You never get a second chance to disappoint a customer. Getting your products into the hands of more shoppers is critical to increasing sustainable sales. Welcome. You've been taught that the most important report you'll ever need is a simple canned topline report, right? Well, not quite. Let's say that a category is growing at five percent while the category at other retailers is growing at 12 percent and trending up. This changes things dramatically. The canned topline reports don't tell you what's behind the trend. This is where you need to dig deeper. This changes things dramatically. 

Your job as a category leader is to help your retail partner figure out what their competition is doing better than they are and how you can help them compete more effectively. This can usually be attributed to a category's product assortment that does not give shoppers a compelling reason to shop their stores over the competition. Helping your retail partner identify and solve this problem will give you a significant competitive advantage. This is frequently referred to as fixing the mix.

Every time any new product is presented to a retailer, one product needs to be discontinued to make room for it. Many times the decision is made solely on a brand's performance or lack of performance. This can be a huge mistake. More importantly, this is not a decision you want to leave in the retailer's hands. You need to help guide the retailer with fact-based recommendations. Sometimes the decision to recommend an item is not obvious. Your help can differentiate you as a category leader. 

A category leader is any brand willing and able to step up and help the retail partner drive sustainable sales by leveraging the strength of your brand. This is the best and the most effective way to drive sustainable sales. This can literally determine how long you'll be around, a month, a year, a decade or longer.

Step back and think about the way you make purchases. Everything is about perception. Does the store have a good assortment of the products you want to buy? Are their prices fair? 

You never get a second chance to disappoint a customer. Getting your products into the hands of more shoppers is critical to increasing sustainable sales. It’s critical to your survival.  

You have a choice and its a simple one. Either manage your own distribution and merchandising or trust it to anyone BUT you. Do you trust your competitors to protect your merchandising and distribution when they present their new items? Of course not! 

“Remember that everything is negotiable – 

especially in this industry”

Retailers cannot possibly be experts in every category, on every item they sell, and on your loyal shopper. They need your help! They need you to support and help guide them to merchandise the right products that keep shoppers returning. 

Most strategies focus narrowly on individual item sales and overlook how your product interacts with other items in the store. In most cases, your sales have an impact on the sales of other items making your product more valuable to the retailer when they consider the shopper's total purchase at checkout. 

These are important things that need to be considered when making those decisions, the things that are really important that others frequently overlook. These are the skills that most sophisticated brands use that gives them a substantial competitive advantage. This is how you level the playing field and compete head-to head-with the big brands.    

The moral of the story is that having the right assortment is critical to the survival of your store.  Don't be fooled by a one-size-fits-all approach that discounts the importance of consumer.  

To learn more about the Maximize Sales With The Right Product Assortment Strategies mini-course, go to and watch the short video. 

Click here to learn more about this mini-course

The Essential New Item Checklist – The Recipe For Success

New product innovation is the lifeblood of every brand. New products fuel sustainable growth, attracts new shoppers and increases brand awareness. Know the critical steps to get your product on more retailer’s shelves and into the hands of more shoppers.

Empowering Brands | Raising The Bar

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