Category Strategy and Scorecards
Author: Sue Nicholls
The direction you need to achieve your goals.
You’ve completed a category review or category assessment, ultimately identifying your biggest areas of opportunity to help you achieve your target goals and objectives in the category.
The tendency to jump from the category assessment and opportunity identification to fixing the tactics and finalizing the category plan is common. But this approach can lead to failure of the entire category plan.
Both Retailers and Manufacturers need category strategies and scorecards tied in with their business to help them better plan and measure success to achieve their overall goals.
Incorporating strategies and a strategically developed category scorecard provides a bridge between opportunity identification and implementation.
Don’t Skip Assigning Category Strategies
Assigning category strategies is often a step that is not well understood and can ironically get skipped in category management. Lack of category strategies results in a lack of direction for the category – and you can’t possibly choose the right tactics to create action in the category without well defined strategies.
Remember, your strategies should be derived from the biggest opportunities identified in the category assessment.
Two Category Strategies once your Assessment is complete:
Increase $ Spent by Premium Shopper
The assessment highlighted an underdevelopment in this highly loyal Shopper group. The strategy is to load shoppers by encouraging multiple items per trip and trading them up to the premium segment.
Increase Loyalty of Pet Owners
Shoppers of pet products at the Retailer are leaking $ at a high rate relative to similar categories. The opportunity is to improve loyalty of pet owners through improved assortment offerings and emphasis on more premium products.
Strategies may also be more traditional (CatMan 1.0) like increasing store traffic (or traffic builder) through aggressive promotions, display and price.
Get your scorecards ready!
Once you’ve assigned category strategies, you can create a scorecard that monitors your progress toward accomplishing your strategic objectives. At its highest level, think of a scorecard as a strategic planning document that links activities to the category strategies.
What should a Category Scorecard DO?
- Monitor progress to ensure that you’re going to accomplish the strategic objectives in the category plan.
- Include regular reviews of the business that includes key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Measurement of how your organization is doing against pre-defined goals or targets.
What can’t a Category Scorecard DO?
- Your category scorecard is NOT the same as corporate monthly reports that measure overall business results.
Remember to ask these important questions when it comes to Category Scorecards and Strategies —
What’s happening in the category?
Where are my opportunities?
How can I implement successfully?