What Does the Zero Moment of Truth Mean for Natural Products Brands?

Natural products companies get the “moment of truth” at shelf when a consumer makes a purchase decision. Unlike corporate brand managers removed from the retail experience, the smaller natural products brand often has direct relationships with retailers, visits stores and operates live demos where they meet consumers. They experience firsthand that moment of truth when a consumer reaches for their packaging — or their competitor’s. Analyzing human behavior in this crucial moment through in-store intercepts has been some of the most revealing research we’ve conducted at Pure Branding.

Have you seen consumers with smartphones at shelf, researching a purchase? The moment of truth now can even take place before they get to the shelf. On average, 10.4 sources of information inform a purchase decision (Shopper Sciences study, 2011). So while natural brands are in touch with the experience at shelf, they’re often lagging in the digital brand touchpoints leading up to the store visit, what Google refers to as the “zero moment of truth” in their new book.

So what to do? As I note in the article “Benchmarking Top Challenges and Tactics” (Organic Processing Magazine, September/October 2011), natural product marketers are finding certain tactics work most effectively. Digital topped the list, specifically the website, Facebook engagement and email newsletters. Clearly, Google is interested in selling advertising, and it is self-serving to highlight the importance of digital channels from which they profit. Yet it would be a mistake to dismiss their findings on those grounds. I recommend reading Zero Moment of Truth.

It’s a free download, and at 75 pages, a quick read. More importantly, it’s timely and well researched with actionable advice on those same tactics that natural product marketers identified as most effective in Pure Branding’s recent natural products marketing benchmark study.