Do you really need a category vision? (and what you dó need instead)

  • A category vision shows the destination of the category in a few years’s time, and how manufacturers can achieve this together with retailers. But what do you do if your brand is in a declining category with not so much perspective for the future? Of a brand that has a very specific (e.g. vegan) proposition in many different categories?
  • Developing a strong (realistic) category vision comes from deep insights into consumers, shoppers and trends for the coming years. To gain these insights, you need a lot of market and desk research. What if you don’t have the budget?
  • To grow a category substantially, a behaviour change within consumers is needed. This requires investment in innovation, activation, education and promotion. What if your company doesn’t have the budgets to invest? What if the only marketing P’s you can work with are product, packaging and shelf?
  • It takes a lot of time (hence meetings/time in meetings) to explain your category vision to retailers. What if you are one of many manufacturers with little “air time” at a retailer?

  • A category vision is not always the “holy grail”. But what can you do (better) instead?
  • If your brands are in a category in decline, help your retailer increase market share or make a plan for (your and their) profit optimization. Retailers don’t spend much time on categories in decline, so don’t make a vision, but a concrete, easily implementable plan.
  • A brand with a specific proposition in many different categories can profit from a consistent plan (both visually and content wise). This will help you inside your own company, but also with category managers. The airtime will be limited, so make sure your plan is easily implementable.
  • If you have little to no budget for market and/or desk research: google is your best friend. There’s a lot of trend data to be found, e.g. on the website of the statistical agency of your country (CBS in NL). Many agencies offer general trend reports, as well as banks.

Category vision or a different way of working? It’s up to you! If you need help, you know where to find me