of your spending to be focused on that.

Not all kinds of recruitment are the same

Often, we help our clients understand what kind of recruitment they need. Is it from competitors or from outside of the category? Thinking in this way ensures brands are looking into the right insights to unlock that recruitment opportunity. For example, if you’re going against competitors, you might need to rethink pricing instead of features. But if you want to reach consumers from a different category, then it’s worth thinking more about the product, type of innovation you need, even capital expenditures. Ultimately, you need a different type of campaign and communication depending on where the recruitment growth is going to come from.

It’s true. Consumer recruitment is no easy task. But don’t lose your sleep thinking it’s impossible. Here’s your bedtime routine: do your math, understand your insights, and put the right plan in place. By following these steps and asking for the right support you can go back to having sweet dreams.