Back on Course—Ways out of the Crisis

We present crucial considerations for top managers in fields from mechanical engineering to financial services.

Reorientation: Two tugboats help a container ship execute a turning maneuver. The powerful tugs can pull or push larger vessels into position. Photo: Suriyapong Thongsawang/GettyImages

Consumer goods: Know your customers and please them with the right products

“The Covid-19 crisis harbors a number of opportunities—and for the consumer goods sector, these can even outweigh its challenges. It has highlighted and amplified a number of existing trends. Companies that had already developed a high degree of digital expertise were considerably quicker at shifting their businesses online, and now have an overall edge over the competition. For many of them, the crisis has meant switching to more direct customer contact via online shops or social media. Moreover, the extreme situation has clearly shown which products in their portfolios are truly of relevance to their customers. Both these factors are helping companies understand their customers better and ultimately provide better products. In addition, greater calls for sustainable economic management have made noticeable inroads into procurement strategies and supply chains.

Companies in the consumer goods sector should now focus primarily on anchoring the changes they have made and integrating them into a new normal. That requires the courage to develop greater customer centricity, to accelerate the digital transformation, and to consistently professionalize processes not only in their operations but also in their administrative areas. An openness to change and the ability to generate a spirit of optimism are essential for bringing a transformational process to fruition. For this reason, too, now is an ideal time for companies to make themselves fit for the future. To do so, they need to critically examine and realign their brand positions as well as their values.

One thing is certain: the consumer goods sector will not be the same after the coronavirus. Customer centricity, digitalization, direct sales, multi-channel capacities, and sustainability have become uncontestable conditions for entrepreneurial success. The future of the sector will be shaped by companies that know the value of information, and use it to give their products even greater importance and meaning.”

Read the full article in Porsche Consulting Magazine