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Store 360 - What's the Perfect Store?

Nothing like a good Yogi Berra quote to completely define the hard to define! 

 

Today I’m kicking off the series “Executing Perfection” where I explore the challenges Brands, Retailers, Distributors and Wholesalers are having with store execution today and how technology can meet these challenges. 

 

If a tree falls in the forest and no is there, does it still make a sound?

The CPG world is stacked with some of the brightest Inventors, Marketers, and Executives in business.  The CPG Industry continues to develop products that help us live better.  Just watch #Sharktank.  Some of the “Why didn’t I think of that” products to “I would never have thought of that” gets displayed on this show.  Inspiring.  Entertaining.  Awesome. 

In every case, these entrepreneurs are seeking execution, “Mr. Wonderful, I can use your help executing our brand at retail?… and I need more money.

Major CPG companies like P&G, Modelez, Kraft all have robust R&D organizations focused on developing the “next thing” within their various categories.  The return on these R&D investments are 100% reliant on execution.  Like said tree in the proverbial forest. 

Perfection is in the Eye of the Beholder

Since “Perfect Store” initiatives became a global movement within the CPG industry over the past decade, “Perfection” is defined by the Brand (The beholder in this metaphor).   Many Brands, in collaboration with Sales and Category Management, determine how a specific brand should be merchandised in store to maximize shopper off-take. Details such as brand position, assortment, brand flow, Pricing etc.  If a brand drives off-shelf display, the number of displays, adjacencies, POS execution and items on display are all mapped out with incredible detail… seeking perfection.  Perfection is all about the details.

Do we ever ACHIEVE Perfection?

If you were to search “Perfection quotes”, you will likely find many opinions and perspectives on achieving perfection.  Retail is a dynamic environment where a “Perfect Store” is often blemished when someone buys your product.  Hard to maintain perfect shelves when people buy your products and mess up what you built.

On the other hand, if done right, the “Perfect Store” for a brand should optimize sales.  Always having the right items in the right place will maximize consumer off-take and support efficient supply chain operations.  Although “Perfection” is a lofty goal, it is, however, a vision worth pursuing given the focus is garners across the organization.  Everyone is aligned to what “Perfect” should look like and adjust their work around this vision.  Whether you are in Finance looking to understand the investments needed to achieve perfection or the Trade Marketer developing Point of Sale, aligning to a vision of perfection allows everyone to work in concert with each other. 

Why is this so hard to measure?

If “Perfection” was the destination on a map, how would you know how far or close you are?  If we align our organizations around the idea of a “Perfect Store” we better find a way to measure where we stand against this vision.  Find gaps, make adjustments, reallocate resources.   It is hard, however, to find all the imperfections across 200,000 stores across the retail landscape.  Most organizations are simply not set up to gather the information needed to fully assess where any retailer, region or route stands against the published vision of “Perfection”.  If we don’t know where we are going, any road will lead you there- right?

AI Image Recognition IS your Measuring Stick

VisionGroupretail.com, specifically the Maxerience.com line of business, has AI Technology that specifically helps those in the CPG Industry measure the details outlined within “Perfect Store” initiatives.  The product is known as Store360 and its impressive.  AI captures real-time, unbiased store level data that reports every detail the machine can see.  This data is then compared with the details of the “Perfect Store” which generates a gap report.  Now I know where I stand.  Or using my map metaphor… you know where you are and what roads are needed to get you there.

Over the next month, I will be talking about the “Perfect Store” and different ways AI-Image Recognition can help Brands, Distributors and Retailers achieve their Brand vision.  I hope you find these blogs meaningful and thought provoking.  I welcome your feedback and comments as we continue to build the CPG Industry.

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

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