Wednesday 21 May 2014

Trade planning via an exit-strategy?

Given the latest Which? report indicating Apple Retail’s fall in UK public esteem from last year’s No.1 retailer slot to No.13, coupled with being overtaken by Google as the World's Most Valuable Brand, according to BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands, there is perhaps a lesson here for all NAMs’ in their approach to trade-investment…?

Because most business planning is based upon growth and moving towards the top of a league table – remember the pre-2008 days when growth was a given, and innovation guaranteed increases in consumer-shopper esteem - flat-line demand requires a change in order to factor in new realities in most markets.

Private equity companies - the ultimate pragmatists - have no trouble embarking upon a high potential takeover opportunity with an exit-strategy already worked out to three decimal places, yet they manage to pursue the acquisition goal with full enthusiasm and drive….

They simply position themselves at the exit-point - the ultimate objective - and then work out all moves that will help them reach that goal.  It goes without saying that expressing everything in financial terms makes the process easier to measure, manage and communicate..

In other words, we should invest in retail opportunities early, and with the aim of driving our business with the customer all the way to the top, and then manage its inevitable descent, all as part of the ‘life-time’ trade investment process…

In the same way, writing a clear business objective means imagining oneself at the end point, and simply describing what will have happened, as a definition of a successful outcome:

Objective: as a result of implementing the plan, the following will have happened:
- Achieved successful launch of new variant
- Sales grown by 12%
- Profits grown by 11%,
- Increased distribution to 78% by month two of new brand
- Incremental business of £450,000
- By month 7 have achieved 70% of full year target

A bit clumsy, perhaps, but it ticks all the boxes…
Or perhaps you prefer more of the old way?

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