Most products have a range of alternatives that the buyer can purchase and use in relative certainty that it will deliver pretty much as promised.

Consumers when in a supermarket have a basket of products in a category they buy, usually with a first and second choice, and sometimes a third choice. On any trip to the supermarket, the purchase decision is made at POS based on a whole range of factors, of which price is only one.

Our task as FMCG brand marketers is to find the means to reduce the importance of price in the purchase decision, in an environment where the supermarket is hell bent on convincing us that price is the only factor that matters, and they have all the power of the channel at their disposal.

The power of data mining techniques that have evolved in the last decade is stunning, but they do not remove the basic dilemma for FMCG marketers, who must find the balance between price, stock velocity, retail margin, and brand building that has to be funded from their margins and long term returns, and which carries substantial risk. 

Only building a brand that consumers have as their first choice in the basket of acceptable choices, where price sensitivity is less than the category norm will offer longevity, the rest just contributes to retailer  profitability at the expense of the supplier margin.