"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."

Warren Buffett

Next Level Assortment

April 12, 2018 | Israel J. Rodriguez, Jr.

Runnning assortments and planograms for a retailer is often treated as an important but routine task in response to an urgent request.


What if we thought of assortment instead as an opportunity to build a better collaborative partnership with our retail partners? This is a more productive approach that begins much earlier by seeking a deep understanding of your retail partner's strengths, objectives and challenges. This strategic foundation may ultimately take you in directions you never imagined and that's a journey that often leads to true innovation and progress.


Next Level Assortment can be accomplished in four levels which are not mutually exclusive. 

Efficiency - leverages shopper insights to maximize $ sales, GM$, traffic, reduce out stocks and inventory carrying costs.

Incremental - maximizes sales net of switching and cannibalization impact. These are the analytics that drive true incremental efficiency.

Targeted - strategically helps retail partners attract, retain and win with their most attractive and desirable targets.

Retail Equity Differentiation - builds upon the first three levels and goes beyond to enhance strategic effectiveness of assortment and shelf by innovation with shopability, shelf and aisle design best practices, shopper education, in-store theater, etc. - all logical outgrowths of assortment and shelving applied holistically in a broader shopper marketing mandate.


We help our clients maximize both efficiency and strategic effectiveness by taking an integrated approach to assortment in the context of the entire retail marketing mix. We call this approach Retail Marketing Mix Optimization, or RMMO™. This approach leverages the advanced analytics in AssortmentEdge®, and takes it much further to help ensure that your assortment and shelving recommendations will be consistent with and support your channel/go to market strategy, brand positioning and competitive strategy, portfolio and new product strategy, as well as being tailored to the unique needs and wants of your retail partners.


Retail Marketing Mix Optimization™

  • Shoppers

    Actionable insights on consumers, shoppers and targets for your brand, category and customers so you can activate to attract, retain, educate and loyalize them.

  • shopability

    Improve shopability, distribution and shelf productivity with optimized assortment and shelf merchandise best practices for category and aisle.

  • Impulse

    Brands and retailers can make vast improvements with the right pricing, price gaps and promotions that maximize ROI and achieve strategic goals.

  • collaborate

    Earn a seat at the table to control your own destiny at retail with go to market strategy, insights and innovation tailored to all channels and omni-channels.

A collaborative commitment is more likely to nurture an eager willingness to boldly innovate and implement.


This approach certainly requires more work for both partners. Retailers must be willing to engage strategically and invest with access to thought leaders, time and shared data. Manufactures invest in shopper research and analytics. These collaborations generate a wealth of actionable insights. We also find this level of collaborative commitment is more likely to nurture and eager willingness to boldly innovate and implement these ideas at retail. Results have often exceeded expectations for building sales and relationships. Growth rates have doubled, tripled, far exceeded prior year's growth. How bold will you dare to be?


Are you collaborating with your customers with insights and analytics that add value beyond your brands to benefit the entire category? This "next level" approach we broadly call "shopability" can help you and your retail partners to build sales and profits, attract and retain loyal shoppers/customers, and enhance your collaborative relationship.