Building a customer-curious mindset to drive growth and unlock success

Date : 21 April 2022

Adam Jones

Commercial Solutions Manager

If your commercial teams are finding it increasingly difficult to build strategic plans with your key customers, you’re not alone.

There has been a lot of volatility in the market in over the past two years, and in the current Socio-Economic Climate, with Inflation, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and impending HFSS legislation to name but three, it is harder than ever to identify where to win with customers.

Buyers are under increasing pressure to deliver the day to day and have less time to work on longer term plans, making it increasingly difficult to land strategic priorities and ultimately land business objectives that grow sales, profitability, and market share.

Making choices on where to invest and how to drive value for our customers is an essential, but too often plans can be too vague and lack the personalisation that will have the biggest positive impact on performance.

To unlock success, it’s more vital than ever to have a deep understanding of what is important to your retail partners and look at your plans through a customer lens. Today’s successful suppliers and manufacturers create incremental value for customers by putting them at the heart of their planning and decision making. Adopting a curious mindset, and truly understanding our customers, to ensure we know everything about their strategic objectives, from the end-to-end supply chain model, through to their financial performance is key to building stronger relationships and driving business growth.

At IGD, we have developed a diagnostic approach to understanding the attributes of each of your customers, so you can set specific targets on what to drive and strengthen your relationships and opportunities for growth. For instance, we recently undertook an in-depth ‘Standing in customer’s’ shoes programme with the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé. Through this bespoke programme we were able to facilitate the identification of their customer’s strategic priorities and formulate a hierarchy of needs for their commercial contacts, bringing a new way of thinking and enabling them to speak the customer’s language.

How can IGD help?

IGD’s engaging and interactive “Standing in Customers Shoes” programme will equip your teams to engage with customers by speaking their language and create more compelling propositions.

Our bespoke solution will:

  • Allow commercial teams to understand the impact and implications for their business of retailers’ and wholesalers’ corporate and strategic objectives.,
  • Build knowledge about the associated costs and value creation opportunities throughout the retail supply chain by channel.,
  • Enable teams to interpret the key retailer measures and metrics throughout the value
  • Know how specific business model and functional KPI measures impact individuals “hierarchy of needs”, for each customer/contact.,
  • Increase successful outcomes with customers through being able to align commercial propositions and JBP’s with their priority measures and KPI’s.,

The programme learnings can be immediately applied to the “day job” and encourage participants to set stretching objectives that when implemented will drive measurable return on investment.

The programme will consider the range of KPI’s applicable to multiple functions and channels including e-commerce, wholesale and buying alliances. We will blend our extensive retail expertise, our online insight services and capability building content to create an interactive programme that is relevant and creates a clear action plan for your business.

To discuss how we can build a unique, bespoke “Standing in customers shoes” programme for your business, please contact me, [email protected].