Breakthrough Insights: The Way Forward
Second Half 2009
As 2010 approaches, one word springs to mind as more important than any other: “forward.” The work in 2010 will be to ride the fragments of economic recovery in the scaled markets of the US, Europe, and Asia while capitalizing on resurgent growth in places like China. As this edition of Breakthrough Insights addresses, finding this growth will require new approaches – not repeats or optimizations of our old strategies. In particular, your retailers are moving forward with a host of format, merchandising, and shopper insight initiatives that will require suppliers to bring new tools, capabilities, and resources to the table to capitalize on them.
A key element to this, of course, is that many of our processes and systems today are designed to focus backwards not forward. In particular, category management is a system designed to make incremental improvements to a category by carefully assessing historical data – everyone’s key challenge headed into 2010. The real objective, however, is to take our tools and feed them with insights about where the world is going – and to make sure that our approaches can turn these insights into robust predictive scenarios. Those scenarios must focus on shoppers, economics, and operations: Will shoppers respond? Will that response make everyone higher returns? Can the idea as drawn up happen?
To better meet this objective, MVI and our parent company (Kantar, the information and insight division of WPP) see the need for MVI to work more closely with some of our historic sister companies: Cannondale Associates, Glendinning Management Consultants, Retail Forward, and Red Dot Square. Effective January 1, 2010, these companies will join together to form Kantar Retail. Kantar Retail’s aim is to fuel our clients with transformational insights that can drive their business forward. In this issue of Breakthrough Insights, we bring you forward on a variety of platforms.Shoppers
– Retail Forward contributes a piece around the importance of Gen X/Y shoppers to the US economic recovery, as a focus on growth pushes retailers (and suppliers) away from the Baby Boomers who have fueled expansion for most of the last 15 years. We also look at how retailers seek to understand their shoppers through in-store research and at a new approach for the warehouse club industry to drive member retention.Formats
– The US supermarket, Chilean pharmacy, and global consumer electronics industry are profiled with an eye toward understanding how and from where growth is being driven.Retailers
– After releasing its annual PoweRanking® study, Cannondale discusses how the top-ranking companies (both retailers and manufacturers) distinguish themselves over the long term. MVI revisits our previous insights on Walgreens’ strategic shifts that have had significant supplier implications, and we look at Walmart’s high-efficiency prototype, a very different type of store that may fuel this retailer’s growth.Retailer/Supplier Work
– Glendinning describes strategic areas to focus on to ensure the health of your business.Markets
– MVI highlights our key economic indicators for Europe and the US, and we continue our in-depth analysis of the Russian retail marketplace – one of the most challenging but fastest-growing retail markets in the world.
In addition, Breakthrough Insights profiles one of MVI’s best-known forward thinkers, John Rand, who leads much of our research on the US marketplace.
2009 is a year no one wants to optimize: Even those of us that had stronger-than-market performance know that those results came from tactics that probably can’t be repeated profitably forever. 2010 represents a watershed year in our industry, as we all seek to become more forward-thinking. Companies that do not adapt to this new requirement for actionable foresight will struggle to keep up – particularly those of you that work with the world’s smartest retailers, who are getting sharper and more forward-looking every day.
Bryan Gildenberg, Chief Knowledge Officer
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