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Needle in the Haystack

“I thought I was onto something.  Then I realized I was probably on something.”

Finding that nugget, diamond in the rough, needle in the haystack that delivers the ultimate insight is so gratifying.   So often, however, you realize that your brilliant insight only applies to a limited number of items or stores.  Once you have come to terms with the reality of this situation, you go back to the drawing board.

This is the last of my Category Management Series outlining how AI-Image Recognition is becoming a critical tool for Category Management Executives to “SEE” the shelf with incredible detail, generate more data, automate planogram analysis, and make sure you have no regrets for getting what you need to make good recommendations to retailers.   


The purpose of this series is to introduce technology that supports finding all the needles, diamonds and nuggets for your brand.  Within these “gems”, we find the inspiration needed to become an “Indispensable Partner” with our retailers and suppliers.   That is, a partnership so mutually beneficial that neither can live without the other.  Arguably, the ultimate goal of most “Thought Leaders”.

Source: Pixabay

The needles are getting harder to find.

I have highlighted throughout this series the challenges Category Manager Leaders will continue having staying ahead of the industry. The “Needles” or unique insights are the most valuable in maintaining thought leadership.  However, they are embedded deep into channels that are hard to track.  Some of the largest beverage brands have come through supplement channel which has very limited syndicated data.  I see innovation coming out of the natural channel where large independent retailers are hard to trac.  Making both channels really hard to SEE.  If you serve the hardware/ home improvement channel, the independent universe is massive while data to support the majors continues to be vague. 


AI- Image Recognition and the various Internet of things (IoT) developed the firms such as The Vision Group are the only technologies able to find these critical “needles”.

Source: Pixabay

What’s next...

I hope you enjoyed the Category Management Series of blogs.  My next series is called “The Reset”.  Whether you are launching a new item or launching a brand, seeing the collective work represented by how the Planogram is reset becomes a day of reckoning for many.  This 5-part series will explore the challenges CPG companies have with the annual- sometimes ongoing reset process.  Be on the lookout for the following titles… “Where did we land…”, “The Contract Talk”, “Just the Facts…”, “What’s the impact?”, and “Did we win?”.   

For more information on AI- Image Recognition, visit maxerience.com or contact Jason DeRienzo at jderienzo@maxerience.com..

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