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2012 Consumer Products Industry Outlook

Leveraging Analytics to Drive Competitive Advantage

2012 will be a year of guarded growth for the Consumer Products (CP) industry. The economy, while continuing to show signs of a slow recovery, remains fragile and increasingly exposed to the risks associated with a global market. Consumers remain cautious in their spending, with purchase decisions dictated less by brand loyalty and more by cost and convenience. Technology continues to change how people shop, mandating that CP companies connect with shoppers through new media to drive advocacy.

Looking ahead, Clarkston contends that there is one underlying theme for companies to meet the many challenges presented by these economic and consumer driven trends, one that will allow them to answer critical business questions such as those outlined to the right. Consumer Products companies will realize competitive advantage through their ability to embed analytics into their organization.

Differentiation Through Analytics

Consumer Products companies were the pioneers of marketing, able to drive growth and shape demand through brand strength, product innovation and consumer loyalty. Through the years, companies recognized that additional competitive advantage could be gained through operational efficiencies and manufacturing excellence. Companies leveraged leading practices and lean manufacturing principles from other industries such as automotive and high-tech, helping them realize substantial increases in productivity and profits. More recently, CP companies realized gains through technology, with enterprisewide platforms, mobile technologies and advanced planning systems driving efficiencies that are now critical for any company to succeed in today’s ultra-competitive environment.

For more, please download our report.