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Thought Leadership for Healthy Food & Beverage Brands​

Why CPG Brands Must Stop Building a Website

by Leonard Grape

I’ve reviewed more than 100 websites of better-for-you food and beverage CPG brands.

Guess what 95% of them focus on?

Talking about themselves.

It’s mainly product centric.

This is a good way to waste one of your most important marketing assets by making it transactional in nature.

So, this got me thinking, it might be better if you stop building a website for your CPG brand if you will only create it:

  • Largely for selling and not engaging

  • To talk mainly about your product and company

  • To be similar with 95% of other CPG websites

The industry does not need another boring, self-centered website.

You most definitely don’t need one.

But with digital commerce continually growing, DTC is still a critical growth lever for your business. So what should you do instead if you choose to create or revamp your website?

I’ve got five principles that I recommend if you want to further leverage your site.

Principle 1 - Focus on your Audience

You need to define your core target market.

By this, I don’t mean just citing a specific consumer segment. It’s not even just learning about their demographics.

Knowing their psychographics is a good start but even that alone won’t cut it out.

Here are two major things I want you to understand about your audience:

a. What’s one thing that matters to them the most?

b. How can your product relate or add value to what matters to them?

These should become the anchor of your product positioning and messaging.

Use this insight in developing your content sitemap and user flow for your website.

Make your consumer the center of your e-commerce strategy.

Principle 2: The 70-30 Rule

It’s easy to fall in love with your own product.

This is why majority of CPG websites focus on talking about their brands.

One way to address this is by following what I call The 70-30 Rule.

  • 70% of your website must be all about telling a story, appealing to emotions, relating to audience, providing value, social proof

  • 30% would be about your product

You may find this counter-intuitive but trust me when I say consumers don’t remember tons of information that they’d see from your site.

They don’t care about your product.

What they care about is what they will get from it.

What they remember is how it makes them feel.

Principle 3: Write Like a Person

Remember the saying – people buy from people?

Well, that’s true and so your brand must speak like a person even if it’s a product.

How do you do this?

Start with these five tactics:

  • Create a brand persona behind your product.

  • Identify your tone of voice and character.

  • Shift your copywriting from “I” to “You”

  • Be a storyteller.

  • Finally, brevity is key.

Your goal is to build a connection with a prospect.

That happens with less but strong and relatable message points on your site.

Principle 4: Empower Template with Design

It’s smart to use templates especially for your e-commerce sites.

In fact, you can choose from many options available on Shopify or Wix.

But my advice is don’t rely on it 100%. Why?

Because you need to integrate your brand elements onto your site to make it more engaging and interesting.

You also need to leverage User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) to infuse a good visitor experience.

This is also how you can influence what behavior you want them to have when they land on your website.

It can even make it easier for people to buy if you are helping them get to that action.

Plus, a templated site doesn’t look too professional, no?

Principle 5: Don’t Use Subpar Offers

One other major takeaway I got from reviewing 100+ websites of better-for-you food and beverage CPG brands is that almost all of them would have a pop-up a few seconds in.

What would they give? A percentage discount of some sort.

If everything else is doing it, it becomes a subpar offer.

It appears to be a norm and so you can’t stand out if you’ll just follow suit.

What you should be asking is - how can you make it a no-brainer for a visitor to sign up for you?

How can you acquire a prospect to become a potential customer?

What’s one thing that can move an interested prospect into buying?

By removing the risk for them.

Think about making it a FREE PRODUCT offer.

Or maybe just a free sample with free shipping.

Make it super easy for the prospect to get to try your product.

Your goal here isn’t to make a sale yet but to attract, acquire, engage, and drive product trial with a prospect.

The upside in doing this would be much higher than the total cost of a free sample and shipping.

I would even argue that this may come out more cost efficient than your traditional advertising costs that make customer acquisition high.

If you do this right and complement it with great customer experience, you can build a list that you can leverage to become regular customers and brand advocates that can increase their lifetime value.

Final Words

If you really believe that a website is an important touchpoint for your brand growth, you should be paying more strategic attention to it.

Let me leave you with two questions to ponder on:

Will your website be just like what 95% of CPG brands have?

Or, are you ready to step up your game and be part of the 5% that do things differently?

Make the right choice.


2022 The Vineyard. All Rights Reserved.​

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