Knowledge Bank Blog, New Product Launches, Shopper Communication, Channel Execution

Fishing Where the Fish Are : Part 2

Where do you have the best opportunity to be sold…?

Last week we talked about focusing resources.  Putting enough attention on the big volume products, the things that most shoppers buy.  This week we want to talk about focusing on the right places, the places in which shoppers are most likely to buy your product.

The modern world works against focus.  We have more things competing for our attention than ever before, whether that is the number of TV channels or the number of FMCG products.  The modern world also gives us less time, whether that is the football manager under pressure after losing their first 4 games or a new product that has 6 weeks to prove that it can succeed.

Because of this, the temptation is to do as much as we can, as fast as we can, in an as many places as we can.  If we only have a few weeks to prove that something is going to work, we’d better blitz it.  The irony is that often, the more we do this, the more it works against us.  Our resources get spread too thinly and the things that require the most attention, get the same as those that don’t.

Our chances of selling a category, brand or product can vary greatly from outlet to outlet.  This is driven by a few things. What type of shopper shops there? What type of shopping mission are they on or what occasion are they buying for? What mindset are they likely to be in?  Is it a habitual shop or are they open to new things?  What is the retailer proposition?  The Waitrose sales mix is obviously different to the Asda sales mix.

So, how do you focus on fishing where the fish are – the places in which you have the best opportunity to be sold?

NPD Distribution.  We all know how crucial a quick distribution build is to the success of NPD.  However, not all distribution is created equal.  Distribution in the stores in which your product has the best chance of being sold is key.  We know of a new Personal Care product that was designed to be bought and used on the go.  But distribution build was focused on supermarkets rather than the most relevant channels – on the go and non grocery outlets.  What was a very good product, no longer exists.

Identifying lead and follower Channels.  Some of the most successful and sustainable product launches rely on a slower, more targeted build.  For instance, Coke will typically test and launch in convenience stores first.  L’Oreal will prioritise Beauty & Drug stores before going mass market.  Many premium food brands will launch in more premium food outlets.  This gives you the best chance of building the right demand early on and also establishing a price point.

This is particularly important when going into new channels, for instance Discounters or E-Commerce.  Start with the products – categories, brands, formats – that have the best fit with those channels.  Then build from there.

Support in store – specifically field sales.  Any field sales team has limited time.  There are only so many outlets they can visit and so much time they can spend in each one. So, are they focusing on the right products in the right outlets?  We know of a brand whose market share in a retailer varied from 66% in the top performing store to 22% in the lowest.  If you are trying to land activities efficiently, you will go to the 66% store first.

So, next time you think about where you do things, ask yourself are you fishing where the fish are?  Are you prioritising the outlets in which you have the best opportunity to be sold and which are likely to give the best return on investment?

Have a great weekend and speak to you next week.