Make Your Best Customers Even Better Essay

2042 Words Nov 13th, 2015 9 Pages
DEFEND YOUR
RESEARCH 30

VISION
STATEMENT 32

Anticipating pain is worse than feeling it

The story told by the artwori< on a historic stocit certificate

COLUMN 38

Gail McGovern on leading from the heart

dea Watch
New Thinking, Research in Progress hbr.org

Make Your
Best Customers
Even Better

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by Eddie Yoon, Steve Carlotti, and Dennis Moore
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ust over a year ago, managers at Kraft believed jthat their Velveeta brand had only moderate growth prospects. With the consumer migration toward natural and organic products, sales of Velveeta—a processed, unrefrigerated "cheese food"—had languished. The customers who did buy it typically used it once or twice a year, usually to make a
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The strategy inspired a pipeline of innovations to meet new uses. Kraft also began gathering customers' recipes and finding ways to circulate them among the faithful. "The previous thinking was that the quickest, easiest path to growth was to identify light users or lapsed users," Greg Gallagher, the marketing director at Kraft Foods, recalls.
"But when we talked to superconsumers, we learned that in fact they wanted to use
Velveeta more—they were starving for it."
The new product launches have generated more than $ioo million in sales. Just as important, managers believe they have found a viable growth strategy for the first time in years.
Every marketer is familiar with the Pareto principle. Known colloquially as the
80/20 rule, it suggests that one-fifth of a product's buyers are responsible for fourfifths of sales. A similar effect applies to superconsumers. Using Nielsen supermarket scanner data, we analyzed the top 124
24 Harvard Business Review March 2014

FIVE MYTHS ABOUT
SUPERCONSUMERS
They're just heavy users with a new name.
Unlike traditional heavy users, superconsumers combine big spending with high engagement and deep interest in new uses for a product.

2

They don't exist in my business.

3

They aren't normal— they're either wealthy or just weird.

4
5

They're impossible to find.

Our data

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