Benefits of Conducting a Channel Audit

September 26,2022 Category: Cost Savings, Foundational Processes, Quality Optimization, Sustainability
As the complexity of retail, e-commerce and club store competitive landscape accelerates, understanding what consumers expect and what competitors are doing provides an edge that can help brands grow their market share. Companies have generally conducted audits to evaluate their own products and compare their products to the competition at a high level, but packaging professionals can provide the expertise required to conduct a more detailed channel audit. 

A thorough channel audit provides more powerful insights that can guide later project phases, such as new concept ideation, and result in a more effective final product offering. The insights gained from an audit can help ensure companies deliver on their brand promise while providing a competitive edge, preparing the brand for channel expansion and improving the consumer experience , along with several other direct benefits:

Reduce Risk of Failed Product Launch:

While the exact percentages are hard to track and are subject to debate, the fact is most new CPG product launches fail. The cost of a failed new product launch can be severe. Conducting an audit of the competitive landscape allows companies to reduce the risk of failure through an understanding of how a product or package stacks up against other products in its category. It provides insights that can help ensure the final product and its packaging closely align with the brands goals. 

Product Differentiation & Package Innovation

Whether during a new product launch or brand refresh, differentiating packaging from competitors can play a key role in a product’s success. The insights a channel audit provides can be used to help guide packaging innovation and concept development in ways that resonate with consumers. In an environment where habit often prevents shoppers from trying new products, designing a package that helps consumers connect with the brand is crucial for success.

Understanding how competitors designed their packaging can provide insights that help a brand avoid falling behind current trends and stand out in ways that break through the noise. A thorough audit can provide ideas to guide packaging design from print and coatings to product messaging.

Package Sustainability

As sustainability remains a top priority for packaging teams, evaluating the different materials and designs used by competitors can give companies ideas about where to increase transparency, reduce material usage, increase packaging efficiency and provide value to the consumer. The audit can capture details on certifications and claims other products use to position their sustainable features and help brands understand how to match or exceed both the sustainability  strategies and messaging used by competitors.

Understanding of Packaging Performance Within Specific Channels:

Packaging departments often have a gap in the understanding of the different environments in which their product will be sold and how the product will be shopped by consumers. With the variety of unique packaging needs for the retail, e-commerce and club store environments, a channel audit can provide unbiased, professional, complete data so that the packaging can be designed and built to excel in each specialized channel.

Reduce Damage and Increase Quality

A channel audit can help companies gain a comprehensive understanding of the competitive environment, shelf requirements and quality standards needed to succeed. For quality remediation, a channel audit can provide insights into which channels the packaging performs poorly in and help determine standards for packaging redesign.

A When conducting a channel audit, ensure you receive a balance of both technical and marketing insights. Look for results that will drive innovation and package ideation. Adept Group has experts in evaluating competitive packaging, auditing current packaging and extracting insights that guide the package development process. If you need help reviewing your packaging and evaluating how it stands up to the competition, get in touch