Shopper Marketing - May 2017 - 59
Shifts in power
The power imbalance between retailers and
CPG suppliers stems partly from the former's
increasing size and concentration, and a tendency to throw their weight around. "Larger
(newly merged) companies go into negotiations with vendors knowing they have the
upper hand," says a partnership marketing director for an international retailer whom we'll
call Bob. "The perception is that there's a lot of
room for retailers to gain more margin." (Case
in point: Reuters reported in February that
Walmart is running price-comparison tests
and "squeezing packaged goods suppliers
in a bid to close a pricing gap" with discount
players like Aldi.)
Other factors besides size and scale skew
power to the retail side. Retailers have become powerful brands in their own right.
"Shoppers have come to associate a particular
brand promise and experience with certain
retailers, so CPG brands, by and large, don't
have as much clout," says Jovina Young, channel-solutions director and senior marketing
manager at MillerCoors.
Neither retailers nor CPG brands wield as
much power as today's shopper, Fitzmaurice
says. "This means that the two of them need
to start playing nicer together. The only way
to capture growth in the marketplace is to
think about the shopper first."
This joint goal forms the basis of a win-win
Different stores, different shoppers
"A common mistake is not taking into account
shopper differences across retailers," says Jeff
Kjome, shopper marketing director at Jack
Link's. "A given tactic may work very well at
Retailer X, but the shopper at Retailer Y might
be completely different."
To work well with retailers, CPG marketers
must understand their core shopper as well
as each banner's brand and business mode.
Only then can brands and retailers deliver on
the shopper's expectation of personalization
through an omnichannel experience. Once
marketers truly understand each retailer and
its shopper, it becomes clear that offering
them the same products and programs won't
work and that consumer insights don't apply
across the board.
Retailers want CPG partners to bring them
exclusive programs, unique product packs,
curated assortments and special asset allocations such as media investment. "What seems
to work is when CPG ideas are ownable by (the
retailer) - something we can put our stamp
on, something that folds into our objectives,
" If CPGs play hard at banner-led opportunities, we will be more
receptive to their program ideas."
A retailer's director of customer loyalty and shopper marketing
MAY 2017 SHOPPER MARKETING y