protecting your core range: is anyone 'normal' anymore?

by: PLAY

In today’s super speedy world, tapping into trends is a critical part of brands remaining relevant. However, it’s just as important to stay focused on your core range. After all, that’s what keeps customers coming back!

When there are so many new ways to peel the proverbial pear, we have to wonder: Is anyone normal anymore? And who is appealing to the “middle” consumer? You know, the people who aren’t especially price-sensitive or swayed by jazzy novelty brands?

In this paper, we’re going to run you through the dangers of becoming too trend-dependant and share exactly how to ensure your core range is protected.

We know “staying safe” might not sound sexy, but it’s almost always the right choice when it comes to long-term success.


Navigating normal.

In a society where the next trend goes viral on TikTok before you’ve even managed to swallow your morning coffee, it’s pretty difficult for anyone to keep up with all the “newness” and change - consumers and brands alike.

On today’s shelves, some categories have become so diversified (read: chaotic!) that the “normal” consumer doesn’t even know how to navigate them anymore! In these situations, the benefits of having choice are often outweighed by the harm of “analysis paralysis”, where consumers are so overwhelmed that they walk away from making any purchase at all.

best-way-to-appeal-to-your-target-audienceWe’ve seen this play out across categories like dairy, where almost any vegetable or nut that can possibly be squeezed has now become “mylk” in its own right. Think:

  • Milk/plant mylks
  • Cheese/vegan cheeses
  • Sugar-free soft drinks
  • Pasta (e.g. chickpea, lentil, green pea, buckwheat, etc.)
  • Toothpaste
  • RTDs
  • Baking
  • Vitamins

Of course, many of these product variations are invaluable for consumers with specific dietary requirements or those who are particularly health or environmentally conscious, but that doesn’t stop shopping from becoming frustrating and confusing for Normal Nigel.

Humans have short attention spans (and they’re dropping all the time thanks to modern day multi-tasking!), so it’s counterintuitive to demand more attention from consumers. The antidote to the problem? Creating a more efficient path-to-purchase using personalisation and streamlined information sources. Think less flashy, more meaningful interactions and experiences.


Nailing your foundation.

The PLAY team is all for jumping on exciting new trends. In fact, it’s one of the topics we write about most. However, there’s a lot to be said for focusing on your foundation and keeping your core strong (just ask any pilates instructor!).

Click here to download the full report and learn more about protecting your core range and steering clear of becoming too trend-dependant.

If you're ready to get your product in your consumer’s trolley (and keep it there!), we'd love to help. To get started today, you can reach us on 02 8097 0200 or

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As the experts in consumer-led innovation in FMCG, we partner with manufacturers and retailers to lift the productivity and effectiveness of their NPD. It’s all in how we blend innovation advisory with tailored consumer insight using an agile, consumer-first approach. Think of us like the connective tissue within your innovation process. We guide you at every step of the journey, helping you align, focus and develop ideas and products that sell.

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