During a key new product launch, retail partners of a global electronics manufacturer were provided training to ensure that Product X was properly positioned to customers seeking to make a purchase. Research revealed that Product X was only recommended 50% of the time to key customer segments. They therefore developed a data-driven approach to support their retail management strategy by identifying:
1. How often was their product being recommended to their key customer segments?
2. What specific reasons were given when their product was recommended?
3. If their product wasn’t recommended, what product was recommended and why?
Through TrendSource’s collaborative process, the goals of the program became clear:
• Identify how Retail Sales Reps were positioning and recommending products and features.
• Identify the top areas of opportunity for re-training needed by retail channel.
• Determine market messaging revisions needed for supporting clarity of features/benefits in the consumer market.
Keys to Successful Implementation
• Identifying key objectives, understanding how results will be utilized and creating a picture for what success looks like.
• A sampling plan was created to ensure appropriate distribution by each retail channel partner and major geographic market.
• Development of three scenarios (A, B, C) to mirror the client’s customer segments by needs and demographics.
• Send in Field Agents anonymously disguised to play the role of an inquiring customer during the early stages of the product launch.
Analysis and Results
• Retail Sales Reps were only recommending the product 50% of the time to their key customer segments.
• The Retail Sales Reps did not describe the design benefits and functionality of the product, which resulted in loss of sales.
• Reasons why competitor products, features and benefits were recommended by Retail Sales Reps were identified.
• TrendSource was able to pinpoint which retailers were not recommending the clients products.
• This allowed the electronics manufacturer to identify the biggest areas of concern with regard to their retail channel partnerships. They took action and offered additional training and materials to these retailers to change the outcome quickly while the product launch was still ongoing.