NEXT LEVEL ASSORTMENT: Targeting Incremental Sales

November 6, 2018 | ISRAEL J. RODRIGUEZ, JR.

The fastest way to maximize category growth is to add highly incremental products. How much incremental sales new products add is a function of volume and how they drive new or more usage occasions or new shoppers. Pulling either lever grows the category faster. That’s why retailers tell us they’re more focused than ever on identifying products that help them attract and retain incremental shoppers, trips and usage occasions.

“Having the right products is one of the best ways to target and attract different segments of shoppers. We need assortments that best reflect what we’re trying to accomplish.”

“Targeting this new shopper group… can attract and build our shopper base.”

Source: Edgewood confidential trade probes with leading FDMC retailers

In today’s increasingly fragmented marketplace, brands with historically wide appeal are being picked apart at the fringes by niche players. Upstarts are finding success by effectively targeting unique and emerging consumer segments in ways that may start small, but build into a solid base that’s highly ‘incremental’. As such, retailers have become far more inquisitive about brands’ consumer positioning, their level of investment and precision with which they target shoppers to drive growth. Retailers tell us they readily welcome insights and support to target and market to shoppers more effectively.

One area that’s frustrating retailers is when they don’t get the insights or marketing support from manufacturers they want. Retailers invite insights and support to identify WHO their most attractive shopper targets are and HOW to pursue them.


“(We’d like) more shopper studies. We have been seeking this for very long time, but most vendors think it's not a relevant issue. I beg to differ...”

Knowing these facts are one thing but knowing how to use them is more important. Without this, any knowledge they provide is just information. Implementation is critical to brand success”

Steps 1 and 2 are the quantitative and qualitative targeting questions and analyses that help to identify who the most attractive shopper targets are for a given category, brand and retailer. This requires both analytic rigor and strategic experience to navigate the many possibilities to arrive at the most productive targets. Are they demographically driven or psychographic? Need driven or social? Are you better off attracting new shoppers or migrating lighter users to heavier usage? What drives attitudes or usage occasions? Seasonal or regional? What drives channel and retailer choice? At the end of this process, you’ll ideally have a strategy for who you’d like to target. Unfortunately, this is where the process ends for most, but it’s only half the battle.

Step 3 is developing and executing the targeting strategies and tactics that move the needle. Effective implementation requires strategy, creativity and enough confidence to invest behind the initiative. As with any pioneering effort, it’s also important to set goals and track results to assess, refine or change strategy and  tactics accordingly to improve ROI. The best implementers are daring enough to be bold and also quick to recognize, admit and act when change is needed. Bold and nimble execution is the best way to develop and preserve first mover advantage.


This more shopper targeted approach is a pillar in the foundation of your ‘next level’ collaborative partnerships with retailers and will help drive more incremental results.

To learn more, contact us at 973 644 9788 or ijr@edgewoodcg.com.

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