Category Development

16th March 2017 Leave a comment

Category development is an art as much as a science. Before explaining this, let me talk about the Category Development Index (CDI). This is the measurement of how well a category measures against its competition. There is a formula for this. It is quite simple. It is the category at retailer divided by the category in market multiplied by 100.

If the CDI is less than 100, the brand is considered underdeveloped and if it is over 100, it is overdeveloped. There is the attendant pressure to achieve a CDI of 100 and focus on developing the underdeveloped category and stepping back on the overdeveloped category.

Before you decide that hitting the perfect 100 score on a CDI should be your goal, bear in mind that there are other factors that come into play. You are looking at one category. Chances are good that you have more than one category in your retail market. If you shift your focus to ‘normalising’ the CDI in one specific category, what about the other categories in …

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Experience vs. Investment: The Shift in Millennial Spending

14th March 2017 Leave a comment

Guest Blog

It’s not uncommon to hear Baby Boomers tell their Millennial offspring that they should be saving for a home and car as soon as they start working. However, Millennials don’t seem to be concentrating their focus on either anymore.

For example, tech-savvy young adults especially in urban areas have the luxury of relying on shared economy ventures such as Uber or Lyft instead of purchasing a car. Due to the rising house prices, Millennials also see renting as the most practical option over becoming homeowners.

This sudden change in Millennial spending habits is forcing retailers to shift their marketing strategies.

Blueboard is one of the first firms who have started selling “experiential” packages to traditional retailers. One of Blueboard’s missions is to integrate new services to businesses that target Millennials. Some of their international customers include Astex Pharmaceuticals and GoPro.

“(Millennials) aren’t spe…

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Chocolate Industry Analysis

2nd March 2017 Leave a comment

Analysing the chocolate industry is not as straightforward as it might seem on the surface. You really need to look at chocolate from two perspectives. Understanding the industry calls for understanding two different categories: cocoa production and the chocolate segment of the confectionery industry.

The International Cocoa Organization has plans to relocate its headquarters to Côte d’Ivoire, Abidjan in 2017. 60% of the Ivory Coast’s export revenue comes from cocoa. In 2011, it was reported that 70% of the world’s cocoa came from West Africa.

Two years later, in 2013, the global supply of cocoa began to falter and lag behind the demand for it. Part of the reason for this was due to poor yields in the main producers – West Africa. Poor yields were due to disease, not enough rain to meet the cocoa trees’ needs, and older trees that are not as productive as younger trees.

To further complicate matters, the volume of cocoa farmers is diminishing because they are wo…

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Consumer Insight Agency

2nd February 2017 Leave a comment

What is SBXL? It’s a consumer insight agency.

Fine. Great. But what is a consumer insight agency?

It’s a team of professionals with a passion for understanding consumers. These professionals have a burning desire to know what lies beneath the surface of the dynamic tango of shoppers and shopping.

At SBXL, we build strategic consumer insight through creative market research and develop methods of getting closer to consumers so that we can study their behaviour and learn the subconscious motivations behind their purchasing decisions.

At SBXL, we define shopper insights as “any new understanding of shopping behaviour or shopper motivation that can be leveraged for competitive advantage.”

Fine. Great. What does that mean to brands or the retailer?

It means everything. With an understanding of how brand attitudes are fostered in the brains of buyers and how these attitudes affect the shopper’s behaviour, you, the shopkeeper, are able to succeed in-store. With…

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Cosmetics Market Analysis

19th January 2017 Leave a comment

At the “Cosmetic Executive Women’s 2016 Trends: New Consumerism Rules” event, it was reported that the traditional demographics — age, income and gender — are no longer effective when it comes to targeting consumers. The new markers are individual needs and values.

As well as the changing demographics, other factors impacting the cosmetics industry were acceleration in lifestyle trends, quest for knowledge, safety and convenience, and the digital upgrading path to purchase.

The CEW event also noted that independent brands are taking share from the major beauty players. This is due to a secular shift in buying patterns and influencers along with a dash of the anti-establishment mindset.

These changes don’t mean that the cosmetics industry is on the wane. According to Allied Market Research, the global cosmetics market is expected to reach $429.8 billion by 2022. This growth is a result of an increase in disposable income, growth in global economies, and changing lifes…

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Convenience Store Layout

5th January 2017 Leave a comment

The whole way that people shop has changed dramatically in the 21st century. Lower prices and special offers were, once upon a time, the popular way to attract buyers and cause products to leap off the shelves.

According to industry studies, shoppers are not as apt to rely on one large grocery-shopping trip as in the past. They are rediscovering convenience stores. The micro convenience store is emerging as a new shopping experience. The micro convenience store is —micro. With a space of about 1,000 sq ft, the focus is on convenience. The consumer can pop in and pick up the essentials for a fast meal. Some clever micro convenience stores are hybrids, the offspring of a bricks and mortar store and an online store. They are pick-up points for online deliveries.

I’m Phillip Adcock and I study shopping and shoppers and I’ve just told you why convenience stores need to pay more attention to their layout. The micro convenience store appeals to one segment where its kiosk-like ser…

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Coca Cola Marketing Strategy

22nd December 2016 Leave a comment

John Pemberton came up with the Coca Cola recipe in 1886. An entrepreneurial American pharmacist, John Pemberton was abysmal at marketing and if the marketing had relied on Pemberton, Coca Cola may have disappeared without a trace. How could this product rise to the top and stay there for well over a century?

I’m Phillip Adcock and a huge insight I have gleaned from my research is that psychological appeal is the most potent element in any marketing strategy. The decision to purchase is processed by the customers’ subconscious minds. Price and taste are peripheral when it comes to this beverage. It’s more about the constant creative efforts in the marketing strategy of Coca Cola.

In the 21st century, the soft drink industry faces challenges from many sides. Health concerns caused a clamp down on sugar and one of the first targets was the consumption of sugar laden beverages. The school vending machine soon became considered a health hazard. The environmental concern about the…

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Retail Insight

24th November 2016 Leave a comment

Retail insight can be very complicated. The current wisdom is that insight into shopping behaviour involves understanding the global market, world economics, and the history of popular brands. Oh, and we can’t forget it also involves understanding of current government rules and regulations. These regulations can involve international trade, local food regulations, and any number of other intricate interactions that may occur in the marketplace.

There is a huge amount of data collected every year, every month, every week. The data can come from retail insights, marketing research, and category insight. Of course, data must be interpreted and there are a variety of analysts available to do the job.

A good insight analyst can interpret subsets of the data while another analyst might interpret another subset – well, the result can be quite a flood of insight. What retailers actually need is actionable insight. Actionable insight is based on finding the right answe…

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Brand Promotion Strategy

10th November 2016 Leave a comment

Successful communication results in customers purchasing your products. What are the impediments to attracting your target audience to making the decision to purchase? First of all, you have competition for every brand you sell. Then, there is the secret to increasing the shopper’s awareness of your products. Easily said but somewhat of a challenge.

How do you build a brand promotion strategy?

It begins with a market plan. You need to have a brand strategy. Bear in mind that there are many types of marketing strategies. Begin with understanding the target market and its impression of your product. What? You think you should begin with communicating the price and the discounts you offer?

Is pricing really meeting the expectations of your customers? Do your prices and discounts communicate consistent messages about what you stand for and your objectives? If you have not done the strategic research, it is doubtful that you can answer these questions.

How about this questio…

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Consumer Insight

27th October 2016 Leave a comment

Let’s start at the beginning and deal with the thorny question, “What are consumer insights?” There is no magic in the phrase, ‘consumer insight.’ It’s an umbrella phrase for how experts interpret trends in how people behave. It is just another way of saying insight into the customer.

If you can understand what makes shoppers tick, you have the key to providing the product – or the appearance of the product – the consumer wants. In a perfect world, understanding of customers will help you change their behaviour for mutual benefit.

In the world of marketing and market research, Consumer Insights is a separate field. Actually, it’s not really a field so much as it is a bridge – or possibly a crossroads intersection. In consumer insights, the focus is on that moment when the consumer and the brand cross paths.

Picture a bridge. On one side is the consumer and on the other side is the brand. They encounter each other on the bridge – the consumer insight brid…

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