Just over a month ago, several members of TNG attended the Ontario Craft Beer Conference (OCBC) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I was one of those attendees and as it was my first time attending this event, I found myself wide-eyed. I found it very interesting to immerse in the culture of craft beer for the day and learn from industry experts. In many ways, it’s a brave new world and fascinating to be part of it now.
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." ~ Socrates
Our industry, like many right now is in the midst of change. It truly is the case that the only constant is change itself, so this is why here at TNG, we are now very focused on building the new. We've been working on diversification for several years now and it has, at times, been a somewhat rocky road determining what will fit into our business model and what also allows us to competitently continue to serve our current customers with the same care and attention they know and trust us for.
So what do our current customers know and trust us for anyway?
A key strategy for new product introduction and heightened exposure for existing product lines is the use of floor displays placed for a finite sales period.
There is a definite risk/reward proposition for all stake holders in these programs.
It is all about sell through.
High sell through increases the likelihood of repeat opportunities, while an unsuccessful program means unrealized sales and margin, and a credibility issue
How does your Off-Shelf Program get to retail?
Many times the shipper goes through the retailer’s distribution center which can mean shipment over weeks, not days.
Or, shippers can be sent direct to store via third party, with no set delivery schedule.
Once in store, the display is either set up by the retailer, who is trying to contain in store labor or a third party merchandiser who is assigned an execution window, not a specific schedule.
The odds of all this coming together successfully are not great.
So how can you ensure your chances for success?
Sounds simple, but make sure your display gets onto the sales floor.
Low placement percentages will kill a program, and if you are not getting the majority of your shippers up at the very beginning of the on sale period you are losing valuable sales time. The combination of these two virtually assures a failed program.
Millennials take their food very seriously. A quick search on Instagram of #foodie brings up nearly 3 million posts! Foodies describe themselves as people with an ardent or refined interest in food or alcoholic beverages who seek to make food a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.
Additional trigger words used to describe Millennial preferences in the kitchen include
Do you need to remain competitive in today's hyper-competitive retail landscape? Are your shoppers not as excited today, when shopping in your stores? Have you lost shoppers to that new store that just opened up down the street? And, are you thinking about updating your retail locations as one of strategies to employ to reinvigorate your brand at retail?
I recently came across the study, “Total Retail 2015 - Retailing in an Age of Disruption”, which was extremely insightful. It highlighted the complexity, the challenges, and the opportunities resulting from the current retail disruption. Retailing is becoming an omnichannel experience with the physical store as only one part of that experience.
Even Retail Operations Needs Alignment
Here are just a few statements from the study which highlight how different things are today: “Today the customer is driving every facet of the shopping journey. The reality is that customers know what they want and expect retailers to provide it. Every retailer must consider how they can provide the unique experiences their customer’s value. The most successful retailers will be the ones that understand their customers best and have changed their strategy, operating model and infrastructure so that they evolve as customer needs evolve.”1.
This is a big week! It's "Freedom To Read Week".
Mapping's Visual Representation Provides Interesting Insights
Recently one of our Data Analyst was experimenting with a new software and built a really interesting application ~ mapping distributions and sales of magazines. We are still in the process of seeing how we can use this to benefit both stores and publishers, but are hopeful that it would be a way to ensure the right titles and copies are in the right stores. Mapping the data provides visual representation of the distribution, which gives some interesting insights that we just wouldn't have uncovered if we were looking at a spreadsheet.
Question Lead to Discovery
In one of the sample cases that we looked at, we were curious where Equestrian titles were having the most success. The results were perhaps not surprising once we saw the maps, but they certainly were enlightening.
Everyone likes to win. And this magazine contest, recently launched by Magazines Canada, is a win for the whole industry.
The "Share Your Love of Canadian Magazines" contest creates excitement around the category, with the purpose of encouraging consumers to reengage with the wonderful print medium and to create top-of-mind awareness that will increase magazine sales in stores.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the FIPP Magazine World Congress, a conference that attracts magazine media professionals from all over the world. This year it was held in Toronto Canada (so it will likely be the only one I ever attend). I feel honoured to be able to learn from industry leaders and here are a few of my FIPP findings...