Graham Dorrington, a 25-year commercial capability manager, believes being a category leader is more important now than ever. How, as a manufacturer, can you boost your competitive advantage? Putting yourself in the retailers shoes.
As it is becoming more and more difficult to influence retailers and their strategies, retailers must have more knowledge and insight from both their own internal data and external sources and they have more people than ever analyzing that data.
Who would benefit from training in advanced category management?
According to Dorrington, anyone who interacts on a regular basis with their customers really needs to have a good understanding of how you drive category growth. Its particularly important for commercial teams who have the day-to-day relationships.
Category management requires you to delve deeply into every aspect of suppliers businesses, making the category manager an expert in the financial health of the suppliers, their strengths, weaknesses, and product trends in the categories themselves.
Graham gives three best tips for category managers:
- Understand what your customer is trying to achieve with the category
- Constantly put yourself in the retailers shoes
- Develop your solutions from the shopper perspective shoppers are the one thing that retailers and suppliers have in common