Retail Price Index (RPI): Are you ready for the rise?

Are you ready for the rise in RPI?

This year, prices are going to rise across the board.

Many brands are no longer able to hold the price of products due to the fluctuation of the pound.

Brands need to consider how they will maintain a positive relationship with their consumers in a world where commodity prices are rising. Inflation in the UK, caused by currency exchange, means that brands will feel a compromise is needed.

Either the prices of the products will go up, the quality will go down or the size of the product will shrink.

Don’t let your brand suffer the same repercussions others have by making the same mistakes. Here’s 3 strategies to help you get it right.

1. Honesty is the best policy

Tell your consumers prices are going to rise and explain why. Present the opportunity to be a part of your brand before you do it.

We received an email this week from audio-tech company ‘Sonos’, explaining exactly why the prices of their products would be rising, how much they would be rising by and when this is likely to be implemented. They thanked us for being loyal customers and suggested if we wanted to buy any of their products, we do it now, before the inevitable price hikes. This was an engaging, clever and pro-active move from Sonos and one, as customers, we appreciated.

sonos speakers

2. Transparency – you can’t hide changes

Consumers never like to be cheated. Don’t subtly change the size or presentation of a product and think nobody will notice. They will. One recent example of this, and a brand who completely botched this, is Toblerone.

In order to maintain their retail price, they degraded the core essence of what a Toblerone is and altered the shape of the bar. Mondelez International, Toblerone’s brand owner, experienced similar backlash before when they changed the recipe of the Cadbury’s Crème Egg, choosing cheaper ingredients to reduce production costs. Sales fell by about £6m that year and with Toblerone, history is expected to repeat itself.

3. Build better brand experiences

If you’re diminishing the core of your products, make sure the brand experience you offer is better. Understand your consumers are going to have less and plan how you elevate your brand and deliver value for money. Find solutions to rationalise your brand. Virgin Atlantic always have the customer at the centre of how they act. A day before you fly, they will send you a personalised tour guide about where you are going. Sometimes it’s the little things that add value beyond the product and this brand experience, as a whole, will keep customers.

It is going to be a challenging time for all brands, but never has there been a better time to adopt a challenger mindset and think outside the norm. Be clever, and creative – use these strategies to your advantage and come out on top.

Retail price index of virgin atlantic