According to Claire Nuttall, consultancy director of Dragons Brand Consultancy, the key to survival in the fmcg market is simple. "Identify a consumer need and fulfill it," she says. "Products that don't do this will fail. Those that are intuitive and interpret research, rather than accept it verbatim, will do well." As manufacturers already know, simple does not necessarily mean easy, but Nuttall breaks this guideline into different elements. Innovation, she says, is important but it is not enough on its own and has to be used carefully; what seems a small step to a manufacturer may be a giant leap to consumers. "You have to take consumers step by step," explains Nuttall. "Soft drinks, for example, might take innovative packaging but not necessarily flavours; consumers will return to the ones they know." The brand's values have to be communicated effectively through packaging as well as advertising and marketing. "Consumers have to know, this is when and how you use me, this is why you buy me," says Nuttall. "The product name is also very important and the challenge is to convey an emotional perception." There also has to be a reason for consumers to trade up. Nuttall suggests endorsement from experts, bigger packs for families, different shapes or pick n' mix options as possibilities, but the changes don't all have to be done today. "Brands which survive are also those which continually refresh themselves and add interest all the time," she says. {{FEATURES }}