Winning with Retailers is Easy – All It Takes is Category Vision

Category Vision is a key part of our Category Management service. In this blog Peter Chapman explains not only how we define Category Vision, but why our clients keep returning to us.

There is a good reason why our clients keep asking us to develop Category Visions with them – they work. The phrase ‘Category Vision’ has been used in many ways over the years, and quite a few businesses now have something called a ‘Category Vision’ that unfortunately has had little impact or added little value. However, our focus on developing an ‘implementable’ plan and a customer-led activation campaign means our clients have seen significant business value from our approach and explains why they keep coming back for support on other categories. So what makes us different?

Firstly – we should share our definition of a Category Vision – which is a ‘a value-creation strategy for the Category, that drives category value and brand growth through stronger collaboration’. So it is a strategy – usually over 3-5 years, and it is at a Category level as a shopper sees it, which sometimes opens the eyes of our clients to market segments they have historically ignored. The focus on value creation is achieved through consideration of both consumer and shoppers, and placing brand growth in the context of category value provides a common objective for both sales and marketing functions, which is a valuable benefit of the process.  Lastly, this value creation is achieved through stronger collaboration with retailers – when you have a strong plan that shows a buyer how their shoppers will buy more, it is far easier to collaborate with retailers than when you just sell them your brand plans. 

Our approach is based on a 5 step process, refined over many years of experience:

  1. Discovery – the collection and analysis of category data from multiple sources, that provide insight to the category consumers, shoppers, categories, brands and retailers in scope
  2. Category Dynamics – the first of 3 interactive workshops, to distill the data into category themes
  3. Category Strategy – the second workshop, to refine the themes into clearly defined strategies and size of the prize
  4. Category Vision – the final workshop defines the overarching vision, and develops the activation plans
  5. Customer Sell – finalise the selling deck, tailor it to the key customers and build capability with the sales and activation teams to take ownership ongoing

Where Sellex really stands out is in the last two steps, where we develop an implementable plan that actually happens.  Our focus on ‘turning vision into action’ – ensuring the sell is robust, defining clear and detailed activation plans, driving capability with the sales teams, and engaging all levels of the business to unite behind the approach – this is our secret sauce. The resulting business impact for our clients creates tangible value, and this is the reason why our clients come back time and again.

So – if you have a Category Vision that’s not driving growth for you, or you don’t have one and would like to know more, please get in touch and we can show you how winning with your retailers can be easy. (Ok, easier.  It’s never easy).