People Are Happiest When They Make Stuff for Others

17th December 2018

There is something very special when you have something tangible to share with the world.

The FMCG industry is unique in putting its “end product” in front of millions for their potential consumption. When that is the by-product of your work, whether you work in marketing or finance, you can’t help but feel that little bit of extra pride when you picture someone picking it up and putting it in their basket (virtual or real).

For many of us, career contentment is directly linked to the achievement of our goals, but it is often the measurement of those goals that proves difficult. In an industry such as FMCG, putting the right product in front of the right person at the right price is something that is incredibly easy to measure. It will either sell or it won’t.

When you make stuff for others, the buck stops there. Anyone can make something, but that is an art in making something that others want and need. Making stuff is not the end goal in FMCG. Making stuff that delights the end customer is the goal, and that is why people who work in the industry are so passionate about the customer. No matter what function they work in, an intense customer focus is key to success.

The “making stuff for others” is the most important part of the equation.

There is a great responsibility that lies on the shoulders of everyone in our wonderful industry. Tomorrow’s generation will be eating our breakfast cereals, drinking our juice and chomping on our fruit. It is up to our industry to ensure that we produce only the best produce (and products) for their needs.

The holy grail of FMCG is when customers buy and buy again.

They do it primarily because FMCG professionals care about them.

When a candidate walks into an interview with a client, their motivation for “making things for others” has to shine through. FMCG professionals without a servant mentality will never put the customer first, and when companies become obsessed with themselves rather than the customer, the slippery slope begins. Once you have lost sight of your customer, it is hard to recover. So many brands have fallen by the wayside because they became self-obsessed and short-sighted. You can only be happy about making stuff when you see that there is a reason for you to make it – you are fulfilling the needs of your customers (and not your shareholders).

As a customer myself, there is an incredibly enjoyable feeling when I go shopping on the weekend. I remember all the placements that we have made over the past few years and I walk by all the products that these people have helped put on the shelves. In a way, I am playing my part in making things too – it feels good, for sure.

Contentment is so important in any career, but I cannot think of many happier people than those in the FMCG industry when their products are selling well.