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Making Business Matter (MBM)
14 minutes | 12 days ago
Grocery Guru Episode 16: The Importance of Using Shopper Language with Andrew Grant & Darren A. Smith
Using Shopper Language Join Andrew Grant and Darren A. Smith in the sixteenth episode of Grocery Guru: The Importance of Using Shopper Language in your category. Not using industry terms or category terms because they are creating the buffer for what should be created. By eradicating industry terminology you will discover opportunities to communicate better with your shopper and then sell more. Industry and category terms can promote confusion. Speaking to the shopper in their own language will reap dividends. You Can Read the Full Using Shopper Language Episode Transcript Below: Darren A. Smith: Welcome to Episode 16 of the Grocery Guru with Andrew Grant. How are you? Andrew Grant: Hi, Darren. Good morning. Yeah. Very nippy I think is the best thing to say this morning. Darren A. Smith: It’s supposed to get to minus 10, but let’s move on from how cold it is. Last week, we said to our viewers that this week we would talk about terminology. Now, I’m going to lead the charge on this one, because something that we’re doing wrong as an industry, or as category managers, or as suppliers, or as supermarkets, is when we use terminology that the shopper doesn’t understand. Darren A. Smith: And I’m going to give you an example. My dad used to run, he was a project manager in a Sainsbury’s store back in the 70s. And they used to have those three-legged tables and he used to have the best top fruit display in the area. “But Dad, what’s top fruit?” So Andrew, what’s top fruit? Andrew Grant: Do you know, is top fruit, apples, oranges, and bananas? Darren A. Smith: Well, it’s apples and pears, but I didn’t know. I had to ask that. So there were the signs that say top fruit and I’m thinking, “Well, no one understands what top fruit is.” When I asked that, he didn’t know. So eventually, some years ago, I asked some guru in produce. And he said, “Well it’s top fruit because it grows at the top of the tree.” Andrew Grant: Okay. Yeah. Darren A. Smith: These can’t be terms we can use in our industry if the shopper doesn’t understand them. Andrew Grant: Well, I guess also, going back to your dad in the 70s, there’s a lot of stuff. Obviously, supermarkets kicked off in the 70s in terms of the superstore format. And there’s probably terminology that was invented back then, maybe meant something to customers back then. But because most people are used to sticking their dinner in a microwave and heating it up for two minutes, it’s been lost. I mean, the one that gets me, condiments. Does the average millennial know what a condiment is? Would they expect to wear it rather than eating it? Darren A. Smith: That’s condiments. So, our challenge to our viewers is, the more we can use language that the shopper understands, the easier the category is to shop. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Darren A. Smith: And the flip side of that coin, the more we use examples that the shopper doesn’t understand, the less easy it is for them to shop, the more they’ll go somewhere else. So I wanted to give you another short story. Darren A. Smith: I was buying frozen fish for a supermarket, many years ago. And in the conversation I used to have on the phone with my account manager, we called two products, the most popular selling battered frozen fish, 076 and 077, which was their scheme number because we could differentiate it away from 079 and 080. That’s crazy. Andrew Grant: Well, I guess internally it’s not an issue. There’s a whole industry lexicon of three-letter acronyms, isn’t there? Darren A. Smith: Yeah. Andrew Grant: Or four letter acronyms. There’s your GSC, your PORS, your LFLS. Those never, if you like, leak out to the shopper. So I guess that’s okay. It’s the stuff that gets in the shopper’s face that they just don’t get. I mean, to flip the condiments one on its head, one of the more modern categories in world foods. Now, world foods. Okay. Pretty broad category. But why does just about every supermarket spit out pasta? Because I think pasta’s a world food, isn’t it? They have a world food section, they have a pasta section. Darren A. Smith: The bit that bothers me is when we try to be the buffer. So the 076, 077 was us using it. And when I think back, we were using that term because we couldn’t differentiate it. But if we couldn’t and we bought the damn thing, how the hell could the shopper at the merchant or at the fixture differentiate? And when I think now, I look back at those four products on the fixture, there wasn’t a difference. No, actually, one had the skin on and one didn’t, but we didn’t tell them that. Crazy. Crazy. Andrew Grant: Yeah, yeah. No, I guess, going back to what we spoke about last week, it’s that shopper decision hierarchy. How do you please most of the people most of the time in terms of what they’re looking for? So, you’re right. To some people, skin on skinless, it wouldn’t matter if it’s covered in breadcrumbs anyway. Is that one of the important things they’re looking for when they’re shopping? So yeah, maybe it’s that the breadcrumbs are gluten-free, something like that is more important to certain people than others. Darren A. Smith: And that would have been much better. We were not tough enough on understanding our category, understanding the decisions and rooting out some big sellers because there was no differentiation. Now, here’s the other one that really just batty. Darren A. Smith: We work with a supplier, we shall remain nameless for a moment, some years ago. And they had cooked ham and it was about this big. It’s important that it’s about this big. And it was four by four. So we said to them, “Why did you call it four by four?” “Well, it’s four by four inches because that fits in a slice of bread.” Andrew Grant: Yeah. Darren A. Smith: But on the fixture, four by four was never mentioned, but this was the biggest selling product. And they called it four by four to differentiate it from the other sea of pink cooked meats on the fixture. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Darren A. Smith: Crazy. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah, that’s where obviously, the marketers need to think of the right way to sell that product. And they haven’t thought about consumer usage or the consumer benefits for it. Andrew Grant: I guess sometimes that can go wrong. What gets me is when the marketers actually… What’s the right word? Hoodwink the shopper with some of the phraseology. So they call it pizza Donna Letta. And then it says, made in Grimsby. Fresh Italian-style pizza made in Grimsby. Andrew Grant: The one that always gets me is, in the good old days when you were driving around looking for a pub to have lunch in. And you drive past the first one and it says, “Home prepared food.” You’ve driven past it before you can work out that actually, that means it came out of a big breaks truck. And what you’re actually looking for is the home prepared, I think. No. Darren A. Smith: Home-cooked, home-prepared. Andrew Grant: Home-cooked is heated up. Darren A. Smith: Right. Andrew Grant: Home prepared is we took the lid off the packet first. Homemade, homemade is what you’re looking for. Darren A. Smith: Ah, so it’s three. Andrew Grant: Yeah. But as you can see, you’ve driven a couple of miles by the time you’ve worked out, “Am I getting fresh, prepared, cooked, and made food in my pub? Or am I just getting something that’s had the lid taken off?” (silence) Darren A. Smith: Cheers. Andrew Grant: With the truth. Darren A. Smith: Andrew. Oh, you’re back. Okay. You froze for 30 seconds. Andrew Grant: Okay. Well, yeah. A bit like the food, I guess. Darren A. Smith: All right. Let’s talk about a few other examples. So I saw that even Amazon, who are obviously doing very, very well. We’ve got Amazon Prime instant video. I have no idea what that is and I’m fairly tech-savvy. Do you know what that is? Andrew Grant: Yeah. No, I’m just one of the people that whenever there was something like that, I think of whether the acronym makes up something rude. So, APIV. No, it doesn’t. APIV. Darren A. Smith: Well, we’re also working on a product slightly outside of training, but we’ll talk about that at the moment. Cyber-security. Do you know what phishing is? I’ve learned about phishing. Do you know what phishing is? P-H. What is it? Andrew Grant: That’s sending an email with a dodgy link, isn’t it? Darren A. Smith: I think that’s it. Andrew Grant: You then click on. Darren A. Smith: That’s it. So we’ve changed the training course for phishing, which people can reach to, to something called email safety. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Yeah. Darren A. Smith: And then. Sorry, go on. Andrew Grant: As you say, it does what it says on the tin is usually the best starting point for deciding what to name something. Darren A. Smith: That’s probably true. And we ought to turn the mirror on ourselves. So in our industry, we have things that we use at MBM, like individual ILO, individual learning objective. Okay. We use that term, but actually, what we’re trying to say is what’s in it for you? What the hell do you want to get out of spending five hours training to that? Andrew Grant: Yeah. Darren A. Smith: So, it happens in the training industry as well. Andrew Grant: Yeah. No. It goes back to your four by four. It should have just been called fits on a slice of bread. Darren A. Smith: It could be. And I understand what they did was by understanding there was a piece of the terminology they were using, the shopper wasn’t, then they got to a point of sandwich ham. Ideal for sandwiches, ideal for bagels. So they had different hams. So by trying to figure out what terminology they were using that doesn’t fit with the shopper, they found a new opportunity. Andrew Grant: Yeah. And I guess, talking of the bread analogy, we have toaster bread, don’t we? So what came first? The toaster or the bread? interestingly, the toaster came second, and then they reinvented the bread to fit the toaster. Because otherwise, you get a standard loaf of bread and the top third of your slice sticks out and doesn’t get nicely toasted. Unless you buy square toaster bread. So, I don’t know if you can buy a toaster that is loaf size, but most of them are square size. Darren A. Smith: Probably true. And then the other part, is sometimes we need to lead the consumer, the customer, the shopper because they won’t have the vocabulary. So I’m trying to think of what categories where we’ve led the shopper. Andrew Grant: Well, I think there was the example, a couple of examples last week. Would frozen foods really exist unless the supermarkets put it all in one place? Darren A. Smith: Yeah. Probably true. Andrew Grant: Because if you’re cooking Sunday lunch, you’re looking for again, if we use our industry terminology, a main plate protein item is what shoppers look for their Sunday lunch. So, are we having chicken, lamb, pork or beef? Darren A. Smith: Yeah. Andrew Grant: They don’t think, “Right. I’m going to have chicken. It must be frozen chicken.” Yep. We’re having chicken. And then the decision is, is it going to be fresh? Is it going to be frozen? Is it going to be wings? Or, is it going to be a whole bird? Et cetera. Andrew Grant: So, in true shopper decision hierarchy, you should put the frozen chicken portions next to the fresh chicken. But from a technical perspective, that’s tough. And it’s very expensive. So this category called frozen foods was invented. Darren A. Smith: Yeah. Yeah. True. True. Okay. Yep. That makes sense. That makes absolute sense. Yeah. Andrew Grant: Yes. I guess it is the challenge of product developers, marketers, buyers, that you don’t get hoodwinked by your own internal thinking and knowledge. Too much knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Andrew Grant: When you’re talking about, I always remember somebody saying to me the average shopping trip is about 45 minutes. There are 25,000 SKUs in a superstore. Divide 25,000 by 45 minutes. You’re down to a decision of less than half a second per product. Darren A. Smith: Yes. Andrew Grant: So, don’t make it complicated for the shopper. You’re asking them to make a decision in less than half a second. So it’s got to say what it does on the tin. Darren A. Smith: And I think that there are some categories like cooked ham, which to me seemed like just a wall of pink. Bagged salads seemed like a wall of green. But let’s talk about bagged salads just for a moment. We’re working with a client and we had shoppers in a room, one of those shopper focus groups. Darren A. Smith: And these shoppers were picking up the bags and doing this. We sort of had to, “What are you doing?” And then it reminds me of when we saw people do it with fruit. You know when you pick up fruit and you do this? The pressure test. Now, the consumer doesn’t really have a description of what they do, they just do these things. Darren A. Smith: Where we got to with the bag of salads is they call it bounce. If it felt sort of bouncy as a bag, thumbs up. If it didn’t, they weren’t going to buy it. And what the supplier cleverly did, was then put that in their QA, bounce. And tried to take the intangible to tangible. It has to look like this. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Darren A. Smith: So our challenge for our viewers is to identify five pieces of terminology that they use, but the shopper doesn’t. Andrew Grant: No, that’d be great. Yeah. Let’s get our viewers to send in some, maybe we can talk about them next week. Darren A. Smith: That’d be great because I think every one of them is an opportunity. Where we are the buffer, we need to take that, identify it and find the opportunity that sits behind it. Andrew Grant: Yeah, I agree. Darren A. Smith: All right. Andrew Grant: Very good. Darren A. Smith: Okay, Andrew. So terminology this week. Any ideas what we’re going to talk about next week? Or are we going to keep it a surprise? Andrew Grant: I think we keep it as a surprise. There’s so much potentially happening out there that something will have cropped up by next Friday, I’m sure. Darren A. Smith: Okay. Andrew, you have a good weekend. Andrew Grant: Take care and you too. Bye. For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Category Management and our Category Management YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Category Management tips and articles.
13 minutes | 19 days ago
Grocery Guru Episode 15: Discussing Purchase Decision Hierarchy with Andrew Grant & Darren A. Smith
Purchase Decision Hierarchy Join Andrew Grant and Darren A. Smith in the fifteenth episode of Grocery Guru. This episode discusses the purchase decision hierarchy, shopper map, analytic hierarchy process, consumer decision tree… Whatever you call it, understanding how the shopper shops is key to category performance. Purchase Decision Hierarchy – the way customers decide what they’re going to buy. You Can Read the Full Purchase Decision Hierarchy Episode Transcript Below: Darren A. Smith: Welcome to episode 15 of the Grocery Guru with Andrew Grant. Andrew, how are you? Andrew Grant: Good morning, Darren. Yes. Very, very well. Thank you. Darren A. Smith: Good. Good. All right. Well, this week we’re going to get stuck in straight away because I know you and I had a debate earlier about purchase decision hierarchy. What the hell is it? Andrew Grant: Yeah, no, absolutely. The way customers decide what they’re going to buy. Darren A. Smith: Okay. Andrew Grant: And a lot of commentators have said it’s no longer relevant in the world of shopper insight. When a club card swipe can tell you everything you want to know about your shopper, category management’s dead, isn’t it? Darren A. Smith: Well… So it’s also called customer decision hierarchy, consumer decision hierarchy. I like to call it shopper map because I think it gives you a map of how to shop something. And if you can’t understand the map, you’re not going to shop it or you’re going to buy less of it. Andrew Grant: Yeah. But a lot of people would say, the minute you’ve got that club card or that loyalty data, you can see inside the basket and you can see what the shopper bought with what, when, from which part of the store, how often and how that links to his or her family situation. So why do you need to spend time at a flip chart, working out what the customer decision hierarchy is? Darren A. Smith: Because I think we need to know what decisions the shopper makes both before and at the fixture. Andrew Grant: Well, let’s do a little test because I do believe that actually loyalty data is, as we kept going on about it, it’s the future. And it can tell you a lot. There’s one thing it can’t tell you. So, Darren, I take you’d like a bit of wine? Darren A. Smith: Yes. Andrew Grant: I know you like to whine, but you do like some wine. Darren A. Smith: I like wine. Go on. Andrew Grant: Okay. So let’s assume you are going on an essential journey to your local supermarket this afternoon. Darren A. Smith: Yep. Cool. Andrew Grant: And you’re going to shop the wine aisle for the weekend. Darren A. Smith: Yep. Andrew Grant: Just do me a quick picture on a piece of paper of what you’re going to buy. Darren A. Smith: Okay. Right, pen. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Darren A. Smith: Ready for rubbish drawing? Oh God, I feel like I’m back in art class at school. Now, this is what we buy as a treat. And I realized only six months ago, I’ve been saying it wrong for 20 years. Andrew Grant: What, Liebfraumilch? Oh, right. Darren A. Smith: Barolo. Andrew Grant: Okay. Right. That’s interesting. You’ve drawn a bottle of wine. Darren A. Smith: Yes. Andrew Grant: So you’re not in the market for a box of wine or one of those little miniatures that you used to be able to get on a train? Darren A. Smith: Not if I’m going this afternoon because it’s Friday. No, for the family, who’s the kids now drink wine as well. Kids in their 20’s. Andrew Grant: So this is the bit where I think customer decision hierarchy is important because what a club card or a loyalty data can’t tell you is that subconscious decision. You decided before, almost without thinking about it- Darren A. Smith: Yeah. Andrew Grant: … I’m in the market for a bottle of wine, not a five-litre box of wine. Darren A. Smith: Yep. Andrew Grant: You’ve made a subconscious decision. It’s the same with cars. If I asked you to draw the next car you want, you would probably draw a four-wheel-drive SUV. Darren A. Smith: Yeah. Andrew Grant: Yeah? Because you’ve subconsciously said, well, I don’t want a Supermini- Darren A. Smith: Yeah. Andrew Grant: Or I don’t want an estate car. You draw a saloon. You wouldn’t draw an estate car because subconsciously I’m not in the market for an estate car. Darren A. Smith: Nope. That’s very true. That’s very true. Now here’s the bit that winds me up. And I’m going to get on my high horse just for a moment. Shopping wine, I can’t see the data, but I would bet £5 of your money, Andrew, that people buy a lot of promotions online because they look at the wine fixture. They can’t understand the map and they go, “Stop this. I’m going to the bottle at the end because it’s on offer. So it’s probably quite good. And I’m going to grab that.” Andrew Grant: Yeah, no, absolutely. And that’s what people… When people don’t believe in category management and decision hierarchy is they often rubbish it by saying, “Well, people just shop on price.” Darren A. Smith: Yeah. Andrew Grant: And actually, you’re right. The vast majority of people are very price-conscious. Darren A. Smith: Yes. Andrew Grant: But let’s put it this way. So you just drew you a nice bottle of Barolo, which if my memory serves me right, is a very decent Italian red. Darren A. Smith: It is. It’s one of our favourites. Yes. Andrew Grant: Okay. If Blue Nun is on offer in Tesco at £2.49 a bottle, are you going to buy that? It’s dead cheap. Darren A. Smith: No- Andrew Grant: No. Well, there you go. Darren A. Smith: Because I tried Blue Nun when I was 17, it was horrible. Andrew Grant: Okay. So the price isn’t important to you because if the price was the sole decision, you would buy the Blue Nun at 2.49 bug off. Darren A. Smith: Absolutely. I agree. I agree. The other bit that winds me up, why is it that when I go to a restaurant it’s so different? Andrew Grant: What, so much more expensive? Darren A. Smith: No, no, no, no, not expensive. The map. So I open the wine menu in the restaurant and I’m looking, the first thing I see is, as we call it pink, white, or red or sparkling. Okay. So that sort of matches what’s in the supermarket-ish, but the next decision we make is a bit about the price because in a restaurant it was sort of £20-something much, much higher. And we’re looking at the grape. The kids quite like a Merlot. We don’t really spend that much about wine, but they quite like a Merlot, we like a Shiraz. That’s how we’re shopping. So why is it, it’s all laid out by countries in the supermarket? Andrew Grant: Well, absolutely. Because lots and lots in there and we already burned three-quarters of our time because when we do this with clients, we spend a good morning, at least doing this because there are some fascinating insights that come out. But just talking about the restaurant experience, you’ve already decided the occasion. Darren A. Smith: Yeah. Andrew Grant: You’re not going to order a five-litre box of wine because it’s a restaurant occasion or I hope you don’t. So occasion is probably the number one factor when deciding on a bottle of wine. And I don’t want to denigrate any retailers here, but you’re not going to take the cheapest bottle of Fred Blog’s discount stores red to your mum’s 70th birthday party. Darren A. Smith: Of course. Of course. The occasion’s important. Absolutely. Yeah. I would agree. Andrew Grant: So occasion drives a lot of it, then as we’ve just said, it’s not the price with wine. It’s actually colour. Darren A. Smith: Yes. Andrew Grant: Because if you like red wine, are you really going to get tempted to buy Rose or white? Darren A. Smith: No. No. Andrew Grant: You did on occasion maybe. Darren A. Smith: Yep. So I’m looking at the first three decisions we make in any task. And I would guess with wine, it’s colour first, probably pricing somewhere in there, and then there’s something about the grape. Andrew Grant: I think it’s the occasion, colour, and then it’s grape or brand actually. When you do the research, and I bought wine for a number of years, it was really interesting. People think the grape variety’s often the brand. Darren A. Smith: Oh, is that? Andrew Grant: They think Chardonnay is a brand as well as being an ’80s footballer’s wife. It’s also in their head, a brand. As is a Shiraz. And they often get confused and people with wine, and this is a UK thing because we were fairly late to the party drinking house wine. They go to a restaurant and they have a nice bottle of something that says Jacob’s Creek. Darren A. Smith: Yep. Andrew Grant: And instantly on the shelves, they look for that sort of brand beacon that says, Jacob’s Creek, or actually, I had that nice Shiraz. So they get the brand and the grape mixed up. Unfortunately, some people like that also buy it because it’s got a nice, big cuddly fat penguin on the label. I didn’t know you’d be surprised. If you look at the wine aisle, there’s lots and lots of bottles with nice, colourful lizards on it, big fat penguins, French men riding bicycles with a beret. A lot of people buy on that’s a nice bottle, that looks fun. Darren A. Smith: Well, and that comes back to it’s… And I guess some wine buyers out there are thinking we ought to be more educated, but I think they need to make it easier for us. Why am I presented by an aisle that’s by country when I don’t shop by country? I don’t know Australian, I don’t care. Andrew Grant: Well, again, that comes back to some of these ingrained habits. I mean, would you invent a category called frozen foods because you don’t think I must have a frozen burger for dinner tonight. Darren A. Smith: No, no, very expensive. Andrew Grant: I want a burger, and then you decide whether you want to have it fresh or frozen or eat out or whatever. Darren A. Smith: Yeah. Andrew Grant: The fact that it’s just so expensive to put frozen food cabinets in a supermarket means they all have to be clustered together. Darren A. Smith: Yes. Andrew Grant: So you create this artificial category called frozen foods that people just got used to shopping. And in wine, it was exactly the same thing. Back in the ’60s or the ’70s, Sainsbury’s actually decided that the UK market was right for drinking table wine. And so they brought French table wine to the masses. Sainsbury’s being Sainsbury’s. As all good retailers, they said to the French wine board, “If you want to sell lots of wine tours, it’d be really nice if you paid for the displays.” So the French wine board at the time, very kindly paid a whole load of money for Sainsbury’s to set up a French wine section. And then of course, when the Australians came along and said, “Good day, mates. Can we sell you some of our wine?” They said, “Well, yeah, but you’re going to have to pay for the space.” Darren A. Smith: Right. Andrew Grant: So hence now in every supermarket, there’s a French section. There’s an Australian section. There’s a Chilean section, et cetera. Darren A. Smith: Wow. Andrew Grant: It’s a hangover from way, way back. Darren A. Smith: And what I see when I look at the wine section, there’s probably seven different maps from tiers to countries, to colour, to a format. And then you’ve got sort of the copy of the cheese, which is a mature red or light and fizzy, or whatever it is. It just adds more complexity. And then they started changing the bottle tops to match those colours and those varieties and it’s, oh, I’ve got so many maps to look at I can’t understand it. Andrew Grant: Well, that comes down to the conundrum of category management. You’re trying to please all the people all the time because some people will want to buy their wine based on I’m having Stilton for my dessert course. Some people will hate sweet wines. They want something very, very dry. Some people will only buy wine if it’s won a gold medal somewhere, or if Heston Blumenthal says it’s the very best thing to drink in the Saturday Times. So what they’re trying to do with that complexity that you see, they’re trying to meet all the needs of everybody, which is why shelves have to work so, so hard. Darren A. Smith: They do. And I think particularly for wine, a bugbear of mine, I think they’re trying to be a Jack of all trades, master of none. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Now, who does category management perfectly? Final question before we have to go. Who does wine category management perfectly? Darren A. Smith: God. Don’t know. Andrew Grant: They all do. It’s when you go online. When you go online, yeah? Darren A. Smith: Yes. Andrew Grant: You can set the store app to Darren’s personal preference. So I only want to see Italian reds in bottles. Darren A. Smith: Yeah, true. Andrew Grant: I only want to see Italian reds in bottles under £8. And then you might do it by body or sweetness or dryness or ones that have won medals. So you can set out the store, whether it’s Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, whoever to Darren’s personal wine selection. Darren A. Smith: Yeah. And the challenge with that is if my wall of wine is this big, it’s only ever going to be this big because it will struggle to go wider than that. And then we go back to where Sainsbury’s was talking about sleep shopping some years ago, where we just, let’s order that. It comes, done. Okay, Andrew, we’re out of time. What’s the takeaway for our viewers before we go? Andrew Grant: Well, I wouldn’t match wine with a takeaway unless it’s a really good takeaway. I think the takeaway is yes, look, I always find them great fun. Whenever we do this with clients, they love doing these decision trees. It’s great, great fun getting a group of guys and girls around a flip chart and getting them to try and decide how they shop, but then how other shoppers shop. So it is still valid even in this crazy electronic world of loyalty and insight and data that we keep banging on about. Some of the old truth still ring true. Darren A. Smith: Very true. All right, thank you, Andrew. And next week, I think we’re going to talk about terminology and some of the crazy stuff we use in this industry that shoppers have no clue about. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Okay. Let’s talk about that. Darren A. Smith: Okay. Until next week. Andrew Grant: Okay. Darren A. Smith: Andrew, thank you. For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Category Management and our Category Management YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Category Management tips and articles.
10 minutes | a month ago
Grocery Guru Episode 14: Discussing Range Reviews/Range Resets with Andrew Grant & Darren A. Smith
Range Reviews and Resets Join Andrew Grant and Darren A. Smith in the fourteenth episode of Grocery Guru: Discussing Range Reviews and Range Resets. Discover more about range reviews and resets with our comprehensive discussion. You Can Read the Full Range Reviews and Resets Episode Transcript Below: Darren A. Smith: Welcome to episode 14 of the Grocery Guru with Andrew Grant. Andrew, how are you? Andrew Grant: Hi, Darren. Good, good. Thank you. You? Darren A. Smith: Yeah, I’m good, I’m good. Looks like you’re at your mum’s, am I guessing? Andrew Grant: I am at the homely palatial pile. Darren A. Smith: Very nice. Very nice. All right, looks lovely. This week I think we’re talking about range reviews, range resets, that sort of thing. That’s what we discussed? Andrew Grant: Yeah, I think we said last week, not a lot hot happening out there. About the only bit of newsworthy stuff to come out is Morrisons have had a virtual supplier conference and have announced a major category reset. What I found quite funny actually is some of the learned publications out there picked up the fact that it’s a 170 category range review. Darren A. Smith: Wow. Andrew Grant: But published it as Morrisons to change 170 products. Yeah. Darren A. Smith: Well, that’s not many, so that shouldn’t take long. Andrew Grant: Might take them about 12 minutes, I reckon. Yeah. But no, it’s 170 categories, full-on range reset by the sounds of it and utilizing their new Morrisons Edge shopper insight technology. Darren A. Smith: And is this their hookup with IRI, am I guessing? Andrew Grant: Yeah, with IRI. Darren A. Smith: Okay. So a crazy time to be doing a range review, range reset? Andrew Grant: Well, yeah, exactly. That was my first thought. We don’t know what the new normal is. So they’re going to be looking at a year’s worth of data when… just take a few categories. People haven’t really bought any sandwiches for lunch. People haven’t been doing meal deals. Everybody’s been baking at home and cooking at home. So ready meals sales probably aren’t reflective of whatever the new normal is. So I think it quite, quite difficult to do a range review when the world’s been turned upside down. Why the timing now, is slightly bizarre to me. Darren A. Smith: I don’t know. I mean, it’s a topsy-turvy time obviously to do it, and you’re basing it on data that may then change as shopper habits change, we come out of lockdown, blah, blah, blah. Is it a brave move to be doing it? I think not is my suspicion. Not a brave move. Andrew Grant: I suppose, as long as they put a common-sense rule over it. But obviously, we don’t know what data will come out, but you can sort of, with some of the macro trends we’ve talked about over the last few months, you could almost imagine a situation where a whole aisle of flour, you de-list ready meals, you take out front of the store and fill it with masks. That ain’t going to be the new normal back in, hopefully, in May, June, July. Darren A. Smith: You’re right, it’s not. And I think with what we could both credit our friends in Bradford with more intelligence, and of course, they’re not going to put a whole aisle of masks in, but it comes down to the nitty-gritty, doesn’t it? Are they going to extend baking by 20% and then try and change it again in June when they go, “Hold on, we’re now not all baking”? Andrew Grant: Yeah exactly. So it will be interesting. And I guess for the suppliers out there, our clients, it’s going to be quite a challenging range reset for them to go through. I guess our message is we’ve got a lot of experience of this. And obviously, the inevitable negotiations that will come to fruit from the winners and the losers being put under pressure. So I guess, yeah. I guess the message of today’s webinar is that we’re here to help if there’s any Morrisons supplier out there caught up in this range reset. Quite important, I think, that they spend the commensurate amount of time on it because it’s going to be a weird one. Darren A. Smith: It is. And also not forgetting we’ve got our new man in the office, Mark White. So GSCOP is looking down with a fresh lens at de-lists, which Morrisons could come a cropper on if they’re not careful with those. I’m sure they are. Andrew Grant: Well yeah no, as always, yeah. There’s a new adjudicator there, I think we’ve said way back in an early one of these. Yeah. He will want to make his mark. What is it, the famous first hundred days? Darren A. Smith: Yes, yes. Andrew Grant: He must be coming close to that, so I’m sure he’ll want to make his mark. But we’ve seen that all the signed-up retailers under GSCOP, they do pretty much play by the rules. Darren A. Smith: Yes. Yes. And we’ve got the Code Confident pack, which was launched a couple of weeks ago by Mark, which we’re having a look at. Yep, thumbs up to that. And then that made me think about Biden’s first hundred days. A quick note to him. I think he’s made some cracking decisions of basically overturning everything that Trump did. Andrew Grant: Yeah, yeah. Probably not a difficult first hundred days for him, but probably outside our remit, I think, Darren. Darren A. Smith: I think so. So let’s come back to range reviews. Your experience, what would you tell the people watching this on range reviews? I’ve got a couple of things I’d share, but what would you say has been through probably hundreds? Andrew Grant: You’ve just got to immerse yourself in the data and come up with the… Well, stick with the shopper, as we’ve always said. The shopper is king. Start with the shopper and work back. I guess if you’re a supplier or a brand that gets genuinely bad news, in the sense that your products are no longer shopper relevant, then you’re going to have to do some very, very deep naval-gazing. Because otherwise you’ll just end up basically spending money to keep listed, which might work in the short term, may buy you the time to sort of re-strategize in the medium term. But other than that, suppliers need to be all over the numbers and really understand why, if we’re talking Morrisons, why Morrisons shoppers buy their products. And build themselves an armoury of insights, so when the inevitable conversation comes along, be it good or bad, it will inevitably be attached to money. They can have a very forceful and logical argument based on Morrison’s own shopper behaviours. Darren A. Smith: Yeah, I like that. My own experience of being on the sidelines and watching some reviews is that they don’t start with an objective. So the objective should be we’re going to make X more money. We’re going to attract 10% more clients. And what’s your friend’s phrase? WOP, FOP and PEN? Andrew Grant: Yeah. Yeah. Darren A. Smith: Just explain that so these guys know what we’re talking about. Andrew Grant: It’s very simple. The only three ways you can add value to a category is to bring your shoppers in, which is penetration. The hardest one to achieve. Get customers to spend more, that’s weight of purchase, valuated purchase, or get them to buy bigger packs, volume weight of purchase. Or get them to buy more often. Get them to come in every week, rather than every fortnight, which is frequency. Darren A. Smith: Lovely, I like that. WOP, FOP and PEN. That’s right, isn’t it? Andrew Grant: WOP, FOP, PEN. Yeah. Darren A. Smith: So you either get more shoppers in, you get them to buy more, or you get them to buy more often. And- Andrew Grant: Or ideally all three. Darren A. Smith: … or all three. And our suggestion should be that your range review would start with an objective of one of those. Now typically when you move one of those styles, one of the others goes back down, but overall you should add to your category 3%, 5%, we’ve going to get 10,000 more customers, 10,000 more shoppers. Andrew Grant: Yeah and we’ve got one of the dynamics of this pandemic is frequency has dropped considerably. So people have gone back to a bi-weekly or even a monthly shop. As we said right at the start this morning, people aren’t popping in every day for lunch and picking up their dinner, because they’re stuck at home and they’re probably getting the delivery. We talked about home deliveries a lot. Again, a home delivery truck every two weeks. So frequency has dropped dramatically. But I remember Tesco’s financial statement, the weight of purchase has rocketed. Darren A. Smith: Yeah, that makes sense. Andrew Grant: And particularly in areas like beers, wines, and spirits, obviously, because there are no pubs to go to. Darren A. Smith: Well, how else do we get through lockdown? One last piece for me on range reviews is that I see suppliers and supermarkets treating every SKU the same in terms of availability. But if we understand that this SKU is substitutable, then maybe this SKU will be bought in its place. We don’t need to drive 100% availability of this one because they’ll buy this one. You take Tabasco. 100% availability, of course, because you’re not going to buy anything else. But there are other SKU’s that’ll be more substitutable. So one of the things I would advocate is an availability strategy along with the weight. Andrew Grant: Well, yeah, it’s the basic building blocks of category management. Complementarity and substitutability, and it’s where if you are a product that is not substitutable, and I’d say something like HP sauce. If you want, people buy HP sauce because it’s HP sauce. A few people may buy their own label, but pretty much it’s a non-substitutable product. Darren A. Smith: Agreed. Andrew Grant: So you can build yourself a very strong argument for being in a category if people will walk away if that particular product isn’t available. But then complementarity is very important. If you’re selling jam, you probably have to sell spreads and bread. So again, you can create yourself strong category arguments based on you’re either not substitutable or you’re highly complementary to some of the major basket items. Darren A. Smith: Good, like it. I’m going to leave you with a question, see if you can answer it. HP, what does it stand for? Andrew Grant: Houses of Parliament, isn’t it? It was on the labels. Darren A. Smith: Very good, okay. Andrew Grant: Used to be on the labels back in the day. Darren A. Smith: I’ll catch you out next time. Andrew for this week, thank you very much. I’ll press stop. Take care. Andrew Grant: Okay, take care. Bye. For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Category Management and our Category Management YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Category Management tips and articles.
11 minutes | a month ago
Grocery Guru Episode 13: The Basic Principles of Negotiating with Andrew Grant & Darren A. Smith
The Basic Principles of Negotiating Join Andrew Grant and Darren A. Smith in the thirteenth episode of Grocery Guru: The Basic Principles of Negotiating and the Squredance. Discover how knowledge of the basic principles of negotiating can improve your results. You Can Read the Full Principles of Negotiating Episode Transcript Below: Darren A. Smith: Welcome to week 13 of the Grocery Guru, and we are with Andrew Grant. Andrew, hello. Andrew Grant: Good morning, Darren. How are you? Darren A. Smith: Hey, I’m good, I’m good. Lockdown, blah, let’s not go through that. We’ve got a few weeks to go, vaccine. Let’s talk about Grocery, what’s going on in the world of Grocery this week? Andrew Grant: Well, it’s been a quiet week, actually. You look at the news-wise, not very much has happened, actually. Nothing stands out. So I thought maybe we’d talk about, I think we did mention it last week in the end. Let’s go back to basics. Let’s talk about negotiation 101. Darren A. Smith: Oh, negotiation 101, okay. Now, recently I wrote an article in The Grocer, name-drop, about negotiation. And a couple of people wrote to me on LinkedIn and said it was very good. It was about me selling my wife’s Beetle. And short story, the guy, we took it out for a spin and he said to me, while he was driving the Beetle, he said, “You know I want to negotiate.” I said, “Yeah, brilliant.” And we came back here, this is my house. And we’re looking around the car, as two men do, and I know nothing about cars. We’re kicking the tires. And he said, “Right, I’m ready to negotiate.” And I said, “Cool.” And I pushed the price up by 250 quid. And he said, “No, no, no, we were going to negotiate.” I said, “I am.” Andrew Grant: A little bit cheeky, a little bit cheeky. I’d suggest if you’re a small supplier to a Tesco, you don’t do that. But fair enough. I think in the world of cars, there are no rules. Andrew Grant: But no, I was reading an article in one of the Sunday papers about the Brexit deal. And they were saying that the deal was only done because the EU convinced themselves that Boris was mad enough to go through with a no-deal. So effectively, that Boris was willing to cut his nose off to spite his face. And it was only because they were convinced he was willing to do something almost illogical that they came to the party. And it just got me thinking about, I always remember being told, taught, “Never threaten something you’re not willing to carry through.” Darren A. Smith: Absolutely, yeah. Andrew Grant: Because if you get called out on it, that is your credibility gone forever and a day. Darren A. Smith: Well, and that’s it. And you’ve lost the negotiation, but not only that, you’ve lost the relationship long-term. Because every time you ever bluff in the future, they’ll say, “Yeah, we’ll call it.” Yeah, I’d agree. Andrew Grant: Yeah, and I think that’s probably the critical thing when it comes to supermarket negotiations, hopefully, they’re not just one-offs. You selling your wife’s car is a one-off, clearly, you didn’t mind if you upset the other guy. Andrew Grant: Yeah, hopefully, you’ll never see him again. But yeah, if you’re hoping to have a long and fruitful supply relationship with a supermarket, you really do need to get into that win-win zone. Into a lose-win, or even… Yeah, win for the supplier, lose for the supermarket, probably not a good long-term option. Darren A. Smith: No, no. And there’s Steven Covey, in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about in the habit win-win. A great story, where it goes through win-win, or win-lose, or lose-win. And he talks about the long-term effects of that. Because lots of people talk about win-win, but actually what they’re sort of thinking is win-die, “I’m going to take as much as I can, and the rest can go poke it.” But Covey puts it really, really well. So I’m going to recommend the audio version of that habit. Andrew Grant: Okay, yeah. Because yes, I think you’re right. I think when people start negotiating, and certainly, I’m sure we can both remember 21-year-old buyers pumped full of testosterone or what have you. It was negotiations about being aggressive. Negotiations about thumping the table, and threatening delists, and what have you. And it’s only as you get a bit more mature, a bit more experience, do you realize, “Actually it’s not about that.” It’s not about putting the Arnold Schwarzenegger underpants on in the morning. It’s actually about being quite creative and being sensible about your negotiation plan. Darren A. Smith: And that makes me think that rather than aggressive, forceful, scary, which are the words that people often associate with negotiation. You’re absolutely right, I’d like to add words like curious, exploration, creative, innovative. They, for me, are much more effective negotiators. Andrew Grant: Yeah, I think it’s about planning. I mean, you’d never walk into a negotiation without a plan. And coming back to the Boris situation. Yeah, they talked about the whole of that four-year Brexit period was about red lines. And whether Theresa May would cross her red lines, and whether Barnier would cross his red lines. It’s important you have the red lines in the right place. And going back to what I said at the start, that you don’t set red lines which you then cross, because your credibility is gone. “That’s my final price. Oh no, yeah, I’ll give you a discount.” You have no credibility in the future. So I- Darren A. Smith: It’s a little bit like my wife was buying a leather coat on eBay. And she said, “No, I’m not going to spend more than £65, it’s not worth it.” And then she was bidding with this guy and ended up spending £77. Right past the red line, it was in the rearview mirror. Andrew Grant: Yeah. So yeah, no, yeah, be careful where you set those red lines. And, I guess, in the spirit of win-win, and we have said it before, it’s being creative with what you negotiate about. Because I know we often play that game of, “Darren, I’ve got a £10 note here, will you give me 20 quid for it?” And you go, “Why would I give you 20 quid for a £10 note? I’ll give you a fiver.” And £10 is£10. If we try and negotiate just on £10, one of us is going to lose, or we’re going to have the world’s biggest argument. Darren A. Smith: Which often happens, doesn’t it? Negotiators go into that negotiation, then they’re surprised when they’re in this head-to-head on price. Because they haven’t got the variables, the tradables, the gives the wishes, whatever you call them. And I know you and I term that as the grease that keeps the engine moving. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Darren A. Smith: And without those, you just bang. Andrew Grant: So I guess it’s a good introduction, as we were talking about negotiation 101. A good point for you to spend 15 seconds talking about our wonderful Squaredance tool, and where it came from. Darren A. Smith: Ooh. So the Squaredance is a simple template, and it encourages you to prepare for your negotiation, and it will give you confidence. My experience of watching people prepare for negotiations, is they start with PowerPoint. PowerPoint is not a negotiation preparation tool, it’s a presentation tool. So you and I built Squaredance, and people are finding it fabulous. That was more than 15 seconds, wasn’t it? Andrew Grant: No, but it is. And I guess we do these things to sell some courses and get some people working with us. And I think the Squaredance is one of the better tools out there, in the basis of its simplicity. But also the fact it comes out with something very focused, and very practically useful for anybody going into, actually, almost any sort of negotiation. Even if it is buying a used car privately, or negotiating with one of the supermarkets. And I guess in the current climate, coming back to the news, there are all these reports of Brexit delays, and meat and fish rotting in Rotterdam. There’s a lot of extra costs as a result of the friction caused by the new rules. I’m sure there’s a lot of suppliers out there thinking about, “How do I approach my supermarket customer with a price increase this spring?” And that’s inevitably going to come down to a negotiation at some point. Darren A. Smith: Yes, it is. And you and I have seen learners over the years increase their confidence through preparation, which is typically where confidence comes from. And they go into that negotiation with a much better approach and attitude. Because it’s less this, and it’s much more, “How can we work together? Here’s a bunch of questions I’m going to ask you to seek information.” In order to then get to stage three, four, which is around the proposal, and summary. And, “Okay, we’ve come out the other side, and we haven’t just beaten each other up on price.” Andrew Grant: Yeah. And I guess from the individual’s perspective that often, I always make the analogy, “Maybe you shouldn’t mention Jurgen Klopp after last night’s result.” But Jurgen Klopp, Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, they don’t just say to their players, “Guys, we’re playing so-and-so tomorrow at 5:00. Rock up at quarter to 5:00, get your shorts on, get your boots on. Let’s go out and play.” Andrew Grant: They practice, and they plan, and they practice, and they plan ad infinitum. So yeah, often we speak to national account managers, who the finance director has the bright idea of, “Oh, let’s put a 10% cost price increase through.” And the national account manager is sent over the barricades, literally with no practice, or planning and they have no armour. And obviously, some of the stuff we can give them, I think gives them confidence. Because they feel, “Look, we’ve got our suit of armour around us. We’ve got our Squaredance, we’ve got our tradables plan. We’ve got all the tools around us, therefore we’re properly clothed for what we’re about to go into.” Darren A. Smith: Yes. Yes, you’re absolutely right. Absolutely right. We want to help them be the best version of themselves and the Squaredance. So if anyone is looking for the Squaredance, it’s obviously an [inaudible 00:10:11] word. So you should be able to type it into Google, just put MBM on the end. You’ll find the article, you can download it absolutely free. We’ve put it out there as a template. It’s taken Andrew and I best part of a lot of years to build and refine, we know it works. Best of luck with it. Andrew, any final words before we depart? Andrew Grant: No, I think you just said it. I think, hopefully, the Squaredance is relatively self-explanatory. But of course, there’s, yeah, no substitute for picking up the phone, or dropping us an email, and letting us help you. Darren A. Smith: Cool, lovely. Andrew, until next week, you take care. Andrew Grant: Yeah, cheers. Bye. Darren A. Smith: Cheers, bye. Bye. For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Category Management and our Category Management YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Category Management tips and articles.
10 minutes | a month ago
Grocery Guru Episode 11: Are there any Christmas Turkeys left? with Andrew Grant and Darren A Smith
Grocery Sales Christmas 2020: Who Are the Winners and the Turkeys? Join Andrew Grant and Darren A. Smith in the eleventh episode of Grocery Guru: Are there any Christmas Turkey Leftovers? It’s that time of the year where we get to reflect upon the results of the Christmas 2020 trading period. Who were the winners and who were the turkeys when we take a look at the Christmas grocery sales 2020? You Can Read the Full Grocery Sales Christmas 2020 Episode Transcript Below: Darren A. Smith: Welcome to, this is week 11 of the Grocery Guru, with Andrew Grant. Andrew, how are you? Andrew Grant: Yes. Happy New Year, Darren. Season’s greetings. Darren A. Smith: Yes. Thank you. How was your Christmas? Andrew Grant: Yeah, very good. Very good. I can’t remember what part of lockdown we were in, but yeah, it was a pretty good Christmas, despite. Darren A. Smith: Yes. Then we had the announcement on Monday. But, let’s ignore that, move on straight onto grocery stuff. So, I believe the title of the episode you’ve given us this week is, Are There Any Christmas Turkey Leftovers? Which has intrigued me, because I know nothing about what we’re going to talk about this week. Andrew Grant: Okay. Christmas turkeys left over, maybe was the full title. Darren A. Smith: Ah, that one. Andrew Grant: No. It’s that time of the year where obviously, you get to see who were the winners and the turkeys over Christmas. So the latest Kantar data came out, I think on Tuesday or maybe Wednesday. Tuesday, I think. So here we go, Darren. Which multiple do you think was the best performing over Christmas, by a long chalk? Darren A. Smith: Really? Okay. Best multiple. And is this growth on growth? Andrew Grant: Sorry. Let’s say the best grocer. Darren A. Smith: The best grocer, okay. Is this growth on growth, or best overall market share? Andrew Grant: No, no. This is market share. This is growth in the however many weeks up to Christmas. Darren A. Smith: Okay. All right. Andrew Grant: 12 weeks up to the 27th of December, the country’s fastest-growing food retailer was? Darren A. Smith: I’m going to go Aldi. Now, I’m going to go, Aldi, because I think they were doing very well. We shopped in late December, or just before Christmas Day, and we found things like prawn rings, which were cracking value. Andrew Grant: Okay. Darren A. Smith: It was something like £3.80 for this prawn ring of 70 prawns. Andrew Grant: Okay. All right. So your answer is Aldi? Darren A. Smith: It is. Andrew Grant: I’ll change the question then. Which was the worst-performing retailer over Christmas? Because it’s the same answer, Darren. Darren A. Smith: Oh, is it? Andrew Grant: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Aldi only showed 6% growth in a market that grew by 11.3. Darren A. Smith: Wow. Andrew Grant: I know. I was shocked for about five seconds, but there’s a very obvious answer. Darren A. Smith: All right. So obvious that I don’t know it. I can’t even reach for it. So let me just understand. So they were five points of growth behind the average, Aldi? Andrew Grant: Behind the average. And when I tell you who the biggest, or when you guess who the biggest grower is, they were 30-odd points behind the biggest grower. Darren A. Smith: Okay. Andrew Grant: So what have we been talking about, quite a few of the last 10-odd episodes? What’s been the biggest change in grocery this year because of the pandemic? Darren A. Smith: Okay. So we’re talking about online shopping, I guess. Andrew Grant: Okay. And what haven’t Aldi got? Darren A. Smith: Online shopping. Very good point, Andrew. Very good point. I think you’ve caught me out. Andrew Grant: Absolutely. So I think Aldi has really, really suffered. If you think the last three or four years we’ve expected to see double-digit growth from the likes of Aldi and Lidl. A lot of it because of new stores, obviously. But yeah, worst performing multiple, Aldi, principally, I think because they haven’t got a big online shopping presence. Lidl interestingly managed to show 15% growth, but they did a very big, I think it was, spend £40 and save £15. They did a very deep discount coupon promotion- Darren A. Smith: Right, okay. Andrew Grant: … during Christmas, which I think obviously saved their bacon, as it were. Darren A. Smith: Well, it clearly did. Whatever marketing guru who came up with that, thumbs up to you. Andrew Grant: Yeah. So you should now be able to guess, based on the Aldi answer, who was the fastest-growing retailer? Darren A. Smith: Ocado? Andrew Grant: Ocado, yeah. 38-odd percent growth. So obviously, that M&S tie-up, where they’ve obviously now sorted out a lot of the early teething troubles is absolutely rocking and rolling for them. Darren A. Smith: Cor. Is it true that they are trying to hang on to COVID and stop the vaccinations? Andrew Grant: Well, who knows? Darren A. Smith: No. But it’s come up. Andrew Grant: But yeah, so I think those are probably the two standouts. Your usual suspects all did pretty well. Tesco, 11% growth, Sainsbury’s, 11% growth, Morrison’s, 13. Iceland, 21, pretty good. So look, a really healthy grocery market. Not surprisingly, a lot of non-essential retail struggling or not allowed to open. Home delivery just going bananas, and people having to change their eating plans for Christmas at the last minute, obviously had to go out and shop differently. I imagine the amount of waste would have been horrific. Darren A. Smith: Oh, I think it will have been. Just coming back to what you said on Iceland. So they doubled the market growth. And I’m just racking my brain thinking, what did Iceland particularly do? I certainly didn’t notice anything in their marketing that would have achieved double growth for Christmas. Andrew Grant: Remember, Iceland’s customer demographic is probably older and slightly more downmarket than others. They can’t go out and shop every week. They probably just fill their freezer for a month. Darren A. Smith: Could be. Could be. Andrew Grant: Massive, massive generalisation, but you imagine Iceland benefiting from people stocking up because of the worries about the lockdown. Darren A. Smith: Let me add another generalisation to that. With the economy, the way it is people losing their jobs, unfortunately, redundancies and so on, are people down shopping a bit? Dropping a level? Could be. Andrew Grant: Well, interesting, because on top of those Kantar figures, were starting to get the Christmas trading statements. We’ve had Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s so far, Tesco’s is next week. Very much what Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s are saying in their Citi updates, mirror the Kantar data. So Morrison’s, 9.3% like for like over Christmas. Sainsbury’s 9.3, the same. Morrison’s saying champagne sales up 64%, fresh salmon up 40%, their online business up 300%. Darren A. Smith: Wow. Andrew Grant: What other? Oh, yes. And online sales accounting for 13% of all their business, and for Sainsbury’s, 18% of all their business. Everything we’ve seen since lockdown one, all coming together at Christmas, and the big players with home delivery and online cleaning up. Darren A. Smith: A win. So was that Sainsbury’s one in every five pounds spent at Sainsbury’s is online? Andrew Grant: No, no, no. So hang on. 18%. Yeah, getting on for one in five. Yeah. Darren A. Smith: Okay. Andrew Grant: Near enough. Darren A. Smith: One in five. Wow. And let me make another stonking generalization that may or may not be true. Are we starting to see the population maybe split between those who are financially struggling, maybe they’re downtrading a bit, moving more into Iceland, those who maybe have more stability, but can’t go out, can’t go to restaurants anymore, stocking up on champagne, fresh salmon? Maybe they’re moving up a bit in their tiers. Andrew Grant: Yeah, obviously. I’ve got a figure here somewhere. Yeah, normally four billion is spent out of home over the festive period on drinking in pubs, eating in restaurants, having Christmas parties, and what have you. That four billion obviously transferred pretty much lock, stock and barrel into those figures. So that 11% total growth for the multiple markets, pretty much has come at the expensive of your Mitchells & Butlers, and your restaurant chains, and what have you. Only looking at the news today, I think Mitchell & Butlers, 40 million a month they’re burning through, just to keep their pub chains closed. It’s scary stuff for hospitality. Darren A. Smith: Well, it’s one of those machines that are very big, operates on an okay margin. But as soon as that margin stops, the costs still keep ramping through, and you’re going to burn through it, what, three, six months before you go and struggle? Andrew Grant: Yeah. So there we are. Snapshot of what Christmas looked like, 2020. If you’re in supermarket land, you probably had to work exceptionally hard, but you’re reaping some pretty good rewards. Darren A. Smith: So the three highlights will be the winner is Ocado of this Christmas. Christmas 2020. Andrew Grant: The winner is definitely Ocado, plus the usual suspects, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s. Stand out is Aldi. I think there’ll be a lot of questions being asked in Aldi HQ about those figures. Darren A. Smith: And the second point is roughly one in every five pounds spent at Sainsbury’s is now online. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Darren A. Smith: Another big one. And our third one. What’s our third stand out for you? Andrew Grant: Well, I think we just said that there’s this disparity. People went out and indulged themselves if they had the money, but there’s a lot of people seriously struggling out there. You just see the figures, I think again, a couple of days ago, the number of food banks and the number of people accessing food banks, we are massively polarizing between the haves and the have-nots. Darren A. Smith: Yeah, we are. A lot of people struggling out there. We wish them well. All right. Andrew, till next week, be safe. Thank you very much. Andrew Grant: Take care. Darren A. Smith: Take care. Bye-bye. For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Category Management and our Category Management YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Category Management tips and articles.
39 minutes | 2 months ago
E31 – Leading Organisational Change With Jackie Lanham – Expert Interview
E31 – Leading Organisational Change: Interview with Jackie Lanham Jackie Lanham is Hilton Food Group’s Chief People Officer, with a career history that tells a story of leading change in all its forms to help businesses to achieve their goals. It comprises of 3 key phases: HR Generalist and Business Partner covering all aspects of HR. Large leadership roles establishing and running HR centralised and shared services. Developing and implementing strategies to ensure business success now and for the future through culture, capability and organisation design. What really makes her tick? Change. Creativity. Performance. Fun. Results. You Can Read the Full Transcript of Our Interview With Jackie Lanham Below: Darren A. Smith: Welcome to the MBM block. We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jackie Lanham. Jackie, welcome. Jackie Lanham: Thank you, Darren. Darren A. Smith: This is our blog where we talk to experts and people who practice in the field right now, and we’re talking to them about soft skills. Jackie and I know each other and we have selected the topic, well, Jackie did, of leading organisational change. Is that right? Jackie Lanham: Yeah, absolutely spot on. Darren A. Smith: Good. I thought if we’ve chosen another topic, I’ve really stuffed up the first part of this, but that’s okay. Jackie Lanham: We can do buying handbags if you like. Darren A. Smith: I’ll tell you about a friend afterwards who did a vlog on all her handbooks. No, maybe one for another time. We have the pleasure of Jackie’s company for about half an hour. We have a bunch of Google questions. So these are the questions that people typically ask around this topic. We’re going to put them to Jackie. But before I waffle on anymore Jackie, would you tell us a little bit about you please? Jackie Lanham: Course. And thank you so much, Darren, for inviting me here to have this conversation with you. I’m really looking forward to it. As Darren said, my name is Jackie Lanham. I am the chief people and culture officer for Hilton Food Group. And Hilton Food Group is a premier food packaging organisation. Absolutely focused on the protein category. Well known in meats, also getting well-known in fish, and also in vegan and vegetarian products as well, on an international basis. Jackie Lanham: I love my job. I get the opportunity to talk to people across Europe, into Australia, and also have the wonderful opportunity of building things into new countries, most recently, Belgium. In my role, I’m really responsible for facilitating our thinking around our people strategy, and really ensuring that our people love working for us, are fully engaged in what we do, because we know people who love their work, love working for the business, produce the best. Darren A. Smith: Very true. Very true. Yeah, very true. Okay. And you haven’t just worked at Hilton… I say just. Jackie Lanham: Oh, no, no, no. This white hair is earned, unfortunately. I got into human resources pretty quickly, and I have to say, I love it. Absolutely, felt very lucky to find my forte really early on in my career. I’ve worked across retail for the Co-operative and Tesco within the U.K. And also, I’ve worked on an international basis within the financial services’ sector. A period of 11 years with JPMorgan Chase, and a period of seven years with, also, Aviva, in the insurance sector. Jackie Lanham: I think what I absolutely adore about the profession I’m in, is the fact that it’s pretty transferable across different sectors. And I think I’m at my best when I’m working in businesses that are absolutely focused on delivering to the customer. Yeah, that what I enjoy doing, and really working with businesses who have that at their heart. Darren A. Smith: Brilliant. I’m going to go off at a slight tangent, and hopefully, you’ll be okay with it- Jackie Lanham: You did. Darren A. Smith: I’m looking through my… Not now, but I was looking through my LinkedIn feed, and there are people who are changing jobs and thinking HR might be for them. So I just want to take you back a few years to, when did you know you wanted to get into HR and why did you think it was right for you? And what’s your advice for those people that are thinking, “Do you know? I might have a good go at that”? Jackie Lanham: Yeah, it’s a tough one. I’ll tell the true story. So the true story was, I graduated in English literature and history- Darren A. Smith: Wow. Jackie Lanham: … and at the time I graduated, people are going, “What? You say you’re going to be a teacher? You’re going to be a journalist?” And I had a bit of a flirtation with being a journalist and worked out that I wasn’t really tough enough for doorstepping and all of that kind of stuff. And went back to the university careers centre, filled in one of these online things you fill in. Actually, it wasn’t online. It was paper and pen at the time, but there we go. And the results came out, “Oh, you could probably do marketing or personnel.” And I looked at marketing, thought, “Oh, that looks quite interesting.” And I looked at personnel and quite liked the fact that I could get another year’s education with a qualification. Jackie Lanham: So I decided to go back in and do my post-grad, kind of focusing on what was then personnel. And I think what grabbed me, in terms of loving it, was just the sheer variety. The fact that one moment, you’re recruiting, the next moment, you’re helping somebody perform better. You’re doing that at an individual level and also at an organisational level. And also, you get to work at very senior levels within the organisation, relatively young in your career, which is fantastic as well. So you get a real insight into the strategic direction and the commercial direction of organisations. Jackie Lanham: I think human resources gives you the flexibility to not only work within different sectors, but you can also work in different components of human resources now it’s really, I think, developed as a function. So if you love numbers and you love rewards, you can kind of have that analytical reward route. If you love more, the training and development side, then again, you’ve got the opportunity to look at how you bring an organisation along, or individuals along from that perspective. Jackie Lanham: I can name, we have diversity and inclusion now. All those types of things gives you the opportunity to specialise if you wish, work as a generalist if you wish, and then work across different sectors. And what I’ve loved is the opportunity as well, to look at how I can manage my career to different stages in my life, as well. Darren A. Smith: Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. Jackie Lanham: So yeah, as I had my son, I could start to think, “Well, actually, I think this is the time for me to specialise a bit more because I can manage my time. My time is more my own.” Whereas when you, in a more business partnering role, I can tell you, it’s not so much your own. So again, fits another stage of your life in your career. Jackie Lanham: So I just had that flexibility, and obviously, people can take it into their own businesses, running fantastic consultancies as you do, or indeed, looking at how you might be an independent consultant as well. So yeah, I just think it’s opportunity-rich and I’ve just absolutely adored it. Darren A. Smith: Brilliant. And just coming back to, if I’m an HR… I’m not, but if I was a person wanting to be an HR manager, what’s the one thing that regrets too much. What’s the one piece of advice you’d say to someone, “You should go and do that. You should try this. You should…” What is it? What’s the thing? Jackie Lanham: I think it’s, dip your toe into everything. And I think probably, yeah, I think a regret is a really good question. And very, a couple of times early on in my career, I was given the opportunities to work internationally. Now, I’ve been lucky that I’ve done international roles, and I’ve been able to travel into countries and spend periods of time. But at least on two occasions, I was offered the opportunity to work in New York, offered the opportunity to work in Holland, or the Netherlands, sorry, and never took it up. Jackie Lanham: And I think if I look back, I can go, “Yeah, you should have just pushed yourself a bit further on those things.” But I think trying to really widen your experience as much as possible, is really important. And we live in a very small world now, so the more experience you’ve got of working with different culture on an international basis, I think the better, in terms of your career. Darren A. Smith: That’s good advice. All right. Well, I’m thinking that we could do 40 minutes about you because I am fascinated. Darren A. Smith: Do that more than one. Let me just come back to our topic for a moment because I’ve got about a thousand other questions and the people are thinking, “Hold on. You were going to talk about this, now you’re talking about that.” So leaving organisational change, let me ask the stupid questions. What the hell does that mean? It sounds like something out of a book. What does it mean? Jackie Lanham: It does, doesn’t it? Yeah. There’s also this piece around… I don’t want to sound passe, but change is constant. It absolutely is. And I think for me, around leading organisational change, it’s around, you always need to be on point because there’s always going to be changed in play. And yes, there’ll be big change, there’ll be small change. If you, as a professional, are not always looking at how you can do things better, how you stay relevant, then at some point you’ll be extinct, the business will be extinct. We’ve seen lots of examples of that in history. Jackie Lanham: If we look at how… It’s the easy one, isn’t it? How technology has lifted us off to a different place. The impact that’s had on retail, for example. Those retailers who have not quite grasped that, are in quite a difficult position. And they were in a difficult position pre COVID. So I think for me, around leading organisational change, it has to be in your kitbag on a 24/7 basis. And the minute you get complacent is the minute you start to become not successful. And it might be not successful in the next few months, or it might be not successful in years to come. Jackie Lanham: So for me, that it has to be part of your toolkit, whatever role you have within a business, with that constant focus on, “How can I always do it better? How can I make sure I’m absolutely relevant as an organisation or as an individual?” Darren A. Smith: When you were talking, the one that came to mind was a tech example, but I was thinking of BlackBerry. I had about 15 BlackBerry’s, I think during maybe the ’90s or early the early ’00s. I can’t remember. And then they just went… And you think, “Wow.” Jackie Lanham: That’s it. Darren A. Smith: “How did the company that owned 80% of the market just go off the cliff?” Jackie Lanham: I know. Darren A. Smith: Wow, wow, wow. Yeah. Jackie Lanham: It’s absolutely scary. And that’s why I think it’s essential to always be looking at your internal health as a business, as I talked about earlier. Now, “How are people feeling around here? How are we meeting the needs of our customer?” But it’s also incredibly important to look at the external environment as well. It’s a bit like your own body, isn’t it? Are you breathing the air well, and is the air that you’re breathing in, good, fresh air? Darren A. Smith: Very true. Very true. Jackie Lanham: So for me, it’s, I don’t want to make you feel as though you have to be constantly restless, but I think the more curious you are, the more interested you are, the more relevant you’re going to continue to be. And yeah, as you’ve rightly said with BlackBerry, and there’s lots of other examples that we could probably come up with between the pair of us, where for whatever reason, the eye has gone off the ball. Jackie Lanham: But there are also some great reinvention stories. I mean, you look at IBM, look at how they’ve reinvented themselves. Darren A. Smith: That’s true. Jackie Lanham: They are absolutely amazing. So there are good examples there, where people have kind of sat back and said, “Hey, hang on. Where’s our relevance? What do we need to do going forward?” And that’s something Hilton Food Group has done, in terms of starting off within the red meat business. And then we look at how we’ve now developed into looking at other proteins and ciliary services around data and that kind of thing as well. Darren A. Smith: The other example that came to mind was when I was young, I had a cold. Mum sat me on the sofa and gave me Lucozade with the foil top. Do you remember this? Jackie Lanham: Oh, God. I love Lucozade. Darren A. Smith: And you only had Lucozade when you were ill. Jackie Lanham: You did, yeah. Darren A. Smith: And then, must have been some bright spark at Lucozade said, “Hold on”- Jackie Lanham: Energy. Darren A. Smith: “How come people only drink this when they’re ill? Let’s boom.” Wow. Jackie Lanham: Yeah, yeah. Darren A. Smith: And then… Jackie Lanham: Yeah, exactly. You’re absolutely right. Yeah. Yeah, reinvention. Darren A. Smith: Yeah. And I think it was Martha Lane Fox, who was the founder of lastminute.com, who said, “Working at lastminute.com is like being a headless chicken on amphetamines”- Jackie Lanham: That’s it. Darren A. Smith: Maybe that comes back to your restless part. Jackie Lanham: Yeah. I think there is. And it’s like, you don’t want to be restless to the fact where it’s really impacting you at your mental health and your wellbeing. But like I said, just having that, I guess, that healthy curiosity. Darren A. Smith: Okay. Jackie Lanham: “What can I learn from this conversation? What’s that telling me? What do you think?” Incredibly important because nobody’s got the biggest brain in the world. The best ideas always come together through collaboration. And I think when you’re looking at up-leading change, collaboration is absolutely essential. Especially as you come more senior in an organisation because that’s the point around the customer. Jackie Lanham: Unfortunately, you can become more and more detached the more senior you are within the business, in terms of what’s really happening at the frontline with respect to that customer. So having those conversations and that collaboration, is incredibly important to staying alive to what’s going on in your system. Darren A. Smith: And I guess that must be particularly challenging. You’ve got a business, Hilton, which must be, I don’t know, 30 sites around the world. I don’t know how many I’m afraid, Jackie Lanham: I think about something, yeah. Yeah. Darren A. Smith: So you’ve probably got 20 different cultures there, 15 different languages. Wow. That’s tough. Jackie Lanham: I know. It’s wonderful. I love it. Yeah. It’s because, again, you’ll get… And I was having a conversation with one of our managing directors in the U.K. and we were looking at how he wanted to focus on some improvements and immediately said, “Oh, I can see from our engagement survey, that our operating company in Denmark’s doing some great stuff. How can I learn from Denmark?” Yeah. Jackie Lanham: So as well as the importance of making sure you’re having those conversations, managing through data, I think is very important as well. So the more we know through asking our people what’s on their mind and collating those results through… Quick pulse engagement surveys can be very useful because then you can create some better sharing of best practice internally when you see spotlights that really great practice. Jackie Lanham: Plus also, in a business of our scale, you can start to see, “Well, I think I could really help this particular operating company, because obviously, they’ve got some challenges in these particular areas, and how can I take the great ideas that I see across the business and help them with that within this particular setting?” Jackie Lanham: So yeah, managing through data when you’re looking at change, can be really important. It’s back to the whole extinct businesses. How were they talking to their customer around what their views were, what they wanted? Darren A. Smith: That makes sense. Yeah, yeah. Being informed. Yeah. Sorry, it slightly froze there. And it’s just coming back. I think. Jackie Lanham: Think we’re in. Darren A. Smith: Okay. It’s back. It’s back. Jackie Lanham: All the children have gone online and they’re playing games at the moment. Darren A. Smith: Little tinkers. All right. So let’s ask you, what would be an example of leading organisational change, either this business or a previous business, so people can go, “Okay. I can see me doing that. I can see me trying that”? Jackie Lanham: I think that was… I mean, I’ll go back a little bit. In my last organisation, I worked for a manufacturing organisation called Wrexham, who were taken over by a big American conglomerate called Ball. A wonderful company actually, they were really great to work with. But quite frightening, because with the FTSE 100 business, plants all over the world, we needed to go through many difficult legal challenges and issues around ensuring that we didn’t have any issues around noncompeting, all of that kind of stuff. Jackie Lanham: So what we had to do was, take the employee base through a change that was going to be difficult for them. They might not be in a job. It might be a change that was not going to happen if it failed in any of the legal jurisdictions. So we were kind of, set ourselves a real clear vision when we went through this change, which is, “We are going to be a fantastic business, whether we are acquired or whether we’re not.” Jackie Lanham: So we set a very clear vision. And I think when you’re going through change, that clear vision is incredibly important. Then what we did was, we looked at it through the lens of, “How am I, as an employee, going to feel going through this change, and how can we best equip our employees to face this change as well?” We talk to them about it. We talk to them about what might they need. And this was what I might need as an employee in going about my job, but also, as a line manager as well, in terms of how I could support my people through the change. Jackie Lanham: And that was fantastic to see it come through because we started to put in place conversations, engagement surveys, we kept going with our high potential leadership development program. Some organisations I’ve seen in play, where they might be taken over, have just cut every single piece of this kind of activity and investment out. We divided that we needed our people to be incredibly motivated during this period, and based on what they were telling us, we kept everything in place but we upped it. Jackie Lanham: So we gave them more tools around how they might manage change personally, not just on the basis of getting your job done, but how you might handle it from a wellbeing perspective. We also looked at giving them tools to help them find their next job, which was taking quite a risk. Darren A. Smith: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s important, isn’t it? Jackie Lanham: Because my kind of vision was to… Yeah, we wanted to hand over a business that was in good fettle to the new owner, and actually, all the people that the business wanted to stay state. And those people who moved on felt that they got fantastic support, in terms of managing their career going forward. And communication sat throughout all of this. So I think that was… Well, I know it was successful because we were clear about the vision, we collaborated with people as we went on the journey. Jackie Lanham: And that collaboration meant collaborating with our colleagues in North America, South America, across Europe, and across the Middle East and Africa. And it did mean a few back-to-back flights to Dubai and sleeping on the plane, doing change workshops. Darren A. Smith: Wow. Jackie Lanham: But it was so appreciated, Darren. So appreciated, which was fantastic. And so to me, the business was acquired and it’s gone on to do brilliantly, and I have people that worked in my team who are still there, absolutely loving it. Darren A. Smith: That was a great story. Great. Jackie Lanham: Yeah, so- Darren A. Smith: Because there are so many stories where it all goes wrong, and that’s lovely to hear one that went really right. And some ballsy moves in there as well, courageous move. Jackie Lanham: Yeah. Yeah, I think so, I think the… And obviously, we had really great support from the top team there. So for me, that was something that did go well, it had a good outcome and it was in difficult circumstances. If you think about, you know Kotter’s change model, where they talk about having that reason to change, that kind of call to action. Jackie Lanham: Sometimes it can feel as though it’s a non-positive, it’s not about the opportunity, it’s more about a threat to be overcome. And sometimes that can feel, “Don’t scare me into change,” a bit like Brexit. It was like the campaign of fear, so everyone goes… Well, not everyone, but a few people go, “Hang on. I’m not going towards that.” Jackie Lanham: And so what we did was, created the opportunity around this as well. So yes, it is a fear that people could lose their jobs. It is a fear that the transaction might not work and we could be forever in that place of being looked like a business to buy. So it was really time also to presenting the opportunity that gave to people. And I think as well because we had a good year to work it through, people can go through that whole change curve. They’ve got the time to go through the change curve and work out what this means to them. And I suppose, that’s an example I’d probably use. Darren A. Smith: And it sounds like… So you talked about, you hear people go from fear to opportunity, and sometimes it’s just semantics. We’ll change a word and we’ll sort of manipulating them, but actually, what you guys sound like you did there was, it was genuine, “We can turn this into an opportunity. It is a real opportunity. It’s not just semantics. It’s right through the business.” Okay. I’m just picking that up. Jackie Lanham: Yeah. And being really proud I think. There’s an incredible pride in giving, and wanting to make sure that that legacy is there really, no matter what it means for the future. I remember talking to my boss at the time. I said, “I don’t think I’ve been busier than on coaching than ever before.” And it was marvellous because we just said, “Oh, God. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was like this all the time, with people constantly coming to us?” They’re saying, “Please can you help me? Please can you give me some help and support around this particular area?” But anyway, we made the most of it in those particular circumstances. Darren A. Smith: I know you’re a big fan of coaching- Jackie Lanham: Yeah, definitely. Darren A. Smith: You’re a fan, aren’t you? Jackie Lanham: Yes. Yeah, definitely. I think it’s always interesting with coaching though. And I love the purist coaching where you really are… It’s back to curious questions, posing those curious questions to the person that you’re working with, to really help them get to that answer. That’s the coaching I love. Darren A. Smith: Yeah. And I think our story around that is… I tell some of these things become an urban myth. There was a story around Adrian Moorhouse, the gold medal. Jackie Lanham: Oh, yes. Yeah. Darren A. Smith: And the story goes something like, the journalist came into the pool, into the area. The coach was on the side. Adrian had doubled cramp and was sort of half drowning. You can imagine, the story gets embellished. And the journalist says to the coach, “Aren’t you going to jump in and help him?” And he says, “No. I can’t swim.” And you just love those type of stories to put forward, coaching doesn’t mean they’ll have to understand what you do. Jackie Lanham: Yeah, exactly. It can just be those insightful questions or putting that person in a different perspective. I often, sometimes if somebody talks to me about a really terrible experience, just saying, “Well, how did you feel at that time?” And to the silly things like, “If you’re an animal, what animal would you have been at that time? And what animal would you prefer to be?” It sounds daft, but it takes people to a more creative place. Darren A. Smith: Yes, yes. Absolutely does. Right. Jackie Lanham: And allowing them to move on. So yeah, no, I can talk for ages about coaching, really enjoy it. Darren A. Smith: Well, we might come back to that. Let me ask you our other question. Jackie Lanham: Okay. Darren A. Smith: The first step in leading organisational change. Have you got an example, and is it always the same step? Jackie Lanham: I think, probably if I look at the Hilton Food Group, Hilton Food Group, fabulously successful business, but really grown quickly. And there was a point where we’d got to say, “Actually, we’ve got a very small leadership team. That leadership team cannot, on a constant basis in part, what the vision and direction are to the business, keeping it alive for everybody. We have to start to empower more through the organisation to do that. And in doing that, we really need to be clear about what we’re about.” Jackie Lanham: And that was an interesting one, because usually when you’re going through a change, there’s kind of a bit of a clear call to arms, isn’t there? There’s kind of, “There this opportunity. We’re going to go and do some business over here, and we’re all going to go for it.” Or it’s going to be, “Oh, no, there’s a threat coming round the corner. We’ve got COVID. We know that people are going to be hit in their pockets. And we’ve got to think about providing more value.” Jackie Lanham: So this one, it was kind of, “Well, why do we really need to be doing this?” It was very important I think, for us to be clear, going back to the Wrexham case, “What’s the vision for this, what’s the reason for doing it?” I think, every change initiative, it should start with being very clear about, what’s the why. Because if we’re not clear around that, how can you take people with you? And I know there’s always ambiguity. There’s always ambiguity, but being very clear around, “What’s the purpose of what we’re doing here?” Jackie Lanham: So for us, I mean, this is the sort of poster thing behind me, was something we developed to be very clear around, “This is our purpose as a business. This is why we do business. This is our ambition. And these are the values we hold dear and the principles we hold dear.” And there was, in the beginning, a bit of a, “Why are we bothering?” Jackie Lanham: Well, why we’re bothering is because we are growing at such pace. We need to make sure everybody that joins this business, knows what’s important and what we need to keep doing, knows how we should make sure we’re aligned in a similar direction to achieve what we need to for the customer as well. But always doing so where there’s… I don’t really like the phrase but I’ll use it. A kind of freedom with their framework. So, “This is the framework of how we operate, and obviously, want to empower people to be able to do things in a way that’s right for them, but within this particular framework.” Jackie Lanham: So that was very interesting to get into and be able to really be clear around, “This is what it’s about, is to ensure that we all know what’s important in this business as we start to grow and develop. And in going through that change, making sure that everything we do can be rooted back to it.” So if I just sort of concentrate on the human resources side of it, it’s when we’re recruiting, we’re recruiting people who kind of like our values. Darren A. Smith: Yeah. Yeah, makes sense. Jackie Lanham: Because if you recruit people who don’t really like your values, then they aren’t going to last very long because it’s not the right business for them. We have a value about being entrepreneurial. And if you prefer an environment that’s perhaps a little bit slower paced, where you have more time perhaps, to think through some solutions, out advance, we’re not right for you because we’re constantly being curious around, “What’s the next idea? How are we going to move forward on that? Well, let’s try out. Oh, we might not get that completely right. That’s okay. We’ve learned from it.” If that’s not the environment for you, then we’re not the business for you. Jackie Lanham: And so I think being really clear about those kinds of things is important, but at the same time, obviously, we don’t want to recruit a lot of people who look exactly the same- Darren A. Smith: Yes. Jackie Lanham: … but at least we’re being clear about kind of, “This is what’s important to us.” So yeah, I think around starting the change, it’s always about why being very clear about why. And then immediately after, checking in on why. “Does this make sense for you? How would you go about doing this? Would you like to get involved with me on this journey?” Jackie Lanham: And it’s the usual stuff around making sure that when you’re forming these teams to work on this type of thing, you don’t just have your people who are cheering in the stands or cheering by your side, you also have those people that’ll be, “Oh, yeah. I’ve tried this before, Jack. I don’t know if it’s going to work.” Yeah. Or, “I’m not really sure about this.” You need those people engaged as well because they’re going to help you come up with the best solutions and the best way forward. Darren A. Smith: Yeah. Some of those people who have a problem who has a… What is it? A problem for every solution. Jackie Lanham: Oh, yeah. They’re wonderful, aren’t they? Darren A. Smith: Loads of people just, “No.” Jackie Lanham: “So what would you do then, in my place?” Darren A. Smith: Yeah. And they normally answer, “Well, I don’t know, but whatever you’re doing is wrong.” Jackie Lanham: Yeah. Yeah, they are. I know, the wonderful naysayer, but you’ve got to listen to them. Darren A. Smith: Yes. Jackie Lanham: There’ll be nuggets there. Darren A. Smith: Yes, I know. I know. Well, if you can win them over, you win everyone else over. All right- Jackie Lanham: Yeah. And sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you can’t win them over, but if you listen to what they’re saying, there’ll be things there that’ll help you build a better solution, that’ll help you win more of the larger population over so I tend to listen. I think again, it’s an old saying, isn’t it? But you’ve got two of these and one of those. Darren A. Smith: True. So start with why. So it sounds a bit like the Simon Sinek. Jackie Lanham: Yeah. Darren A. Smith: And the way you described that was sort of a sense check. We can keep coming back to it. Should we go in this direction? Well, this is why we said we will, you keep coming back. Jackie Lanham: Absolutely. And that sense checking, I think is really important because you get more data along the way. And I think again when you’re working through change… I mentioned ambiguity earlier. As much as you can create why there will be ambiguity, and we need to keep questioning, “Why is there ambiguity?” In order to help set more direction as you move forward. So I think sometimes, people find it tough, which is “Okay, there’s the goal. I’ll kick the ball and it’ll go straight in the goal.” I don’t know why I’m using a football analogy because I know nothing about football. Jackie Lanham: I’ve learned a bit more about football. But there’s a bit around, “Well, who do you need to pass the ball to?” Darren A. Smith: Right, yeah. Jackie Lanham: And if you don’t pass the ball over to that person and you try and kick the ball in, are you going to cause yourself a problem with somebody that they’re marking, they weren’t marking, suddenly appearing from nowhere. This analogy’s not working well, but- Darren A. Smith: I like it. I know nothing about football and it works for me. Jackie Lanham: Yeah. Yeah, but it really is. It’s kind of this piece around, you’ll start off on a track but you’ll get more data as you go down that track, then you may just need to make adjustments. So I think people, when they think in black and white all the time, “Show me the path, show me the direction.” Well, actually, when you’re going down that path, there may be some other little routes you want to follow when you do that. Jackie Lanham: So I think for people to be willing for those changes along the way, which means that collaboration, communication both ways are very important as you’re going through change. And as you’re going through that change, making sure you celebrate the successes along the way. So I’ve worked on some change programs that have taken quite a time, and I’ll have occasionally have come across people who’ll go, “Well, what are you up to? I haven’t seen anything different.” Jackie Lanham: So for me, it’s around. “Yeah, I know you haven’t seen anything different, but I know we’ve achieved this, we’ve achieved that and we’ve achieved the other.” And I had somebody who did that to me in Hilton Food Group. And then about 18 months later, they came and said, “That’s really good, that work we did on blah.” And I’m not saying everything goes well. But I also knew they had been a naysayer on the way, “When are we going to see it? When are we going to see anything?” Darren A. Smith: And it can take time. Jackie Lanham: So you have to give yourself your little successes along the way, you have to give your credit to the team along the way and your thank you’s as you’re going on this journey as well. Yeah. And there’s a little bit of hold your nerve. Darren A. Smith: So it’s a bit about celebrating success, hold your nerve, and the other bit that resonated with me was, someone once said to me that an airline pilot, they are 80% always off course, because of the wind. Jackie Lanham: Oh, I didn’t know that. Oh, okay. Darren A. Smith: But they’re always going that way, but they’re slightly off course all the time, but yet they’re still going the right direction. It’s like, “Oh, yeah, that” Okay. Jackie Lanham: Yeah. Yeah, I like that. I’m going to steal that one. No, that’s very good. Yeah, and I think that’s a really good one. And as you go through this, there is, you have to be really real with people and authentic, and if something’s not going well, it’s not going well, how can we make it well? Be very honest. And obviously, sometimes that can be a bit scary but we’re dealing with adults here. I think we, as all adults, would rather know, “What’s the real story around here, and how can we then work together to resolve this issue?” Jackie Lanham: If the change is presented on the basis of a threat, let’s be open about what that threat is and how can we marshal together in terms of meeting it and overcoming it. And that collaboration, I don’t think is just about collaboration. It’s also, how can you devolve as many decisions down as possible? People love being empowered. Okay, so what is it that they can do, they can contribute as well when are you going on this journey? Jackie Lanham: It shouldn’t be all about what I would call kind of archaic, “I’m the leader, follow me.” It’s kind of, “How are we work together on this? What’s my contribution going to be?” And in that way, we learn and grow, and we make the mistakes along the way as well. Darren A. Smith: That’s good. That’s good. I’m going to ask you about our last question because I’m aware of your time. Jackie Lanham: Okay. Darren A. Smith: My last question to come out is, which leadership style is best for change management? Let me make sure I got that right. Which leadership style is best for change management? That’s the last question that everyone seems to be asking. Jackie Lanham: I don’t think there’s one thing, I think there’s a number of things. I’ve said collaboration a lot. The big thing for me is curiosity, and always wanting to do things better, and allowing those mistakes, allowing that testing. Jackie Lanham: And I think for me, at Hilton Food Group, I remember early on a colleague had not managed something as well as they’d want to manage it. I was only new in the business, and I thought, “Oh, crikey. I think I’m going to have a very difficult conversation with the colleagues and boss around their future career.” The boss said, “Ah, they’re really going to learn from this.” And that, to me, I went, “Do you know? This is the company for me.” Darren A. Smith: Good. Jackie Lanham: That real entrepreneurial willingness to let people have a go was just marvellous. And I think again, as a leader, you have to promote that and support at the same time when things don’t go as right as they could have done. Yeah, so those are some that’s a mixture for me really, Darren, that would be what would be in my head as some of the really useful things. Darren A. Smith: So there’s not one style, there are probably six or seven attributes that you’ve listed there, which you think are important to lead the change? Jackie Lanham: I think so. And it depends. It can depend on the situation too. If you’re one dimensional as a leader, then you’re not going to be successful. You have to flex to what your circumstances are, and also, who you’re leading. So if you’re working with somebody who perhaps has a lot more experience, you’re going to work with them in a different way from somebody who doesn’t have as much experience. So you’ve kind of got to flex, and listen, and collaborate and facts of being authentic, all of those types of things. Darren A. Smith: Brilliant. Brilliant. Thank you. Leading organisational change. If we had another 30 seconds with you, that would be great. What would be one last nugget you’d like to leave these people with that are interested in leading organisational change? Here, I’ve got an expert, someone with lots of experience, made a few mistakes, lots of success. What would you want to leave them with? Jackie Lanham: Always be curious. Darren A. Smith: Cool. Jackie Lanham: Internally, externally. If you lose your curiosity, then you’re extinct I think. Darren A. Smith: Brilliant. Jackie Lanham: Yeah. Which sounds a bit frightening. But the minute you stop asking questions, I think that’s the moment to think, “Is this really interesting to me? Am I doing the right thing?” Darren A. Smith: And you can almost imagine, back to our story before of BlackBerry, someone just didn’t ask the question they probably ought to, which is, “Is this really going to be relevant in five years?” Jackie Lanham: Well, exactly. It’s tough with strategy now because there’s a lot of, sort of reading the idea that says, “Oh, having these fixed strategic plans for the next five years is not the right thing to do.” And I don’t think it’s around having a fixed strategic plan. It’s around scanning the horizon all the time. And it’s a bit like that healthy body thing, isn’t it? You’ve got to have healthy lungs and the air that you’re breathing in’s got to be healthy as well. So I think you should look at that from an organisational business perspective too. Darren A. Smith: All right. Jackie, actually, I’m going to ask you one last thing because I’ve just remembered. I think you have been nominated for an award, but I can’t remember, is it the Women’s Award? Jackie Lanham: Oh. What it was, was, no, we’re now sponsoring Meat Business Women. Darren A. Smith: Ah. Jackie Lanham: So yeah, it would be through that. Yeah. So they very, very kindly asked me to present at their last conference, which had to be virtual because that’s the world we’re in at the moment. And which was lovely of them to do, and a fantastic organisation. And what we’ll be doing is sponsoring with them over the next two years or so, and hopefully longer, to really look at how we can promote women’s careers within the meat industry because we have a dove. We’ve got lots of great men out there, we’ve got some great women, but we’d like some more great women. Darren A. Smith: Brilliant. And if we plug them, is there a website these guys have got, or a Facebook or a… Jackie Lanham: Yeah. Meat Business Women, you can find them by LinkedIn and they’ll be doing some more work on websites and all of that kind of thing. And we, along with a number of other organisations, will be helping them with that on sponsorship, like I say, starting next year. Darren A. Smith: Cool. All right. Well, we’ll have the link beneath in the YouTube comments, so you can get to that easily. Jackie Lanham: Yeah. Yeah, that’s great. Darren A. Smith: All right. I’ve taken up much of the time as I said. So, Jackie Lanham, that has been fabulous. You’ve answered all our questions people have asked, which is brilliant. Jackie Lanham: Phew. Darren A. Smith: I’ve put you on the spot and you’ve done fabulously, so thank you very much. Jackie Lanham: Oh, thanks, Darren. It’s always great talking to you. Take care. Darren A. Smith: All right. You have a good Christmas. Bye. For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Leadership Skills and our Leadership Skills YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Leadership Skills Tips and articles.
12 minutes | 2 months ago
Grocery Guru Episode 10: Good Riddance 2020! Our Predictions for 2021 with Andrew Grant and Darren A. Smith
2021 Predictions Join Andrew Grant and Darren A. Smith in the tenth episode of Grocery Guru: Good Riddance 2020! Our Predictions for 2021… You Can Read the Full 2021 Predictions Episode Transcript Below: Darren A. Smith: Welcome to episode 10, with the Grocery Guru that is Andrew Grant. How are you? Andrew Grant: Hello Darren. Yes, Merry Christmas. Darren A. Smith: Merry Christmas to you. We’re the 17th December, not long until the big one, until the big, fat man comes. Andrew Grant: Yeah. One week, one week, six nights, seven nights, something like that. Yeah. Darren A. Smith: Seven nights. All right. In this episode we said that we would talk about predictions for ’21, trying to put 2020 behind us with a big boo and a mask. Andrew Grant: Yeah. No. Absolutely. I mean, obviously, it’s been a pretty horrible year… everybody around the planet. We won’t be doing this again until it is 2021. So yeah, farewell 2020, won’t be missed. What’s 2021 going to look like? I’ve been thinking of a few things that may or may not happen. I don’t know about you if you have any predictions? Darren A. Smith: Well, I’ve got a few predictions, so I’m going to share my first one with you. I’ve got a few and I’m sure you have too. I’m going to predict that the title of the national account manager is going to be wiped. What I mean by that is national account managers traditionally looked after the account, looked after the buyer, did the negotiations. I think they’re all going to be turning into shopper insights managers, insights managers, category managers. I think it’s going to go. Andrew Grant: And NAM becomes a SIM. Darren A. Smith: And NAM becomes a SIM, yes. Andrew Grant: I think we talked about that last week, didn’t we? Absolutely. I think you said that any national account manager that’s been [inaudible 00:03:19] months and maybe is slightly worried about his or her future, the future gets on top of the data. Become an expert at turning that data into insight so that you can sit on Zoom with your supermarket buyers and show them that you know their shoppers better than they do. Darren A. Smith: Like it, like it. All right. That’s my first prediction, call me Nostradamus. What’s yours? Andrew Grant: Mine, I think this is a very, very safe bet of £10 of your money, Darren. I know you don’t like spending your money on bets. But Amazon gets added to GSCOP, so the Grocery Code Adjudicator makes Amazon the 14th, I think I would be right, the 14th retailer to be covered by the code. With all this COVID stuff Amazon’s business has just skyrocketed this year, and possibly almost under the radar. But I think 2021 will be the year when the new adjudicator goes, “This is a massive, massive food business now.” We’re also going to have the first Amazon ghost stores, the checkout-less, completely checkout-less electronic stores. They’ll probably open first quarter. And probably just the publicity [inaudible 00:04:39] publicity over those will raise the awareness. So yeah, Amazon to be added to GSCOP. Darren A. Smith: Okay. All right. I think you’re right, to make 14. So that will be Mark White, the new GCA Groceries Code Adjudicator. Andrew Grant: Yeah. If you’re him you’re just coming into that fabled first 100 days, what’s the thing that you can say you’ve done in your first 100 days? Darren A. Smith: Very true. Very true. All right. All right. My prediction- Andrew Grant: I think that’s a good headline. Darren A. Smith: Sorry, go on. A good headline? Andrew Grant: No, a good 100-day headline for him is, “Yeah, I’ve added Amazon to the list of covered retailers.” Darren A. Smith: Very true. Very true. All right. So currently 39% of us buy our groceries online. So that’s 39%, so let’s call it 40%, 4 out of 10 of us are buying groceries online. I’m going to make an easy prediction, 2021 that’s going to topple above 50, which means one in two people are buying their groceries online. Andrew Grant: I can see that by the middle of next year. I mean, the current trend rate we’ll be there April, May time. Yeah. Darren A. Smith: Here’s my bit to add to that. I think what might happen is the shop falls into two, the boring I’ve got the toilet rolls, the kitchen rolls, the washing powder, blah, blah, blah, coming online. But then I want to go out for a sort of a treat, or as we call it in our family, a morsel shop where I buy those little things that are really nice, like king prawns in garlic or something. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Well, I think that will be potentially the saviour of the high street. They’ll order their big shop of toilet rolls and bulky stuff from the online retailer of their choice, but then they’ll want to go to farm shops and independent delis. People do love to get out there and shop. I mean, particularly the Brits, we love to get out there and browse and shop and mingle. I don’t think that will stop, but I think I [inaudible 00:06:46] very first of these that… It’s pretty remarkable that back in 1950, or whatever it was, the first self-service supermarket persuaded us to push our own trolley around a store and do self-picking and self-packing. It’s just crazy when you think back at it. Darren A. Smith: Very true. Very true. All right. What’s your prediction? Andrew Grant: Well, there’s another one linked to that, with your prediction of 50% of people shopping online. Will the world run out of vans? Darren A. Smith: Run out of vans, Transit vans? Andrew Grant: Well, other makes of van are available, but yeah, will the world run out of delivery Transit vans? Because that’s all I see on the roads now is delivery van after delivery van. Darren A. Smith: I saw a lovely viral video the other day of the Hermes driver versus the Amazon driver versus the DPD driver, and what they do differently. And one, let’s say, was a lot more polite and a lot more what you would want than the other. Andrew Grant: Actually, just on that, total aside, but [inaudible 00:07:56] inside the FedEx logo. Darren A. Smith: Yes. You’ve told me about this. Go on. I won’t steal your thunder. Andrew Grant: No, it’s great fun. Look for the arrow between the D and the E, or is it the E and the X, the E and the X in FedEx. There is an arrow pointing forwards, which is obviously is a perfect depiction of what they do. It’s like one of those pictures, once you see the arrow, that’s all you’ll ever see. Right, what’s your next prediction, Darren? Darren A. Smith: All right. Well, I’m going to go for data versus insight. I think as an industry we talk about data and insight an awful lot and people think that they are interchangeable, they’re not. So data might be I buy eight packs or eight bottles of Ghost Ship, one of my favourite beers, every week. That’s data. The insight is the reason I like it is because of its citrusy flavour and because my mate drinks it as well. That’s the insight. Andrew Grant: Okay. Darren A. Smith: So we’ve got to get from data to insight. And over the years, and I’m sure you saw it as well, I was presented lots of data, but no one really took it from, “Okay. Here’s a bunch of numbers, statistics. This is the insight and this is what you can do with it.” And that, I think, has got to come, particularly as 50% of shopping will be online and we’ll get even more data. Andrew Grant: Well, yeah. And that’s where you get some brilliant low hanging fruit. I used to love the sort of data where [inaudible 00:09:23] come along and say, “Look, it’s 60% of your shoppers buy fresh produce from you, but only 30% buy fresh meat.” So if they’re buying your produce, why aren’t they buying your meat? You’ve got an opportunity to double your meat business. And home shopping brings that exactly to life. So if somebody is ordering all their toilet rolls for home delivery, why aren’t they ordering their bleach and their cleaning products and their batteries and their kitchen towel, disposable kitchen towels, all the household stuff? There’ll be some massive insight opportunities in that sort of data. Darren A. Smith: One of my favourite ones is slabs of Heineken. They used to put on there, “Win FA Cup tickets.” But what some bright spark figured out, let’s call a shopper insights manager, a SIM, was that actually, the ladies were buying it for the husbands. So the offer became get a free spa day, Heineken went up. Andrew Grant: Well, there you go. Right. Final prediction from me. Darren A. Smith: Prediction, the final one. Go on. What have you got? Andrew Grant: Asda and convenience stores. Obviously, they’re now owned by those brothers that are preeminent forecourt retailers. Marry that to Asda and it will be interesting to see. I think they’ve got three stores called On the Move already, but it will be interesting to see what a convenience Asda looks like. They’ve tried it in the past, not so easy to go from big-box retailing with all the efficiencies and simplicity to something of 10,000 square feet or less in a city centre with lots of hassle and lots of operational issues. I’m not going to make a prediction as to how well they do or don’t, but I’ll be fascinated to visit some. Darren A. Smith: A much more complex supply chain and management. Okay. We’re up. Andrew, I’m going to thank you for 2020 and your Grocery Guru insight, and we’ll see you in 2021. Andrew Grant: I shall see you on the other side. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Darren A. Smith: Happy New Year. Thank you. Take care. For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Category Management and our Category Management YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Category Management tips and articles.
10 minutes | 2 months ago
Grocery Guru Episode 9: The Three Ghosts of Christmas; Past, Present and Future, with Andrew Grant and Darren A. Smith
The Three Ghosts of Christmas Join Andrew Grant and Darren A. Smith in the eighth episode of Grocery Guru: The Three Ghosts of Christmas; Past, Present and Future. You Can Read The Full Three Ghosts of Christmas Episode Transcript Below: Darren A. Smith: Hello. Welcome to episode nine of the Grocery Guru. We’re here with Andrew Grant. Andrew Grant: Hi, Darren. Darren A. Smith: Hello. You’re looking very festive with your Christmas tree. Andrew Grant: Yes, look. Yeah. All nice and ready. Not a lot of presents under the tree. A bit worried. It must be these port delays that we’re hearing about. Darren A. Smith: It must be. Now one of my favourite films is the Christmas Scrooge Muppet Carol with Michael Caine. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Michael Caine. Darren A. Smith: Now I’ve said that because I’ve set you up in the… I don’t know, you want to talk about the three ghosts, is that right? Andrew Grant: Yeah. No, the Christmas Carol. Yes. Charles Dickens, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. They visited Scrooge on Christmas Eve and yeah, I think this is really aimed at, I guess, at account managers, because obviously, the Ghost of Christmas Past, both you and I as buyers used to see, I don’t know, what 20 account managers a week? Darren A. Smith: Yeah, yeah. Or more. Yeah, yeah. The whole variety. Yeah. Andrew Grant: They’d spend their day driving down the M1, they’d turn up with that Greggs sausage roll pastry on their suit. They’d have a nice half-hour chat with us. We might even give them a cup of coffee. And then they’re off to have a sleep in the lay-by for the afternoon. Darren A. Smith: They were all hardworking as well. Andrew Grant: I’m sure they were all very hardworking but unfortunately, the fact of Christmas present is, I’m not sure there’ll be a single account manager out there that has actually had a physical meeting with a buyer this year. And we’ve said in a couple of these episodes, haven’t we, that the last nine months has compressed 10 years’ worth of change to everything. To all our lives, but, just as much grocer, I think we said it with home shopping, home deliveries and now at the stage where they were expected to be in 2030, not in 2020. Darren A. Smith: And wasn’t it the CEO of Airbnb that said something like 18 years of development has been crushed in nine months. Andrew Grant: Yeah. This nine months has changed our lives at warp speed. And just thinking of the account manager, nine months without a physical meeting with a buyer, lucky probably even to get Zoom meetings. Darren A. Smith: Yes. Andrew Grant: So the future, looking forward to the Ghost of Christmas Future is, and not wanting to be too bleak about it, but I think buyers have become a lot more self-sufficient, a lot less needy of their account managers in the last nine months. And I don’t see that changing. Darren A. Smith: Well, that’s very true. And also I’m just going to touch on the Ghost of Christmas Past a little more, in that those account managers, some of them are excellent at their interpersonal skills, building relationships and that’s all flipped on its head where they’re now trying to do it over Zoom, which is much, much harder. Andrew Grant: Darren, remind us of your Zoom statistic. Why is Zoom so difficult? Darren A. Smith: Well, Zoom’s difficult because the eye can see 576 million pixels. Now that just means we’re in higher resolutions. When I see you face to face, you’re in high resolution, I can see all the corners of your mouth changing, your eyebrows raised, all those nonverbal cues that could be an idea of what you’re doing or what you’re really saying. But over here, my laptop’s running about a million pixels, maybe a million and a half. So it’s like watching someone through a fog. I can’t see all the little changes that you’re making that give me the idea of what you really mean. And that’s hard and it’s exhausting. And that’s why the Ghost of Christmas Past, sorry, Present, is such a pig. Andrew Grant: Yep. No. And that’s aside from the fact that zoom meetings are very, very difficult. As I said, I think buyers are becoming more self-sufficient, so the Nam of Christmas future needs to rejig his or her toolkit or skillset to survive the future. Darren A. Smith: It does. It does. And one of the biggest challenges I think is that if we just go back for a moment to the past if it was a boring presentation, it becomes really boring over Zoom. And if your influence was poor face-to-face, it becomes really difficult over Zoom. So for me, it magnifies things so that the challenges for the future is you got to up your game on those presentations, on that influencing, in a whole different way. Andrew Grant: Yeah. You and I, whenever we do programs, always laugh about that dreadful four o’clock on a Thursday when the shiny suited Nam turns up with his or her 173 page PowerPoint presentation, you really just want to… Darren A. Smith: I know. And now the problem is you see someone open up a presentation on Zoom or whatever medium people are using. The first thing they do is look bottom left or bottom right, depending on which program and they see one of 150 slides or one of 70, and already you go… That’s it. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Yeah. The challenge of the future is going to be, how do you grab buyers’ attention? How do you make them want to talk to you? Be it physically, or be it remotely. And for me, it comes back to what we’ve always gone on about is, the new gold dust of selling, which is shopper insight. Tell them things about their shoppers that maybe they didn’t fully realize that helps them to sell more and then consequently make more. I can bang on about this for hours, but, absolutely if you know your customers’ shoppers at least as well, if not better than them, then you’re going to be a successful Nam in the future. Darren A. Smith: And we’ve both seen those presentations where however many slides there are, you get to the recommendations at the end and they’re all quite vague and you think, “My God, I’ve now got this presentation, I think the supplier wants to do really, really well. I think there’s a bunch of money in it.” But you put it on your desk and think, “My God, I don’t know what to do with it next.” Andrew Grant: Yeah. Darren A. Smith: If we were to flip that into, here’s a presentation of seven ways to make 10 million pounds on your category, hold on, I’m all ears. I’m listening to you all day long. You give me a plan. You told me things that I didn’t know about my shoppers and here’s how I can go and do it, talk to Bob, talk to Ron. Make this happen, that happen. Boom. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. I think account managers, just like all of us are going to have to live with a new normal when we finally come out of this thing, hopefully, April, May time. I guess the Ghost of Christmas Future looks like reequip yourself, take this time now to reequip yourself with the skills to be indispensable when it comes to your customers’ shopper data, would be my [inaudible 00:07:11]. Darren A. Smith: Yeah. I would build on that. So shopper insight. Absolutely. I would add to that influencing because I’ve seen, we worked with a lot of clients over the years and it’s become apparent in the last nine months. I’ll do this. You see some of them are talking to you like this, others are talking to like this. Some are here and the lighting’s poor. And all of it contributes to reducing their power of influence. I mean, we want to be framed correctly, want to have good lighting. You want to be able to see me because already you’re going through a filter. I’ve got to make sure I’m using a lot more hand gestures than I did before. Andrew Grant: Yeah. And have a decent Christmas tree in the background, another top tip. Darren A. Smith: That would absolutely help. Andrew Grant: I’m not sure if there’s a fairy on the top, it’s missing. Oh, it’s got a star. It’s got to star on the top. Darren A. Smith: All right. So just tell us in summary, what are our three ghosts? Andrew Grant: Okay. So obviously Ghost of Christmas Past, good old days when buyers wanted to see their account managers, account managers on the road. Most of them love that lifestyle. Unfortunately, the Ghost of Christmas Present is nine months of effective lockdown. Haven’t seen your buyer physically for nine months, challenges as you’ve just very clearly gone through. Challenges of making Zoom work for you. Ghost of Christmas Future actually can be a positive future, but people are going to need to reequip with the skills to live in this new normal. Darren A. Smith: And I’d leave our viewers with one question. Do you understand the difference between data insight? Most people don’t. And if you don’t, come and talk to us about shopper insights, we’ll explain the difference and we’ll help you go from a whole load of data over here, to how can I make my buyer a load of money over here. Until then. Andrew, thank you. Lovely Christmas tree. I’ll see you next week. Andrew Grant: Take care. Bye-bye. For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Category Management and our Category Management YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Category Management tips and articles.
10 minutes | 2 months ago
Grocery Guru Episode 8: The Future of High Street with Andrew Grant and Darren A. Smith
The Future of High Street Join Andrew Grant and Darren A. Smith in the eighth episode of Grocery Guru: The Future of High Street. You Can Read the Full Future of High Street Episode Transcript Below: Darren A. Smith: … keeping their staff safe, understanding the rules, blah, blah, blah. You’re right. They’ve done it. Do you say they were cajoled into doing this? Andrew Grant: Who knows. Who knows the discussions I had. I think the important thing is that it’s been done and I guess that’s sort of the breaking news. So it almost links to what I was going to talk about today, which is they’re also having to, as we’ve said in a couple of the previous episodes of this, they’re having to deal with change to their market where 10 years of change has happened in six months. [crosstalk 00:00:00:38]. Darren A. Smith: Yeah, yeah. Andrew Grant: Yeah. And the costs involved in just coping with that must be immense. Darren A. Smith: And what does that mean? I mean, we’ve got the future of the High Street. I’m sure that’s well documented. And particularly we’ve got Debenhams, Arcadia recent. The future of our High Street, I mean, is it all going to be coffee shops and hairdressers? Andrew Grant: Well, it’s interesting. I think, unfortunately, you get the pain before the game. I saw over the weekend, Bill Grimsby, Bill Grimsey, I don’t even remember him, used to run Iceland and then Wix. Seasoned retail professional. Got a lot of time for the guys. A really good operator. I think he interviewed me once but didn’t give me the job. So anyway, not everyone’s perfect. But he basically was saying that people like himself spent the eighties and the nineties creating Lego brick towns where you can remember every single town was a copycat. There was a Boots, a WHSmiths. Also a Tesco. There was a Curry’s, there was a God going back, Timothy Wise, Radio Rentals, and every town was a carbon copy. Darren A. Smith: And I remember as a kid and then becoming an adult, you, you went from towns being very different. You’ve visited towns as a kid and you saw different things. And then as an adult, we went to towns and it was exactly the same damn thing in every town. But now that’s going to go completely off. Andrew Grant: That is the opportunity that supermarkets, as we said, they will be different. They’re not going to have deli counters. As we said, I think last week or the week before, these urban fulfilment centres where half of the store turns dark and the new Lego brick is online. So online is increasing, how do you differentiate online because you can offer everything online? So people love the convenience of online. They love the convenience of the van turning up outside the house, but it’s not exactly exciting, is it? Darren A. Smith: No, it’s not. I mean, one of the things that have happened is speed. You can now get something in about five hours of ordering it off some website. Andrew Grant: Yeah. Darren A. Smith: Some in 12 hours, 24. The days of taking 3 to 5 business days are gone. So that [inaudible 00:03:05]. Andrew Grant: People want to touch and feel. They want to touch, feel, smell, experience stuff before they buy it. Particularly, maybe not necessarily food but certainly think of clothes. So how many times do you buy clothes and they don’t fit or they’re not quite what you expected. People will still want shops. Darren A. Smith: The returns policy comes in and it has to be absolutely open. Free delivery, free try on, send back whatever you don’t want I’ll put the money in your account before it arrives to us. Andrew Grant: Which is where Amazon, whether you love them or don’t love them, absolutely brilliant. But anyway, I’ve got a quiz for you. I’ve got a quiz for you, Darren. So future of the High Street, there has been research done in terms of what will encourage people into stores if there aren’t any deli counters, the grocery becomes part of the dark store, what sort of services and things do people want to see in stores? So let’s see how close you get to these top three. Number one 42% of people said that they would want to see one of these in-store and would actively seek out a store that had one. Darren A. Smith: A product expo. Andrew Grant: No, it’s a service. Darren A. Smith: Okay, service. A party planner. Andrew Grant: No, no, no. A pharmacy with a qualified pharmacist on site. And it’s interesting the order of these, because I think my order might be slightly different. So number one, very sensibly of the good old British public pharmacy. Number two at 35% of people said that they would actively shop in a place that’s provided with this. Darren A. Smith: A dry cleaners. Andrew Grant: No. Darren A. Smith: Okay. I’m thinking of a Timpson’s key cutting type place. Andrew Grant: No. A bit more of, a bit more of a basic need. I don’t mean install toilets. Darren A. Smith: No, I’ve no idea. Andrew Grant: Food, hot food on site. So a restaurant or a cafe or whatever. Darren A. Smith: Oh, okay. Andrew Grant: And this is the one that I found most interesting. So I think I’ll put that at number one. 29% of people said that they would actively shop in a store that provided? Darren A. Smith: Personal shopping. Andrew Grant: Alcohol. Darren A. Smith: Oh okay. Andrew Grant: Now one of the surveys was done on proper demographic grounds. And whether the mix between the sexes was properly filtered out. I don’t know. But yeah, the third most popular in-store request was alcohol on site. Darren A. Smith: Oh, okay. Okay. All right. All right. Because I’m thinking of one of the things that was really popular was Jessup’s. Now those poor sods were doing a cracking job providing all of the knowledge, then the customer would leave the shop go and find them on Amazon. Andrew Grant: Yeah. And that is the problem, isn’t it? That this future that becomes experiential, I think is the word experiential shopping, the danger is people go, and I think PC World is suffering from this. Yeah. People go and look, feel, touch, decide which fridge freezer will fit in their kitchen. And then order it from Amazon or appliances online. Darren A. Smith: Yeah. They’re just aren’t going to survive. Not doing that. They need something more, don’t they? Yeah. Andrew Grant: Yeah. And let’s take it back to the grocers where I think the grocers are doing a very good job. If you look at the Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s or Waitrose’s of this world, they’re adding all these really phenomenal, new, sexy boutique products and brands that you can’t get online. You can’t get in Aldi. But stuff, if you’re an enthusiastic cook or you’d like to come up with recipes at the weekend, et cetera, the stuff that now people like, I guess Waitrose have always done it, but Tesco and Sainsbury’s really jumping into that space so that people have a reason to go there to experience great food. Although it may be a bit gloomy at the moment with stores shutting. I think the future, as Bill Grimsey said is actually, we’re going to get a very diverse, very much more choice and we’ll move away from these identikit towns, which I think is a good thing. Darren A. Smith: Yeah, I do. So maybe there’s a positive to come out in this damn COVID. Andrew Grant: Yeah. And with all the news this week with the vaccine, maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel. And as you do travel round, there are already towns that maybe are the model. Froome in Somerset has got so many independent artisan shops and particularly food shops, but it’s become a magnet of its own. There’s a town in Wales that does exactly the same thing. So if our local high streets can look more like a Froome, bring it on I’d say, Darren A. Smith: Well, I know in my hometown which is Thame in Oxfordshire, there was a Domino’s around. Yes. Yeah. Because we were trying to keep that balance between the independence, the quaint British town, market town. And yet we’ve got to bring in some of these brands that can pay the rent. Andrew Grant: Absolutely. So anyway, I’m back off shopping. I may even pop in to see if the 29% of people were right in their choice. Darren A. Smith: And something for our viewers is if you’re a national account manager and you were thinking about the future of what you need to do, then e-commerce category management is something you definitely need to start understanding how you shop and navigate some menus, ordering promotions, abandoned costs, as the Americans would say. We’re getting a lot of inquiries about this stuff for the moment. Andrew Grant: And if you tune in next week, we’re going to talk about the ghost of Christmas future, aren’t we? Darren A. Smith: Oh yes, we are. Andrew Grant: Yes. So we’re going to talk about the future of national account managers and how, again, a bit like the High Street, there’s big, big rosy opportunities in the future if people change, but goes the Christmas present if you stay as you are. Maybe time for a new year resolution. Darren A. Smith: Okay. Yep. All right. Looking forward to that Andrew. We will talk to you next week either from your car or back at home? We’ll see you then. Andrew Grant: Take care. Bye-bye. For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Category Management and our Category Management YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Category Management tips and articles.
11 minutes | 2 months ago
Grocery Guru Episode 5: The Demise of the Deli Counter with Andrew Grant and Darren A. Smith
Discussing the Deli Counter Demise We all love them, buy a treat from them occasionally, but have they had their day? Are we witnessing the demise of the deli counter? Is it time to put them out to pasture? You Can Read the Full Deli Counter Demise Episode Transcript Below: Darren A. Smith: Welcome to week five with the Grocery Guru, there is Andrew Grant. Andrew, how are you doing? Andrew Grant: Yeah. Good morning. I think it’s still good morning, Darren. But suffice to say I’m in mourning. Darren A. Smith: You are in mourning. Andrew Grant: See what I did there? See what I did there? Darren A. Smith: I see that was a good double pun. I understand you’re in mourning because of some news about some counters. Is that right? Andrew Grant: Yeah. Sainsbury’s closing all their meat, fish, and deli counters, which was ground zero for me as a fresh face graduate buying fish for Sainsbury’s fish counters. So a little bit of history ending for me so hence the small little tear of regret. Darren A. Smith: So the retail landscape, the high street is changing, counters are going for one of the big supermarkets. But interestingly, I also read that Waitrose has taken advantage of this and put more lines, extended their range on their counters. Andrew Grant: Yeah, it’s interesting, isn’t it? I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that a person with a calculator and a red pen made the decision to close those counters. If you dial into their half-year results presentation to the city, they said they’ll save 60 million by closing the counters. Now their underlying profits are really 300 million, so that’s a good 20% of profits that will get boosted when they close them. So I think it’s very much been a financial decision. Darren A. Smith: And I’m not surprised by that. Now, did you know that MBM used to have a sister business called MCM? Andrew Grant: Well, I do remember you used to be in the counter business because the other point I was going to make it all right, you’re going to save 60 million in operating costs. But what do you do with all that metal and perspex and refrigeration and yeah, it’s an expensive kit. Darren A. Smith: So we used to be very big into counters. At one point for four years, we coached all the food counter people at Sainsbury’s and then made a great market share difference for them. They then took it in-house and we took the idea to Tesco, had a team of 60 people coaching all the people behind counters. So I know a bit about it. Now what one of the Tesco’s guys said at the time, was the counters was the window to fresh. And if shoppers saw counters looking good and feeling good and it was intangible, they said that was something we need to keep. Because it keeps shoppers coming in, even though they didn’t buy from it. Andrew Grant: Wel
9 minutes | 2 years ago
E10 – Learn How to Build Confidence and Re-Write That Post-It Note on Your Head
E10 – Learn How to Build Confidence and Re-Write That Post-It Note on Your Head You’ve spent months preparing for that date with destiny. The presentation that will make or break your career. You know you are ready, yet somewhere deep inside there’s a voice that says you’re not good enough. You don’t belong. In short, there’s a metaphoric post-it note on your head saying, ‘FAIL’. You need to learn how to build confidence and change that voice. A man with great facial hair, laying back on his desk… smiling, a post-it not on his head: ‘Be happy :)’ Consider, for a moment, how that impacts upon your approach, your tone, your body language and your confidence. Listen to our latest podcast to learn how to build confidence by using the ‘word-on-head’ influencing technique. Take back control, write your own metaphorical forehead post-it notes, and change that voice to something more positive. Change the script to ‘SUCCESS’. Read the How to Build Confidence Podcast Transcript: “I’d like to share a sticky story with you about putting a Post-it note on your head, on your forehead. My name is Darren and you’re at the home of Sticky Learning MBM, Making Business Matter, Trainers to the UK Grocery Industry. I used to work for one of the top four supermarkets in the head office. Worked there for many years, thoroughly enjoyed it. I had started as a deputy assistant cottage cheese buyer. I have reached the lofty heights of buying cottage cheese, so that was my first job. That gave me a good understanding of buying off supermarkets. I guess I was always destined to go into that role because my father worked there for 40 years. Also, my brother worked there, my uncle, it was almost the family business.” The Big Job “I travelled four hours a day on the train, commute, and Tube and walk. Travelling from where we lived in Oxford into Stanford Street, London. As I’ve progressed through my career, various buying jobs, there was the big job that everyone looked for, the one just below the senior manager who reports to the director and they called it C6. C6 was, I guess in nowadays terms, it was a senior buyer or trading manager or a category manager. They were the sort of people who would look after the whole of fruit and you could be responsible for buying a billion pounds worth in a team of maybe 12 or more.” “I was a C5, I was looking to get my promotion and for this promotion, what the com
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