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Press release

Digital investments propel leading consumer goods companies ahead of the rest – Bain & Company

Digital investments propel leading consumer goods companies ahead of the rest – Bain & Company

25% of consumer goods companies are already experimenting with AI-led design modelling and innovation

  • junio 10, 2024
  • min read

Press release

Digital investments propel leading consumer goods companies ahead of the rest – Bain & Company

NEW YORK – June 10, 2024 – The clear link between technology leadership and business performance is undeniable as leading consumer goods companies continue to use advanced technology to outperform peers. New research from Bain & Company analyzing 80 consumer products companies, found those that grew their technology investments the most over the past five years were likely to enjoy higher share price, revenue, and profit growth than those that invested less.

While earlier digitization waves were focused on first digitizing routine processes, followed by channels and supply chains, leading companies are now focused on a third wave of digital investments that enable differentiation. The emergence of generative artificial intelligence (AI) opens vast new territory for advancement. Bain’s research found that already 25% of consumer goods companies are experimenting with AI-led design modeling and innovation, and 50% are deploying or piloting a next generation, data-driven perfect sales execution.

“The decades-long technology marathon has turned into a sprint,” said Rajesh Narayan, a partner in Bain & Company’s Consumer Products and Enterprise Technology practices. “In many ways, this new wave of tech, aimed at delivering a competitive advantage in critical digital capabilities such as sales, marketing, and innovation, is the trickiest but the most important in predicting a consumer product company’s fate. Leading companies will need to develop a digital roadmap, enhance existing technology capabilities, and modernize their core systems if they want a shot at thriving in this competitive landscape.”

Bain found leading companies spend 60% more of their revenue on consumer, customer, and innovation than their lower performing counterparts. These companies are using AI technology for everything from pricing optimization to predictive revenue growth management, increasing their competitive edge. 

Despite these advancements, many companies struggle with digital transformation due to gaps in talent and operating models. The top quartile of companies surveyed have grown their tech teams three times faster than bottom-quartile companies and have adopted a more flexible approach to digital change and implementation. Outperforming by creating digital advantages may be challenging even among leaders, with only half achieving 80% of their digital transformation project target, according to Bain. Identifying and establishing a digital roadmap early on may be the key to achievement.

Five imperatives for capturing the future of digital in consumer products

Companies that want to capitalize on the advantages of this new wave of digitalization should focus on five imperatives:

  1. Make AI the first line of decision making. The best companies will take advantage of expanding AI capabilities to make better decisions, such as what the next best ingredient in a product should be or what the next product to introduce should be.
  2. Create two-way, personalized touchpoints everywhere. Companies will use the sharp rise in consumer touchpoints to personalize and reach the growing population of consumers who use digital channels to discover, consider, and purchase products.
  3. Use generative AI and digital twins for hyperefficiency and agility. The next frontier of efficiency and agility created by AI helps leading companies make leaps in everything from digital content creation to customer service.
  4. Build a real-time transparent data river. By creating a supply chain data river, brands can prove the provenance of their products and ingredients to both customers and consumers.
  5. Harmonize foundations to scale at speed. The current digitization wave and impending move to SAP S/4HANA provides a great opportunity to build harmonized foundations and improve foundational data quality to scale use cases at speed.

Editor's Note: For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Katie Ware, Bain & Company, tel. +1 646 562 8107, email: katie.ware@bain.com.

About Bain & Company

Bain & Company is a global consultancy that helps the world’s most ambitious change makers define the future.

Across 65 cities in 40 countries, we work alongside our clients as one team with a shared ambition to achieve extraordinary results, outperform the competition, and redefine industries. We complement our tailored, integrated expertise with a vibrant ecosystem of digital innovators to deliver better, faster, and more enduring outcomes. Our 10-year commitment to invest more than $1 billion in pro bono services brings our talent, expertise, and insight to organizations tackling today’s urgent challenges in education, racial equity, social justice, economic development, and the environment. We earned a platinum rating from EcoVadis, the leading platform for environmental, social, and ethical performance ratings for global supply chains, putting us in the top 1% of all companies. Since our founding in 1973, we have measured our success by the success of our clients, and we proudly maintain the highest level of client advocacy in the industry.