As documented by Supermarket News, Kantar Retail has recently released the 15th Annual PowerRanking Report. The report annually lists the best manufacturer and retailers. An important aspect of this report is that these rankings represent how trading partners see each other. In doing so, trends of the most successful brands in retailing are identified. Kantar Retail uses the QR Code as a theme for the report, but quickly points out that Quick Response is more than just a scanned link to more information. It is a metaphorical link to successful alignment and integration between the very best trading partners.
As a clever marketing tie-in, the cover of the PowerRanking Executive Summary features a QR Code that when scanned by a smart phone or mobile device brings you to a narrative welcome video. The report itself is on sale once you arrive, although the Executive Summary is complimentary.
The Supermarket News story does a good job of summarizing and top lining the report for those who want a quick glance at the information. P&G, Kraft, General Mills, PepsiCo and Unilever rank near the top of the list among CPG manufacturers. Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Costco, Publix, Wegmens, H-E-B, CVS, Walgreens and Safeway make up the top ten among retailers.
We now see QR Codes all over the retail environment as well as other aspects of our daily living, and are likely to see more in the near future. It is predictable that their use will become a necessity. But the concept of Quick Response is perhaps more important than the technology behind it. It is evident in the Kantar Retail PowerRanking Report that responsiveness and collaboration among trading partners is vital to success at retail and is the common denominator connecting those at the top of the list.
Add one more trading partner to the mix. The members of NARMS are important in delivering on the promise of Quick Response. Professional at-retail merchandising and marketing companies can be the conduit in which responsiveness between retailers and suppliers is delivered.
In 1968, the late Marvin Gaye took the Motown tune, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” to number one on the charts. I wonder what Marvin would think of what the grapevine means to people today. This thought came to mind while reading an item in Brandweek about General Mills and Kraft joining the world of word-of-mouth marketing with on-line networks of their own. While CPG manufactures have always been aware of the unofficial buzz surrounding their products, they have only recently decided to join in on the conversation. The word-of-mouth movement has far reaching effects on the members of NARMS, the at-retail merchandising and marketing industry and for those who hire or are seeking retail jobs. Here are just a few suggestions that come to mind.
Become aware of what is being said about your customers’ products and look for areas where you can be of service. Manufacturers are embracing an honest and open discussion of their products in hopes of becoming more aware of their needs and more in-tune with any potential disconnects. For an example, check out pssst.generalmills.com or Kraftfirsttaste.com for a first hand look at the above mentioned networks. Find out if your clients or potential clients have something similar. These kinds of companies don’t do anything by accident, so tuning in to the conversation seems to be a good idea.
Because field personnel represent our product to the industry, find out what’s going on their world. For example, there is a NARMS group on Facebook.com which now numbers almost 1,000 members. Here’s a chance to interact with people who are engaged in the industry and to promote at-retail services as a profession. Twitter.com has a NARMS group of over 700, who sign-up to be notified of new retail jobs. You can also find out what field people are saying about your company on Volition.com. This is a specific chat room that deals with our industry and you will find the discussions lively and informative.
And finally, become involved as a contributor to the discussions here on www.narms.com. Our new web 2.0 offering gives you the opportunity to join along in the conversations being started in this Top Shelf blog, the Friday Focus blog and others. Be sure to contact NARMS International HQ if you want to contribute in a different way.
A marketing and public relations friend of mine recently told me that monitoring the grapevine, both official and unofficial, has always been an effective tool for companies. It is not until recently; however, that such channels have become so public and accessible and therefore measurable as a medium. Embrace, engage and dive into this resource and find out, as Marvin Gaye would say, What’s Going On.”
The Promotion Marketing Association Coupon Council reminds us that September is National Coupon Month. In support of this time tested sales promotion device, the council has released some pretty compelling statistics. They tell us that, “Eighty-nine percent of the overall population report that they use coupons when shopping for grocery, household and healthcare items at supermarkets.” They add that, “Ninety-seven percent of primary shoppers report that they use coupons at supermarkets.” During tough economic times, manufacturers turn to using coupons, both print and online, to get shoppers back to the store to buy their favorite brand or try a new item. According to Prospectiv’s 2008 Consumer Coupon Poll, 72 percent surveyed say they are using more coupons to make their money go further than they did six months ago. The PMA added that a typical consumer saves 7% on their grocery bill. For NARMS members the increase in coupons, mail-in offers and other sales promotion offers another opportunity to be of service to our clients. Read more