Just as many are thinking about life for private label post-recession, and just as many are thinking about life in host country South Africa after the World Cup, we should all be thinking about where we go with our programs after whatever event we are working on now.
By the time you read this, we will all know the results and the winners and losers of soccer's World Cup, the greatest sports event in the world. What is so important for any host country is not only the tourism, the extra visits and money spent, but also the legacy left behind.
Kind of like our private label promotions. We all (or nearly all of us) plan these events in our businesses, whether we are a retailer or a manufacturer. We’re all after that great push for increased sales and profits. But what happens afterward?
Just as many are thinking about life for private label post-recession, and just as many are thinking about life in host country South Africa after the World Cup, we should all be thinking about where we go with our programs after whatever event we are working on now. We’ve had Memorial Day, or whichever holiday summer/barbecue celebration we have in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, plans are in place for a change of cooking and shopping patterns and, of course, the build up for all of us towards the holiday seasons coming in the Fall and December.
Have we evaluated the ongoing buildup of our private label promotional activity? What are we doing about our product development program? And do we have a focused and carefully targeted funnel of developments coming through the project management beaurocracy?
Many of us are addressing SKU rationalization. What are we going to do with the space? Offer more facings of what sells and makes money? Hopefully. How about taking out major gondolas and installing more fridges and fixtures for new areas of the new products that consumers are looking for, and often struggling to find?
Are we gearing up our product development teams to be able to do more in terms of creating destination products? We have the traffic coming into the store. But our competitors are doing everything they can to divert that traffic and attract our customers to their stores - through new formats, new products and new programs.
Even total new store formats are emerging fast. Smaller, fresher, lower-priced, more nimble and better managed for success, the new formats with far fewer SKUs than conventional supermarkets are showing us that often, less is more. And always with strong private label.
So, time to think about the legacy of the recession. Not only low price, but also product focus. Meal solutions. Convenience. Fresh. Recipes. Balance of space to meet demand. Creating zones and destinations that are different from the norm.
All these issues address customer habits. Private label should be our major factor to address these changing habits. Our favorite team may not have won the World Cup. But our favorite team in store will always win, as long as we study, train, keep fit and constantly seek and develop new ways to overcome our opponents.