competitive advantage

Competitive Advantage: How to win key brand battles in FMCG

Winning with Customers?

FMCG firms often have well resourced Category & Sales teams with the aim of building strong, productive relationships with retailers. This is mutually beneficial as the supplier sells more of their product and the retailer gains insight which enables them to increase revenue from their shelf space.

This sounds relatively simple, but leading the customer agenda requires a steady flow of timely, penetrating insight. Not just numbers, but quantified and prioritised opportunities to grow revenues – driving competitive advantage for both supplier and retailer. To this end, FMCG firms invest considerably in data every year to support this ambition. However, finding the insight in the data is far from straightforward. This process is time-consuming, particularly where it involves combining multiple datasets and digging for the real drivers of performance.

In reality, the most valuable insight can lie hidden in unfamiliar lines of enquiry. Often, these insights pertain to relative performance of a brand or distributor versus competition. As analysing one’s own performance is tough enough, contextualising this against key competitors and the wider market is even harder. Then, generating that insight across every channel and customer is often, effectively, a pipe dream.

What’s needed to fuel competitive advantage?

The starting point for competitor analysis typically starts with finding where you are winning vs your competitors, and where they are winning. Questions such as:

  • Where do you need to defend?
  • Where do opportunities lie?
  • Why might this be happening?
  • How do I unlock the opportunity (through distribution, pricing, marketing support etc)?

However, it is time that often limits what can be found beyond ‘boring’ top level performance metrics. Teams simply don’t have time to do this exploratory work for every category or brand in every channel and customer. This is where ‘investigative AI’ comes in.

 

OK, but how will this help me?

‘The early bird gets the worm’

Roosters crow stand on a wind turbine. In the morning sunrise background

Identifying patterns as they happen enables sales teams to present opportunities to retailers before competitors have even noticed. This strengthens the position of account teams as trusted partners to deliver growth.

Be the all-seeing eye 

Spotting market trends early is key to building an effective growth strategy. This requires capability looking beyond the ‘traditional lines of enquiry’ Is there an underlying trend in consumption behaviour? How are shoppers adapting to changes such as Covid? Maybe there has been a shift to different packaging formats that has benefitted your competitors?

Applying this to the real world

To mobilise customers we need customer-relevant insight that highlights and quantifies opportunity; and clear recommendations for how those opportunities can be realised.

These meetings can often end with more questions than answers, even for the most prepared. “Can you go away and let us know what drove the performance of Competitor Brand X vs your brand?” This slows down the process of getting your products to the shelf.

However if you can provide the insight to back up your recommendations in the meeting, you have the best chance of positively influencing the customer.

Furthermore, internally, it removes ‘swirl’ which see multiple versions of the truth produced. If everyone has access to the same insight, it allows for an aligned, holistic understanding of performance – and what to do next.

How Interrodata is tackling this problem

Interrodata helps every FMCG commercial leader to find, prioritise and unlock revenue opportunities that others would miss – through AI-powered analytics and storytelling. Interrodata: Brand BattlesTM automatically generates ‘insight stories’ that explain performance relative to competition and key drivers of share change between your products and your competitors’.

Brand Battles is Interrodata’s latest product and launched in May 2021

Not only this, but it is presented in an easily digestible story with all the necessary charts and rich narrative that everyone can understand. This provides the levels of insight that would take people days to find, in minutes.

No more rabbit holes – Interrodata identifies where significant changes are happening so you don’t have to spend days mining data just to end up at another dead end. Instead, the clarity and confidence to act first.

Where do we go from here?

This is a very quick rundown of the power of Brand BattlesTM. If you would like to know more about how Interrodata might address your need to drive competitive advantage by channel and customer, please do get in touch and one of our dedicated reps will be in touch.

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