Hostess Twinkies boxEdtior’s Note: Thanks to Travis Clemens, Campaign Marketing Manager  at eXperticity, for this guest post. 

Sad news broke this morning for lovers of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos everywhere. After Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and a work stoppage due to striking employees, Hostess is closing its doors and selling off the company’s remaining assets.

The news, although not unexpected, was shocking to many Americans who grew up eating Hostess snacks. Personally, I fondly remember my mother bribing me with the promise of a package of Twinkies if I would just behave while she tried to finish her trip to the grocery store.

One of the reasons cited by Hostess for its financial troubles was a changing American public who had started to shift to healthier snacks. At eXperticity we see this firsthand with many of our clients coming from a burgeoning nutrition industry.

Of course, most businesses are undergoing an evolution as consumers change the ways they make buying decisions. Armed with much more information due to social networks, Internet forums, and smartphones, consumers now research and learn of new products without ever seeing a traditional brand advertisement or commercial.

The need for brands to train and influence the influencers of consumers is more important than ever. Experts – whether they be store associates, industry insiders, or power users – are increasingly the backbone of many buyers’ purchasing decisions.

When I made the choice to run my first half marathon several years ago, I quickly realized I needed advice on what shoes to wear. So I turned to a friend of mine who had been coaching high school and college runners for more than 20 years. He not only gave me great insight on shoes, but introduced me to additional gear, apparel and energy supplements that he used and recommended. And then when I made my way to the local running store, store associates further explained which specific products they liked and why.

Experts who understand the options available and can articulate the key features of each choice lead to increased purchases and customer satisfaction.

So whether your buyers are looking for that next Twinkie alternative or the right nutritional supplement, it is essential to train the experts who will influence that buying decision.

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