When it comes to category management, you may know the seven essential components, but do you know how to implement each one?
To provide you with a better understanding of how important the 7 musts of true category management are in helping you grow your business, over the next several weeks we will be taking a closer look at each one.
Includes all consumer-related information around consumer buying and shopping habits. From a retailer reducing long checkout lines to a manufacturer providing the best selection of merchandise at the best possible price, the ultimate goal is to improve customer satisfaction.
Similar to the famous movie line "If you build it they will come," consumer insights identify specific attributes that encourage repeat purchase of product. In this example, an endless supply of baseball's top players.
Consumer insights frequently get confused with shopper insights. Shopper insights focus on how people shop your category, identifying the process consumers go through when selecting their favorite brand. For example, shoppers might choose the product size before brand and flavor. Typically, brand is the first choice consumers make when creating their shopping list.
Consumer insights focus on how consumers use your products, identifying the key product attributes that help you stand out from your competition and attract new loyal customers. You might focus your product marketing as a stand-alone snack while the majority of your customers mix it with other foods, such as how granola and yogurt go together.
Specifically, you need to know your target consumer, what's important to them, their needs, why they choose your brand over the competition, and what keeps them loyal repeat buyers. Becoming an expert will help you grow sustainable sales and compete head-to-head with even the most sophisticated CPG company.
Both insights are extremely important in developing and implementing a brand strategy. They should also both be considered when developing a category management strategy.
Ways to capture insights
Asking customers what's important to them and observing their behavior while they use your products.
Surveying customers via social media.
- Partnering with third-party research companies to give you in-depth consumer insights that go well beyond any grassroots effort. For example, a detailed study indicating why consumers choose a specific brand of bar soap; the amount of suds necessary to effectively get clean; the ideal scent that makes them feel awake and refreshed; how they wash; who they share the soap with; how many washes they get from a single bar; how many bars they typically keep at home, etc. This becomes more relevant when comparing your brand to your competition.
True category management helps you develop a laser-focused brand building strategy. Consumer insights breathe life into the strategy and help you engage your target customers. Consumers will beat a path to your door if you satisfy their needs.
How do you capture insights about your customers?
Daniel Lohman is the owner of Category Management Solutions (CMS) which provides innovative strategic solutions for natural and organic CPG companies interested in gaining a significant competitive advantage.