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Category Management Analysis: Are Your Brands “Over” or “Under” Developed?

by Sue Nicholls, Category Management Knowledge Group

Category Management Analysis

As a category manager working for a retailer, you may have heard  “You are underdeveloped in Brand X or Segment Y in the category, and there’s an opportunity for you to grow in this brand or segment”.  As a category management analyst or sales person working for a supplier, you may have heard “Your retailer is underdeveloped in Brand X, and there’s an opportunity for this retailer to increase development in our brand”.  In both of …

Category Management: Addressing data gaps in a limited data environment

Category Management on Limited DataIn category management, data is one of the key requirements (some other requirements are organizational alignment, collaborative mindset and technical tools/automation).  In today’s world, as manufacturers, retailers, brokers and consultants, we are bombarded with new and different data sources all of the time.  But ironically, at the same time, most organizations find themselves in one – or possibly many – “data-poor” scenarios.  In scenarios where there is limited data, some of the …

Measuring and fixing distribution gaps can lead to increased sales & profit!

A big opportunity for many retailers and suppliers is to “fix” their distribution on currently listed items – we spend so much time doing efficient assortment analysis, when sometimes the biggest and easiest opportunities lie within products already carried at the retailer!  Distribution data relates to the availability of the item across a specific geography.  There are two different options that you may have available in your data to measure the availability of items as a measure:

1.  % of stores carrying: 

Based on # of retail outlets, or store count, in the retail universe
Calculation:  # …

Fair Share Index (Are you using it correctly?)

Fair Share Index (FSI):
Fair Share Index

There is a great analytical technique used in category management called Fair Share Index or “FSI”, which will allow you to compare $ share to tactics shares (like share of shelf, share of ads, share of display, share of items).  But it’s also one that can commonly be misinterpreted.

FSI Measure:

Calculation:  Brand or Segment Tactic Share ÷  Brand or Segment $ Share

(Tactic share examples are “Share of Shelf”, “Share of Ads”, “Share of Items”, “Share of Display”, etc.).

Example:–       Segment #1 …

Category Assessment: All Commodity Volume (ACV) and Index vs ACV

All Commodity Volume:

All Commodity Volume is an important term to understand for both retailers and suppliers.  Simply put, All Commodity Volume (or “ACV” or “All Sales Volume”) is a sum of all category sales in a total store.  The categories that are included in the ACV definition depends on the channel composition (for example, is it the “Total Market” or “Grocery Channel” or “Drug Channel” or “Mass Channel”).  If you are unsure as to the categories that are included in the ACV number, you should check with your third party data provider.

ACV Measures:…

Happy New Year!

First of all, Happy New Year.  I hope that you had a safe, healthy and happy 2012, and wish you all the best in 2013!

It’s been awhile since I released a Category Management Series tip, or even written in my blog for that matter!  Well, my New Year’s resolution is to get back into blogging, but in a different way than before.  We have developed a brand new webinar platform for 2013, which includes both paid and free live webinars that tie in with some of our …

Category Management Series Tip #15: Turning Data Into Insights Part 2


This week’s tip is part 2 on turning data into insights.  My last tip (Part 1) focused on drilldown of the data, or the more scientific side.   Part 2 focuses on the second requirement for turning data into insights – by using experience, knowledge and insights.   I’ve been doing category management for over 20 years, and sometimes students or clients will ask “how did you know to look at that or consider that”?  That’s where tapping into all your past experience really pays off (at least it’s one advantage – possibly …

Category Management Series Tip #14 Turning Data Into Insights (Part 1)

Turning Data Into InsightsMost companies struggle to translate their data – whether it’s retail scanned sales data, Nielsen retail measurement data, consumer panel data –  into insights, and then even further into actionable business results.   Many organizations invest millions of dollars into data and data mining tools, with the expectation that the insights and action derived from the data will lead to volume and profit improvements.   But they only enable their category management team to derive these insights, and forget to arm other functions with the ability to translate data into …

Category Management Series Tip #10: Creating a Compelling Bubble Chart

Comments Off on Category Management Series Tip #10: Creating a Compelling Bubble Chart

My Category Management Knowledge Group team has had the fantastic opportunity of all working together at team meetings in Banff, Canada (one of the most beautiful places in the world!).  No time for skiing, but we do have time to enjoy the beautiful scenery outside our hotel windows.

This week’s category management tip switches gear from my previous tips, and gets more into some technical training.  Creating charts that tell a story turn category management from a science into an art. Bubble charts are a great way to dimensionalize business results based …

Category Management Series Tip #9: How To Use And Understand All Commodity Volume (ACV)

Wow, it’s already March!  This has truly been the mildest winter I think we’ve ever had in Calgary.  But for those of you who like skiing, Lake Louise and Sunshine resorts are just an hour’s drive away, with some of the best skiing around!

Last week my category management tip focused on “Index” and how you need to correctly interpret an index that is over or under 100 (and that you can’t apply a “good” or “bad” or “overdeveloped” or “underdeveloped” label on the numbers at the surface).  One of the “index” …

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