Why do we walk AGAINST traffic?

I’m embarrassed to say that I had to look up the answer to this question.  According to Jean Knaack, Executive Director of Road Runners Club of America.  “The reason is simple- you can’t react to something you can’t see”.   Makes sense.  Too much sense.  Feels like a life lesson, or maybe a lesson that can be easily applied to the retail world.

You can’t react to something you can’t see

This is part 4/5 in my series I’m calling “The Reset”.  That moment in time when the Retailer determines where your brands are merchandised on the shelf.  In most cases you need to live with this “Verdict” for the balance of the year.  It has been proven that brands merchandised at eye level have the highest likelihood of being purchased.   Brands merchandised on the bottom, the least.  This simple dynamic is incredibly important to the health of the brand in terms of volume.   Eye level I sell more, at my feet I sell less.  The less I sell, the more I need to find ways to attract shoppers away from their natural tendency (eye level) and toward the bottom.  If you are merchandised at the bottom, and you risk lower volume and awareness (this will impact future space and position for your brand as well), the strategy often leads to increased trade spend in the form of AD, Price promotion or off-shelf display investments.

Can’t every store just be the same?

The problem facing many brands today is that not every store is the same and Retailers have little incentive to create a common POG as local competition and shopper demographics in one town can influence a completely different assortment and positioning than the next town. In other words, some stores POG may have your brand at eye level and others may not. Some stores may authorize 5 items in one store, and 2 in another. This is even more complex for brands that live in the independent retail world where shop owners often make up their own assortment or planograms.  Moreover, brands are not that keen in opening up their trade fund “check book” to pay for incremental activity.  The best solution is to develop a store level strategy for your brand that maximizes the impact of your investments at store level. 

Before you get runover, react to what you see through AI- Image Recognition

Metaphorically speaking of course.  No one needs to get “runover” by either the competition (or your boss) by not fully understanding what’s happening in every store across a route, territory, retailer or channel now that technology such as AI-Image Recognition is available to see any shelf, with great detail, without bias from manual audits, in real-time. The faster you can see what’s happening at retail, the quicker you can react to the challenges that are holding your brand back.  You can also develop real-time segmentation reporting that can outline which stores have your brands out of position or are not executing all of the assortment you expect.  This reporting will help you develop strategies that target areas that need help, while not overspending in areas that don’t require attention.  Magic?  Actually, it’s Technology.

Public Service Announcement (PSA).  The retail highway can move at you pretty fast, look both ways and walk against traffic to avoid being run over.

For more information on AI- Image Recognition, visit maxerience.com or contact Jason DeRienzo at jderienzo@maxerience.com.

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