Why Consumer Centricity Is At The Top Of The Agenda At This Year’s Global Summit

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018 | 724 Views

APFI speaks to Peter Freedman, managing director of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), about a month ahead of the Global Summit—the flagship event of the forum, which will be held in Singapore on 12-15 June 2018.

CGF offers an opportunity for chief executive officers (CEOs) and senior leaders to come together to learn from each other, and to discuss the most pressing trends in the consumer industry.

This year, the Summit will focus on “Consumer Centricity in a Data-Driven World”. It will offer many different ways to explore what consumers care about and how better to meet their needs.

Several Summit keynote speeches will address issues of particular concern to Millennials and Gen Z—such as health, the future of our planet, and human rights. Attendees will also hear from several Asian start-ups, technology companies and global industry leaders—all of whom are addressing these needs through their companies’ consumer value propositions and business models.

The more in-depth Special Sessions will provide insights into what consumers care about, and how technology such as artificial intelligence can help people engage with them in meaningful, personalised dialogues.

In the new Presentation Theatre, global experts will share insights into practical approaches to make their supply chains safer and more sustainable, and to help their shoppers to be healthier. There will also be opportunity to have more intimate “CEO Conversations” with leading CEOs who are addressing consumer concerns by driving positive change across the industry.

The “Side Events” will give those present the chance to engage in dialogues with leaders, experts and other stakeholders in the fields of forced labour and healthier lifestyles. In the Singapore Store Tours, they will also be able to see the latest retail innovations in one of the world’s “smartest” cities.

This year’s theme of consumer centricity goes to the heart of what The CGF is about. The forum was founded by a small group of CEOs who believed in the importance of collaboration between manufacturers and retailers to drive positive change.

At the time, the hard business case for positive action was less clear. Currently, almost 10 years later, it is clear that businesses that do not embrace positive change in their business strategies will fail to attract consumers.

A millennial armed with a smartphone knows more about the industry’s products and service offers than ever before. For a growing number of consumers, a company’s reputation for reducing food waste, eliminating carbon emissions across the supply chain or taking action on deforestation and childhood obesity all come into play when choosing a product to buy.

In short, consumer centricity now demands a commitment to positive change.

Underpinning this year’s Global Summit will be the theme of collaboration. To become truly consumer-centric, all stakeholders need to ensure that they are engaged in constant dialogue with each other, exchanging ideas and expertise on emerging technologies.

They must also understand how to create a compelling and flexible customer journey, which can be tailored towards individual consumers. With CEOs from across the industry, entrepreneurs and government leaders in attendance, the event represents a unique opportunity to reach agreements on sustainability issues and take concrete steps further towards a truly consumer-centric industry.