You head into the supermarket, browse the aisles, and select your favorite products to bring home for your friends and family to enjoy.  We’re all familiar with this experience; no one is exempt.  These products become a part of our everyday lives and, in essence, how we define ourselves.

Mostly all of these brands are owned by CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies.  Whether it be P&G, Unilever, or Reckitt Benckiser, one of these giants most likely manages the brand identity and execution of your beloved foods, cleaning products, etc.

And albeit formidable, recently CPG companies have observed a drop in overall brand loyalty – 46% to be exact.  According to a study executed by Catalina Marketing, based upon shopping card-loyalty programs, the top 100 packaged-goods brands aren’t retaining their following.

Sure, sales still increased year over year, by 2.2%.  But if these 100 brands had retained their loyalty base, sales would have increased roughly 8.5% more.

So, what should these merchandising titans be doing differently?

According to Todd Morris, VP of Brand Development at Catalina, brands need to, “move to a consumer-centric marketing model, and away from mass-marketing thinking.”

Brand marketers have always understood the importance of a core loyalty group.  But the medium by which you create this loyalty is no longer about hurling the message into deep space, and hoping people will respond; it is about the two-way dialogue.  And some consumers have spoken, taking it to the extreme…

But if you’re not fortunate enough to drive loyalty like the image above, we have another suggestion.  With the advent of technologies like mobile and social media, the consumer now holds a megaphone to the ear of the marketer.  Moving toward a nontraditional marketing strategy would be a natural next step for CPG companies.

Coca-Cola’s on board!  Towards the end of last month, they blasted out an RFP, specifically calling for a social-media monitoring agency.  In Coke’s case, they’ve already taken a deep-dive into social media and established presence; they know they need to be there.

Now they want to quantify that presence.  Kerry Tressler from Coca-Cola said, “We want to yield the most information about what consumers are saying about our brands, so we know what they’re looking for.”

This about sums it up.  Other CPG companies have to follow in Coca-Colas’ footsteps, and launch nontraditional marketing tactics, like social media, to find out what consumers expect from their brands.  By making the necessary changes, these brands will ideally renovate their customer base, and shift the “fickle” to the “loyal”.