What to do when you own almost a third of the market but share is slipping away as competitors eat away your business and the recession is biting hard? One market leading consumer durables brand found itself in this situation after enjoying many years of dominance
Market intelligence is often the key to understanding how well your organisation or brands are really performing. Without it, how do you know if you are losing or gaining share? Your sales might be on the up but the market might be outpacing your growth giving your competitors the advantage.
Independent market data told this brand owner that its primary category had been losing around one point of share per annum. Share had slid to just over 25% translating into almost a quarter of its business gone to competitors. And that was before factoring for a recession that had shrunk the market considerably.
The market data didn't explain why the category was in decline but instinctively they knew the answers: cost cutting in an attempt to maintain profits during the recession had adversely impacted product quality, a lack of investment meant the product was fast losing consumer appeal and trade customers were increasingly turning to more deserving competitors.
Iin-depth research provided the objective data that would drive the commercial change programme. The initial research studies consisted of the following:
- Cross-discipline all-stakeholder working groups comprising internal and external teams
- Audit of internal quality data using 6 sigma tools to get to the real root cause of strengths and weaknesses
- Observational behavioural research to understand user interaction with the product and its environment
- Brand perception research to identify inherent brand strengths, weaknesses and areas of development potential
- Competitor range and 'go to market' analysis
This is a time, resource and financial investment but done well will repay itself many times over. In this case it provided absolute clarity to what change was needed, how it should be executed and the significant market opportunities on offer. All that was needed was the desire and commitment to make it happen.
Action PlanThis brand needed a significant turnaround and a big statement had to be made that things were changing in a major way.
This justified a brand re-launch project comprising the following elements:
- Internal and external stakeholder engagement using the research to reinforce the need for directional change, ensure clarity of the deliverables and focus on common goal
- Better leverage internal skills and expertise and compliment with third party experts
- Development of new product ranges with designs and colours that better fitted into their environments, new user benefit-based features and a major focus on delivering high levels of fit, feel and finish
- Complete overhaul of all communication media, design, messages and tone of voice to match the new brand positioning
- A major trade launch event in London to ensure the statement of change was communicated with commitment and confidence. The biggest launch in the brand's considerable history
The brand successfully repositioned itself in the minds of consumers and trade customer, regained over five years of lost share within just two months of launch and maintained it, delivered the best PBIT for a decade and contributed to a healthier Working Capital by more than doubling stock turns.
And it lead the entire market into change!
Coleridge specialise in fact-based intelligence and the development of far-reaching commercial strategies. Please use the contact details below to discuss your requirements