Emerging 2023 Trends & Predictions for CPG Based on Customer Sentiment Data

Dec 1, 2022 12:00 PM1:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways:

Every company knows the value of customer feedback, but how many use it the right way? 

Most forms of feedback are imprecise and inactionable, with vague data that cannot be used properly. Customer sentiment is a more accurate KPI that gets to the root of how your customer feels and thus, how they will spend their money. CPG brands can leverage social media to measure customer sentiment and stay abreast of key consumer trends and behavior in the industry. 

In this virtual event, Gautam Kanumuru and Haithem Elembaby of Yogi discuss customer sentiment trends for 2023 and how they pertain to CPG. They go into detail on how to leverage customer sentiment, common mistakes made when reacting to it, and balancing price and value. The pair also discuss how to make your company more agile to keep up with the competition. 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • What is customer sentiment, and how does it affect your eCommerce brand?
  • How Yogi gathers data outside of surveys
  • The common mistakes brands make when gauging customer sentiment
  • Two best practices for responding to customer data
  • Strategies for maximizing agility 
  • How to navigate data-driven conversations with corporate leadership
  • Why customer sentiment has become important in today’s digital landscape
  • The careful balance between price and value
  • Leveraging customer sentiment data for strategic advantage
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Event Partners


Yogi is a product sentiment platform that enables brands to gain deeper visibility into customer feedback and voice-of-customer. We are the only tool that uses proprietary AI & NLP technology with reviews & ratings as the main data source. This enables faster and more granular analyses to uncover issues, opportunities, and trends. Brands like Tylenol, Colgate, and Nestlé use Yogi to increase conversion rates on PDPs, prioritize product improvements, and find opportunities for innovation.

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Guest Speakers

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Gautam Kanumuru LinkedIn

CEO at Yogi

Gautam Kanumuru is the Co-founder and CEO of Yogi, a product sentiment analysis platform that enables brands to gain deeper visibility into customer feedback and voice-of-customer. With a background in AI and natural language processing, he played a crucial role in developing Microsoft products, including Cortana and Xbox. Before co-founding Yogi, Gautam was the Vice President of Engineering at Clarke.ai and a Program Manager at Microsoft.

Haithem Elembaby LinkedIn

Head of Insights Partnerships at Yogi

Haithem Elembaby is the Head of Sales at Yogi. As a founding member of Alley, he helped the company generate over 25 million in revenue over the course of five years. In his role at Alley, Haithem built one of New York City’s largest email newsletters, generating over 200 million impressions through partnerships with local and global brands and influencers, including Jay-Z, Arianna Huffington, Steve Forbes, Intel, and Verizon.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Gautam Kanumuru LinkedIn

CEO at Yogi

Gautam Kanumuru is the Co-founder and CEO of Yogi, a product sentiment analysis platform that enables brands to gain deeper visibility into customer feedback and voice-of-customer. With a background in AI and natural language processing, he played a crucial role in developing Microsoft products, including Cortana and Xbox. Before co-founding Yogi, Gautam was the Vice President of Engineering at Clarke.ai and a Program Manager at Microsoft.

Haithem Elembaby LinkedIn

Head of Insights Partnerships at Yogi

Haithem Elembaby is the Head of Sales at Yogi. As a founding member of Alley, he helped the company generate over 25 million in revenue over the course of five years. In his role at Alley, Haithem built one of New York City’s largest email newsletters, generating over 200 million impressions through partnerships with local and global brands and influencers, including Jay-Z, Arianna Huffington, Steve Forbes, Intel, and Verizon.

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Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18

Happy Thursday, everybody. My name is Aaron Conant, I'm the co founder and managing director here at BWG Connect. We're a networking and knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands. And we do exactly that we network and knowledge share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, even new partners that are popping up that are shaping the cutting edge of the digital landscape as a whole, I spend my time talking to 20 or 30 brands a week, and when the same topics and the same people come up over and over again, that's how we get connected with, you know, the people on the that we're going to talk with in the call again today, as well as the topics that we're going to cover. So look for a follow up email with for me, I'd love to have a conversation with anybody on the line today and see what your pain points are. And who is helping you solve them. The other thing is, we're starting this a few minutes after the hour. And just so everybody knows, we're gonna wrap this up in under an hour for sure. So just know, you know, if you're looking at your watch, we're gonna give you plenty of time to get on to your next meeting without being late and maybe grab a cup of coffee along the way. And so, as we kick off, you know, this topic, this is not something that we would have covered a year ago. But a lot of questions around customer sentiment today, what's going on around inflation around products around how we're viewing them. And so I came up with this topic, merging 2023 trends and predictions for CPG based cost based on customer sentiment data. And we got some good friends, partners, supporters, the network over it Yogi, Gautam  are here to kind of like, you know, I'm gonna kind of guide the conversation and any questions you have drop them in the chat and the q&a will get an answer. But you know, Gautam, I want to kick it over to you if you want to do you know, quick intro on yourself, Yogi, that'd be awesome what you guys do in this space? And then you can kick it over to Haithem or you can do a brief intro and we can jump into the conversation. Sounds


Gautam Kanumuru  2:03

good? Yeah, I think that sounds great. Thanks, Aaron. So to the folks kind of on the webinar, my name is Gautam. I'm co founder and CEO of Yogi. So I've been with the company since my co founder, and I thought of it in a tiny New York City apartment, if anybody ever wants to talk, classic startup stories, I'm happy to talk about those as well. But yeah, just a brief background on myself. My background before starting yoga is actually in the AI and natural language processing space. So I used to work on Cortana, ex Xbox that at Microsoft. And so if there's ever any issues you're having with your outlook, or some Microsoft products, I probably know the person that owns the feature. So always happy to forward bugs along as well. But a little bit of intro on on Yogi as well. So Yogi is a product sentiment platform that's all about enabling brands to gain deeper visibility into customer feedback and the voice of the customer. So for us. Consumer Sentiment is obviously very core to what we do, there's a lot of important decisions and changes that you should make based on that that information. And so we're all about not only gathering the relevant customer feedback that you need, into a central location, but then also processing that information for you to be able to understand things like, hey, what, what claims are resonating most with our customers? How does that compare to the overall market? Where are we potentially over performing competitors or underperforming competitors? Or how does conversation shift across retailers? These are all very important and useful questions to have answers to because they play a role in a bunch of downstream decisions. And so that's what we're all all about enabling for brands.


Aaron Conant  3:57

Awesome. Haithem, do you want to jump in with a brief intro on yourself?


Haithem Elembaby  4:00

Yeah, sure. My name is Haithem. I'm the Head of Sales here at Yogi. I've been with the company for just over a year now. But I've spent the better part of my career within the SAS Enterprise space, as well as working with CPG companies and brands on a number of different things within e commerce and digital and yeah, as Aaron mentioned, it's definitely been an exciting year. 2023 will definitely be interesting. So looking forward to diving into some of these topics today.


Aaron Conant  4:27

Yeah, awesome. So quick reminder, if anybody have questions drop into the chat or the q&a as we get going here. And we'll get them answered as we go. So Haithem, kind of kick it off with you. And I just want to start with the basics. And then we can build from there and do a deep dive. You know, if we think about customer sentiment as a whole, you know, what is it? Why is it important? And how should people be thinking about it?


Haithem Elembaby  4:52

Yeah, I mean, let's kind of let's start there. Again, I think it's important just to note that a lot of what we'll talk about today is through the lens of CPG. Right so customer sentiment might mean something different in different areas. But CPG is where we really focus the most. And I think that's where understanding your customer better aligning with their voice happens to be extremely important. So just at a basic level, as we all might know, customer sentiment is how customers feel about your brand. So most commonly, I've seen that broken down into positive, negative neutral. We've seen it measured on different scales, whether it's negative one to one or negative 100, to 100, etc. NPS is a common one that we've seen in terms of like measuring how people feel. Although NPS interestingly enough, especially over the last year or so, I think has has, it has become a little bit more limited in terms of understanding, like the nuances of customer sentiment, and I think that's where things start to get really interesting. So, for example, you know, there's a difference between someone saying, like, you know, I like this product, it's pretty cool versus Oh, my God, I love this product, I would recommend it to everyone that I've never switching, right. So I think the way that people talk about different aspects of your product become very important to understand the sentiment. So if you were to break down some of what you see in terms of feedback, right, so someone could say, I really liked the taste of this product, but I wish it would come in a strawberry flavor, right, or the design is beautiful, but it broke down within a month of me using it. So you know, each of those sentences have different sentiments assigned to them. Right. So the first one positive on taste, negative or neutral flavor, and so on. So I think when it comes to understanding and measuring customer sentiment, it's really important to take those specifics into consideration. And I think that's where things like NPS and tracking overall star rating and, and those types of summary type KPIs are very important, but they do fall short within those areas. And I think that's where we get into the next piece, which is like, what can we do with it? Right? So obviously, understanding the nuances of customer sentiment now, what's next? And I think Gautam touched on it a little bit, which is, for me, it really comes down to one kind of simple thing, which is, can we answer our toughest business questions using our customer sentiment data? Right. And, you know, if you go back to the basics, especially in a time like this, and we're coming on, again, an interesting year with with economic conditions, like, everything really starts with understanding your customers, right. And there's, there's a lot of famous sayings out there of, you know, start, start with the customer and work forward versus start with the product and work backwards kind of thing. And I think that's becoming even more important today. And I think when you start to understand the needs of your customers that can really help you answer very important question. So, for example, everything from you know, Are we under or over performing in certain areas? What impact is this having on our business? Or is this growing? Is this declining over time? Is the rest of the market experiencing the same thing? Are there other things that maybe we should be focused on that are lower hanging fruit that can help us improve in certain areas? You know, at the end of the day, it comes down to prioritization. And I think that's going to be like a big theme coming into this conversation, as well as the next year is like, with limited time, and money and bandwidth. Where do we focus our efforts? And I think that's where having a much deeper understanding of customer sentiment can really help.


Aaron Conant  8:16

Yeah, quick question comes in, like, where are you gathering the sentiment from? Where are you gathering the data from?


Haithem Elembaby  8:20

Yeah, so there's a number of resources, there's a number of data sources out there, right? You know, if you think of the classics, like, for example, social media, right? So social media is really great. I would say in certain industries, it can give you a nice view of like overall brand sentiment. So for example, within like, the travel space and CPG, to to an extent, like you can you can get a sense of what are the upcoming trends? Like what are things that people are talking about? What are the hot button issues, etc. You know, where I think social falls short, a little bit, and it's okay, because it's kind of expected is kind of getting into like, those little nuances, right? Like, are these people that actually bought a specific product? Can you tie that sentiment down to like a specific SKU, or a retailer or a certain moment in time, etc. So I think that's where social might fall short. But it's still definitely a very valuable resource. And you think, you know, Twitter, Facebook, forums, Reddit, for example, like there's a lot of activity going on in those areas, all the way through to like surveys, right? So getting direct feedback from your customers, the ones that you can get, I will say like, you know, a lot of like, kind of Gen Z and like kind of like the younger side of millennials, not to generalize too much. But I think surveys are starting to decline. At least that's what a lot of our clients are telling us in terms of like response rates. So there are a lot of really good nuggets you can get from surveys, but there's definitely some downfalls in that area. Ratings and reviews. So, you know, we obviously focus heavily on that data source as well. I think that that one you know, it's largely unbiased and a lot of ways you can get into that skew level detail, you can get to the root detail level detail, you'll find a lot of those nuances that I spoke about earlier with like, people talking about different attributes differently and things like that and ratings and reviews. Now on your, on the other hand, they can be largely unstructured. And it's very difficult to at least manually sift through all of those reviews are different retailers and, and break apart the data in that way. So I think that's where like technology comes in. But in general, I think those are, those are some of the good sources. And then obviously, your customer care team, which we spoke about earlier, is really another good source as well. But I think the point is that each data source is going to have pros and cons. And I think kind of really like going way deeper on one and completely ignoring another isn't necessarily the right, you just have to find the right balance based on your brand. Awesome. So,


Aaron Conant  10:51

you know, things that come to mind, though, as you know, around in Gautam, I'll kind of kick this one over to you. You know, if you're gathering all that data, like there's two sides of that, like what are best in class companies doing? Great. The other side is what do you see people doing wrong with the the data that they're gathering? So let's start with it. What are people doing wrong first, like common mistakes that people are making?


Gautam Kanumuru  11:16

Yeah, yeah. And I think that's, that's, yeah, that's a good place to start. And the first one that I would probably start with is double clicking some more into what Haithem was mentioning with with different data sources, where, what what we do see with a lot of a lot of brands that we start working with is their initial approach to consumer sentiment is like, one, one data source to kind of rule them all sort of, so it'll be something like, hey, whatever it comes from our customer support data is, is what's going to tell us whether consumers are liking the product or not, I'd say that's honestly 70 to 80% of the customers that we talk with fall in that bucket, and usually how the way that it tends to get measured is something like not only what are what are people like asking about but also how many complaints do we get per 1000 products we sell or per 5000 products that we sell, which is definitely like an interesting metric. But when you take a step back, it doesn't really tell you a lot about like, are customers liking my product or not? It could just be like, Hey, are they having issues with with my product or even against to go to the kind of like younger demographic do people even feel like calling in to support or are they just gonna throw the product aside and buy a replacement kind of thing. And so there tend to be that the other ones are like surveys and focus groups, which are extremely useful. But don't always do the best job from a sentiment perspective, because they're not always representative of the right population, right? Like you think of a focus group. At the end of the day, that's going to be 2030, maybe 50 People Max kind of thing. And that isn't always, they aren't always representative of your actual purchaser a lot of times, or it takes a lot of effort to be able to get a population like that. And so you're not always going to have the best measure on just what's happening from from a consumer sentiment perspective. So the way that I would really just attribute that is like, the quality of the data that comes out is all about the quality of the data that comes in and you need to make sure you have diverse data coming in. And then also like highly relevant data, if you


Aaron Conant  13:45

will. Yeah, I mean, that's you think about a surveys yourself, selecting people based on your notions around who your target demographic is where if you do the actual just open web, look at who's providing feedback, it might be actually to, you know, say to the left or right of who you think your target demographic is, then you're designing, you know, if you think you're designing products, for, you know, slightly off the target demographic, where most of you know, the sentiment, the positive sentences are out. It's super interesting, like, dope or whatever, like, the leaders in the space doing right.


Gautam Kanumuru  14:21

Yeah, yeah, I would say what they what they do, right is, there's actually like two pieces that to it. And the more that I think about it, it's not to like simplify it more. But it always comes down to kind of like the data that you're relying on. But two things that we've seen the brands that are doing this correctly, what they do is one, they're very consistent about their reporting. And I think this is another thing that's important when you look at things like surveys and focus groups where it can take months to put those together and get good results. And so if I put together a survey now and I'm seeing results in like February, March, then there's already been three months So where things could have shifted, things could have could have changed, right. And so being able to get some sort of mechanism in place where you can do reporting, maybe doesn't have to be on a weekly basis, but at least like a monthly basis, becomes very, very important. And then doing org wide kind of reporting of that. So some of the best brands that we've seen kind of implement this as like, hey, they they're they're taking kind of consumer sentiment data that they're pulling from Yogi maybe some other systems and pushing it into like a Power BI or Tableau dashboard that the entire org gets gets access to. And then they're supplementing that with just monthly like digests of, hey, this is what's going on. And also giving, like specific brand teams or specific marketing teams, the ability to ask, like, Oh, hey, sentiment for this product dropped, can you help me understand why. And so they kind of build this entire mechanism around consumer sentiment reporting. The other thing that I would say that I think is very, very important is they always always have a benchmark, whether it's certain competitors, or market. But like, taking things in context is extremely important. Like it's one thing if we see here's actually a perfect example from from one of our clients where they they saw a bunch of feedback come in, in like a wave of some some damaged products that I think were being shipped from either Amazon or Walmart. And somebody high level saw all these complaints. I think they're actually just scrolling through some reviews. And they're like, Oh, my God, like things are exploding. They hit the panic button. Yeah. Everybody's going crazy. But then the, the team was able to kind of look at Yogi and be like, hey, okay. Yes. Our complaints about damaged packaging have gone up. But compared to the market, we're actually still below average. So yes, like, we'll look into this, but we don't have to stop the world. And like, look to fix this. Because when you look at things in context, it's okay, versus maybe there's been an increase in complaints about taste. And now you've gone from ranked first in the market to fourth in the market from a taste perspective. Now, that's worse, like really, at the end of the day, people we have limited time and resources, that is what is worth kind of diving into. So those are the two factors. I would say that a lot of our that we've seen kind of like leading brands kind of take advantage of. Yeah, I


Aaron Conant  17:31

mean, it's interesting, too, because I think a lot of people have been in that panic situation where early executive teams have panicked and you're looking at POS data and everything else. So like when nothing's being affected? Do we really need to stop the presses? Like, you're gonna need to dial back? We know, a lot of this is like, I think about the data you're collecting. And there's been a lot of issues around, you know, this reduction in available third party data. Have you seen that, you know, have an impact on, you know, the brand's ability to track and measure sentiment as a whole. Right? And is that affecting it? Do you see it affecting it more in the future? How do people How should people be thinking about that? Yeah,


Gautam Kanumuru  18:12

yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, really what, what we've seen starting to see the shift towards, and I would say it's a good shift in terms of like privacy and stuff like that, like, it's, I think, from a macro perspective, it's good. At the end of the day, it becomes more and more important for brands to, like, kind of solicit their own feedback, I guess, is the way that I'd really boil it down. Or knowing what sources to tap because of this. And so this is a good example where it's like, Hey, okay, surveys, we we've always been administering them, there's probably not like a lot that we could, we could ratchet up from that perspective. But reviews and ratings become an interesting data source, right? Because that is, in its own form, kind of direct feedback that you'll be able to deduce things from. And the other shift that you start to see, let's take this from, let's say, like an advertising perspective, for example, if we want to kind of look at row ads and stuff like that is, hey, there's there's still enough mechanisms in place for us to properly target people based on what we're seeing from a consumer centric perspective. So some of the best brands that we've seen, who sees the writing on the wall about their ability to kind of like target people is take, let's take Amazon, for example. They do enough tracking on a reviews and rating standpoint, and consumer sentiment standpoint across not only their products, but competitor products, that they can start to target people based on what ASINs they purchased, which is something that Amazon enables, through their their advertising platform and that they'll continue to enable kind of going forward. So suddenly, what you can see is Hey, I sell hairbands or scrunchies. And I suddenly see that sentiment for two of my competitors has fallen greatly. I can and and it turns out, it's because of fit, for example, boom, I can instantly target those people from my perspective and try to get them to buy my product. And so that's sort of how we start to see shift. Things shift from from the third party perspective.


Aaron Conant  20:26

I want to jump in a little bit. It thank you for that. And just reminder, if you can drop questions in the chat or the q&a there, but just thinking about like predictions and where it's going, right, which kind of leads us to the next part where I think we have enough data now. And when we think about agility, small companies, we have large companies that struggle with it a little bit. We're just getting back to like the, you know, what I mentioned a little bit earlier, which was around, you're getting feedback from potentially new demographics. Or I'm like you were saying, like, you're getting product sentiment around if people you know, don't like the product or something that's going on? Or maybe it's the you know, Gautam you're saying the flavor, like, we'd love to hear like, now that we have tools, right to help monitor it. Like what do you see? How do you see this helping, you know, Haithem, I'll kick this over to you first is helping companies that are not very agile become a little bit more agile, because you now have hard data right? Before it was just the marketing person saying, Yeah, I think people don't like blue raspberry, I think they'd like blue watermelon, but there's no data behind it. And now you might have a ton of data that says, hey, people saying, Hey, I, you know, I love blue raspberry, but I would love blue watermelon. You know, I'd love to hear like, from an agility standpoint, what have you.


Haithem Elembaby  21:45

Yeah, how are you seeing? For sure. I think what's interesting a lot of times is, you know, maybe in kind of the old world like that would come up, and they might commissioned a study that will take six months to figure out if, you know, blueberry is the right flavor. And then all of a sudden, it's another one that comes in, right. So I think,


Aaron Conant  22:01

definitely anymore, right? Everybody's writing the review and our products and leaving sentiment all the time, everywhere.


Haithem Elembaby  22:07

Right, right, exactly. And I think like to go to this point, like having that always on mentality, right? can definitely help. It's not something that you necessarily want to do at just a moment in time, you want to have like a nice consistent tracking of it. Alerts, right trigger, triggering certain alerts that come to your team, when things happen within your customer feedback is something that we've seen also be like, very useful. I think I'll use a couple of examples, right? So like, big companies can be agile, and I think it starts with some of those low hanging fruit, like issues that come up. And it's not always as obvious on the surface, right? So, you know, for example, like, a good example is kind of one of our clients, Tylenol, right, so they released a new format of their pain reliever. And essentially, what happened was, they were seeing a lot of negative sentiment and declining star ratings around this one SKU it was it was a dissolved packet, where essentially, you wouldn't have to drop it in water, basically, all you do is kind of put it on your tongue, it dissolves and works, right. And, essentially, you know, they were, they were kind of scratching their heads, put a lot of dollars into it put a lot of marketing dollars into the campaign, etc. But, you know, things just weren't tracking the way they wanted it to, from a customer sentiment perspective. And they noticed that within Yogi and you know, as they kind of dug deeper, within a few minutes, essentially, they realized kind of two things. One is that people were talking very positively about how fast the product was working, right? Because this is the fastest relief I've ever gotten, right from from a pain reliever before. But that wasn't being emphasized very much on like their PDP, for example. So, you know, they went back to the marketing team, essentially. And were able to update their PDP on Amazon and, and get that in there. Right works very fast. The other thing though, was a little bit more interesting is that there was a mismatch of expectations where customers were actually dropping the pack and water and nothing was happening, right? And they were like, What is this is not working, like I don't understand what's going on. And people didn't realize that all you had to do was put on your tongue and it would dissolve kind of instantly, right? So again, within the PDP very quickly, they were able to put in a number of different places within an image right? If you go into the town hall, kind of PDP right now on Amazon, you'll see the second image says no water needed with like an X through like the water bottle, right? And then within like the hero content, they have some of that as well. And within about a quarter, they saw their star rating increase organically by about one point. So so that was a that was again, like a very fast change that they were able to make because they were able to understand the nuances of what was going on with customer sentiment. Another one that I think is really interesting is another one of our clients, they sell a consumer electronics company, they sell laptops. And this one speaks more to like prioritization and being agile in terms of decision making. So they were having issues within a certain region in the world. So in the Middle East, essentially, they're getting a lot of complaints about overheating, and the laptop, just kind of like, you know, being very loud, you know, working at a cafe or whatever, it's very loud, right, I can't work like this, etc. And what what they what they what they thought was that they had a marketing issue where they weren't marketing the product well enough, right, they were kind of falling short in terms of the marketing campaign, and they were ready to pour, you know, hundreds of 1000s of dollars into like repositioning the product and working on different things when it comes to messaging, etc. And, and kind of like, you know, defending that a bit. But when they dove into Yogi, what they realized was that, it was actually like, due to the weather within that region of the world, that was causing a lot of the overheating problems. So they were actually able to prioritize a software update in the new version of their operating system and actually mitigate some of that, that gave like more granular controls around like the fan eating and the infrastructure that goes into that. So they kind of went from, hey, we're going to prioritize this marketing campaign that we're going to pour a lot of resources into to, let's let's do this product update, and basically save themselves like hundreds of 1000s of dollars. And again, they were able to make that decision within, you know, a couple of months versus like, multiple quarters, etc, where the problem could have kept getting worse. I think that I think that one speaks really to, again, like that, that that data back decision making that you can bring to your leadership.


Aaron Conant  26:51

If we talk about leadership just a little bit, what is buy in look like? I mean, is soft, right? Like, but in my mind is data driven? That's where I'm focused is all data driven. And it's around data. But what is that? What does that discussion with an executive team leadership team look like? around putting something in place that's tracking sentiment as a whole? Is it saving money someplace out? Is it it's almost like a business plan at this point in time, anything new that pops up? There needs to be a business plan behind it?


Haithem Elembaby  27:24

Especially right now? Yeah, again, it's especially right now. And I think, you know, rightfully so. Executives and teams in general are just are getting a lot more strict about where they're putting their dollars and their time, right. So I think, at the end of the day, like, it's gonna start with the high level goals of the organization. So you obviously want to know, like, whether you're someone who's a manager, or director, or VP, whether you have a direct line into the C suite or not, you do want to understand what those high level priorities are in the organization. And you want to make sure that whatever you're doing aligns with that, right? I think anytime you're bringing in a new vendor or new technology or proposing a new project, or whatever, you want to make sure it connects to that. But then also, like, one or two layers deeper, like connected to existing initiatives, right? But you don't want to do it necessarily create an entirely new initiative and say, Hey, we're going to do this whole new thing. And it's going to be a completely new way of working like, that's not going to go over so well. Right, especially in like much larger organizations. So anytime you can take a look at your to do list or take a look at your KPIs for that quarter or that year, and figure out, hey, can this new solution connect to something that I'm already working on? Right, and then that and then if it can, great, you know, what are those most pressing questions, again, coming back to that, that my team is tasked with answering? Right? Can this solution helped me and if it can, then you're going in the right direction. And I think once you figure out if you're going in the right direction, I think it's important to, you know, work with vendors and service providers where you know, the point of contact that you're talking to, right, that salesperson that you're talking to, you know, lean into them as a resource, right? You know, there are obviously like salespeople out there that will just like, kind of sell you anything, and everything fits, you know, our product is great for everyone, but you want to find the ones that are really looking to find that like mutual fit that long term partnership kind of ethos, and, you know, build that business case alongside them, they're gonna have a lot of experience, they're gonna have a lot of customer cases, you don't have to necessarily take every single thing they send you and pass that along. But you know, they are a great resource, and I wouldn't ignore that I would really treat them as like a partner, you know, throughout the process. That's at least the way that I like to work is is kind of partnering with that individual and making sure that we're building a plan together. And then, you know, don't be afraid to push back right. I think a lot of like executives and you know, the budget holders, so to speak, like, you know, their first initial reaction is going to be II? Like, do we really need this? Right? Can we solve this some other way is this something that we really just additive is just going to just going to create the value and and kind of where's that value. And I think, if you have those ideas in mind, don't be afraid to push for them. And I think one way of gaining that confidence that other kind of last thing I'll say about this is like, those early wins, right? Like, are there small wins that you can almost like guarantee, let's say, within the first quarter, or a couple of quarters, that you can show, right, and, and these are low hanging fruit actions, right. And they don't even have to necessarily be something that's going to like, you know, blow the socks off the organization and create millions of dollars of revenue, but you want to almost be able to like, guarantee that they will actually happen, right? Because you know, data is great, but you know, it's not, it's nothing if you can't do anything with it. So even if you have like one or two or three initiatives lined up, where you're like, hey, if I had this data, this is what I can do with it. And these are the people that are prepared to carry it out. Boom, you want to go forward with that, and make sure that those executives know that you have that plan in mind. And I think that's going to also help a lot. Yeah, I mean,


Aaron Conant  31:10

I agree. It's, but it's a sales pitch internally, right? Because you're looking at as a as a platform as a tool to help you better understand the customer. And when you say everything from product design, to paid media, advertising, everything that's around it, but are there, like different product categories that you see, you know, it works better for you guys will deal across a variety of different electronics to pharma, like our different credit categories, performing different li A, how would you prioritize that? Or for


Gautam Kanumuru  31:45

people? Yeah, yeah, it's it's an interesting question, I would say. The the answer was probably different. Five years ago, five years ago, there probably be like certain product categories where this, this kind of, hey, being more agile, being more customer centric, or customer focused was was necessary. But now it's kind of become universal. And the argument that, I think the best way to characterize that, or the reason is, is because now you could buy everything online, right? Maybe pre COVID. Hey, things like laptops and stuff, okay, I'm more likely to buy those online. But now we're even seeing your large grocery brands like your Nestle's and stuff are doubling modeles are doubling down on on E commerce. So because everything is kind of being sold online. Like it is starting to become kind of kind of universal across product categories from from that perspective. And I think the other thing to the way that this kind of like flywheel ends up ends up working is because because so many things are sold online, you have a different type of customer now, right? Like I'm sure I'm not saying anything that's like a revelation to anybody. But like, because everybody's more digital focused, we essentially as shoppers have more at our at our fingertips. We know more about products, we know more about what we want we know more about, is this going to work for us, or is this not going to work for us before we hit that purchase button. And so because of that, because shoppers are so much more savvy and have so much more choice and data at their fingertips, companies have to be more agile about the way that they make decisions about the way that they be more more customer centric. And I think kind of bringing it back to Haithem’s point. When you really kind of think about initiatives and stuff like that, like we meet with tons of tons of different brands, there's no brand or executive out there that feels like they have all the data that they need to make their decisions. And there's no brand out there that isn't like we have to be more customer centric or customer focused or be more customer centered from a decision making perspective. So there's always kind of like pieces there. But really what it ends up formulating around what becomes super, super important is can we drive the right business actions from this, it's very easy for me to be like, Oh, hey, I'm going to be very customer focused in my decision making and those go back to the way that things used to be. And so it's all about really showing those examples of like, I think the Tylenol one that Haithem laid out is good, which is hey, we have an issue. We can guess we can have come up with 30 different guesses as to why something's happening. Or we can be data driven about this by just listening to our customers and realizing oh, it's because people think they should pour the product and water kind of thing. So yeah,


Aaron Conant  34:55

it is funny because I think when you're describing I was like wait, you just dump it in water and then I would have been one Oh, CIA's that's not working. But, you know, I think about it from the standpoint that, you know, brands that are gonna have to operate at a different level next year. That's just the reality when you're trying to, you know, when you're trying to fight for a smaller share of the wallet, because a lot of stuff is going to gas tank in a grocery store. And, you know, I think people thought, you know, mid year, we were starting to come out of all this, and it was gonna get a little bit easier for brands and brand marketers and digital teams. And then now with kind of a downturn, economic downturn, and this now huge fight for a smaller portion of the wallet, it's available to spend. You have to understand what's going on faster. And the reality is two years ago, we couldn't do it. Now. Nowadays, we can, you know, is there like, just with what's going on across the economy today? Like the sentiment around price value differ category by category? And what do you guys see in? And are you seeing that is going to be a major impact on what people are doing in this space?


Gautam Kanumuru  36:09

Yeah, yeah, for sure. price and value leads into, like, I think the big trend are one of the two big trends of today, which is just inflation. And we definitely do see the effects of inflation from a sentiment perspective. And it actually shifts from category to category. So some of these might be a little bit more obvious than others, let's take like pet food or baby products, those are probably two good examples where these are ones where we've seen essentially little to no shift in sentiment around price and value. Because these are the kinds of products that regardless of how much more expensive a product is, I mean, if it doubles, that's a different story. But incremental increases, people actually aren't willing to deviate from products for their pets or their babies, because as long as they know that it's working. And so that's like a, like a key key piece where you like parents and pet parents tend to be not as price sensitive, right for certain things like this, because at the end of the day, that is wanting to make sure they know their baby or their, their pet is doing well. But now you compare this to something like canned vegetables for Thanksgiving, were that even like small deviations in price caused price and set sentiment around price and value to to definitely deviate. And so the way that I would really kind of characterize this when when we kind of think about it is there's probably actually like two kinds of interesting waves that we've seen, because we track a lot of product categories across a bunch of different types of retailers. And the I would say kind of the two interesting ways that we've seen from a price value perspective, or both are both actually kind of tied to each other. So the first is that when you look overall, at just how the the normal shopper how the world is thinking about sentiment around price and value. When we look at things from a category to category basis, the overall sentiment around price and value actually hasn't shifted a ton. Or, or to put it a different way it hasn't dropped as much as maybe you'd expect. And we actually really attribute this to the fact that inflation has become somewhat universal across the board. So it's not that there's like a handful of categories that are suddenly five times more expensive. It's that everything from gas to groceries to childcare, to everything has kind of incrementally or incrementally increased. And so because everything is sort of more expensive. While consumers aren't exactly like excited about price increases, they're sort of this, they're not necessarily surprised. But the second wave is that we've seen people when it comes to the way that they talk about price and value, they've started to lean into what what I would maybe call like value based experiences. So what I mean by that is, let's let's take something like body wash, for example. If you're able to provide a body wash experience that let's say lathers really, really well, to the point where people feel like they have to only use this much product versus this much product. Suddenly there's this more like bang for your buck type of type of feeling where it's suddenly like Hey, okay, yeah, this this, the the price of this went up, but a little goes a long way. And so like that is something that I'm gonna lean into a lot more. I think another example, that we were actually just kind of looking at recently is in the lawn care space. is another one, right? Where, hey, maybe this fertilizer, I don't have to be heavy handed with it, I just couldn't kind of sprinkle it around. And it, it makes a difference for my for my lawn. So one bag can get me I need one bag as opposed to two bags kind of thing. And so we have seen some brands that we work with definitely lead into this little goes a long way type of messaging with some degree of success, because what you're what you're at least leaning into is, hey, like, our cost of goods have have gone up, pricing is gonna go up, all that kind of stuff, but you are getting more for less from from a certain perspective and leaning into that has been successful for you, I


Aaron Conant  40:45

want to dig into that just a little bit. Because just you know, we bring up inflation and current economic conditions. And there's kind of two routes that right some of you can get invested to be, you know, an innovation is a way to stand out. Others are, you know, cutting back, you know, trimming the fat, so to speak. Like, how have you ever you guys deal with a ton of clients, right? And you're living in the sentiment space all the time, like, how have your clients reacted to what's going on with the current economic climate, any advice you would give based on, you know, to people who are sitting back today saying, hey, I want to take product, you know, I need to get more, you know, sentiment, customer sentiment around my product. But what do I do with it? You know, what's the best way to handle it? You know, you the idea is like, do I cut out this product? Because people are complaining? Or do I get innovative around it and change it? Like, we'd love to hear your thoughts there? What should people be thinking about?


Haithem Elembaby  41:34

Yeah, I can go first on that one. It's tough, right? It's a tough, definitely a tough balance. I think this is where, for me, like it kind of sums up into don't stop innovating, but like innovate in a very smart way. Right? And obviously, you should always be doing that. But I think it comes down to like those nuances, right? Like, the details matter. You know, the Quality Matters, right? Like, are there ways that you can find strategic advantages if you are going to invest? Right, so like one example, that has come up a lot more recently. And prioritization just happens to be like a very big theme that we've been speaking about a lot with a lot of our clients and prospective clients, but you know, you might see an issue that comes up, right. So for example, let's say, like, in the baking space, we saw this, right, where, you know, you had to make a recipe change, right, and maybe it wasn't something that was necessarily in your control, maybe there were some supply chain issues kind of upstream that caused you to have to change some of your ingredients, etc. And people didn't react very well to it, right? They were kind of like freaking out, like, why did you make this change, it was great the way it was, this is what I've used to write. Very, like passionate kind of customer feedback was coming back about it, and it affected the brand, right, like, you know, that theme came up very often, right, an increase in volume, it decreased in sentiment, it actually caused the brand to go from, you know, number two in the market to like number four in the market, right. So like big issues kind of happening across the board. Now, if you were to just look at that on the surface level, you might say, Okay, we need to go and actually fix our recipe, or we can't fix our recipe, like, there's nothing we can do, right. But again, if you get into the nuances, and you're investing in a wise way with like new products that are actually going to give you a strategic advantage in the market, you might realize that there's something else. So for example, like instructions came up within that example, and people were also frustrated with the instructions, right. And that's a much easier thing to fix. And that was like much lower hanging fruit where they could, you know, spin up the new instructions, or even post them online, right and make them available for customers. And it might not completely dissolve the issues around the recipe, but it will mitigate some of that negative brand sentiment that's building up. So I think that's just like one example of like a way that you can invest in new technology but look for technologies that are going to give you like some of those nuances that kind of go through mentioned earlier like high quality, highly accurate, highly in depth insights that are going to help you create those like strategic advantages in the market.


Aaron Conant  44:14

Love and I see we're gonna get to time here in just a few minutes. But Gautam I'd love to hear like key takeaways, but also at MIT explain a little bit like around Yogi and what what actually you guys do I mean, you guys have been great around no sales pitches, which is kind of what we pride ourselves on but just had a few people asked like a what is the platform? Like how do we engage but then you know, key takeaways for people as well. Yes, based and stuff like that, because I think people want it. They want to understand the sentiment but just understand a little bit more. We can kind of wrap it up sound good?


Gautam Kanumuru  44:45

Yeah, for sure. No, and I think just to kind of like summarize very high level from from a key takeaway piece. I think if there's, if there's one thing to kind of take away from this, this overall conversation from from a sentiment person Active, looking at 2023 I think the the name of the game is going to be an, this is probably always the name of the game, but like doing more with less becomes even more important in 2023. And I think the way to really really look at it is at the end of the day, you and your team and your brand have a limited amount of time and a limited budget to make things happen. And so prioritization really becomes the key, there's 1000 different changes that you can make, which are the ones that are easier to make or faster to make or take, the less resources to make and out of those, which ones are going to move the needle more, the more, you can just have an understanding of that have data that justifies, hey, like it can take on a scale of one to 10 and eight to change the recipe or afford to change the instructions. And both are going to move the needle the same amount to pick the instructions kind of thing. So that is really where if I were to boil down kind of why customer sentiment has to become a priority, it's because it will help you better prioritize downstream. So that's kind of like the closing thought there. In terms of like how how Yogi works, what what it is a we are a software as a service platform. So the way that we work is brands will will come to us. And we will essentially build a tracker of sentiment for your market. So if you come in and you're in the pain medicine market, we're going to track your products, we're going to track competitor products, we're going to track it across retailers. The main data source that we really rely on is reviews and ratings. Because again, of what we're talking about their ability to, to attribute to specific skews and the topics of conversation that that happened within it. But then we also are able to, again, like I sort of mentioned, we think of things more as a partnership, not just as a, as a as a software product. So on top of that we do have kind of like customer success and insights teams in house that makes sure that you're getting kind of the value and the answers that you need from from the platform. And so one thing that I'll just say is if anybody sort of has any kind of like questions, or even just wants to see what, like their customer sentiment data is looking like, we're always happy to kind of be tracking all kinds of categories. So we're always happy to kind of give some visibility into maybe how things are looking for your for your specific bread.


Aaron Conant  47:32

Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Gautam. Haithem, thanks so much for your time today. And again, I encourage anybody these guys are great friends, partners, supporters, the network and a lot of brands in it worth having a follow up conversation, you know, to see what the sentiment is around your category as a whole. But also, I really think they're going to be a powerful tool for a lot of brands going into 2023 and beyond as you really try to understand your customer, your customer base and what they're saying about you and your products. And so thanks again team. And with that, we're gonna wrap it up. Hope everybody has a fantastic Thursday everybody take care have stay safe and look forward to having you at a future event. Alrighty. Thanks, everybody. Alright, thank you

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