Reaching “super-light” buyers is critical for brand success

“Super-light” buyers who purchase a brand only five times in a five-year period are central to driving long-term success in the FMCG/consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector.

That finding emerged from a study – entitled “Quantifying the target market for advertisers” and published in the Journal of Consumer Behaviour – covering 55 brands that were advertising in 12 categories (like shampoo, laundry detergent, dog food, nappies and toothpaste) in the UK.


  • Forty-six of the 55 brands in the study registered “stable” market share over a five-year period.
  • Super-light buyers represented 77% of their customers and yielded 41% of sales on average.
  • Zeroing in on the market leaders among this group, the mean totals stood at 68% and 29% respectively on the same metrics.
  • Looking at the fourth-ranked brand in each category, “super-light” customers were 83% of buyers and generated 52% of sales.

“Smaller brands have a systematic higher dependence on super-light buyers,” wrote Charles Graham (London South Bank University Business School and Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science) and Rachel Kennedy (Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science), the authors of the study.

We know that brands can often be tempted to focus on heavy users with targeted ads as a means of driving growth. Mass reach, however, remains a critical strategy for engaging an audience at scale. We know that TV advertising has unbeatable scale and reach and no other form of advertising can build scale as quickly and as powerfully.

Source: Warc and Journal of Consumer Behaviour