When we began our partnership with Brand X in October of 2019, they were coming off a tough 2017/2018 – including double digit declines across all categories, distribution losses, minimal promotional execution, and a struggle to work with their current broker network.
As we transitioned onto the business, we knew that we had a challenge ahead of us. It required major introspection of the business and a deep dive into parts of the business that had been glossed over for years due to the Brand’s lack of bandwidth to penetrate customers with sufficient frequency & focus.
Here are the results from our year-long partnership – and the process it took to get there.
Total Company Performance
Total Brand: Latest 12 Weeks Accelerating at 2X Growth vs. 52 weeks
Category 1: Outperforming Category Growth 3X L12 and 24 weeks
Category 2: Business Turnaround, Now Outpacing the Category & +47% Growth vs. Category
Category 3: Double Digit Growth(L12 weeks +49%,43% better than the category) DespiteOvercoming Sporadic Manufacturing/Supply Interruptions, which have been eliminated for 2021
*SPINS ending 1/19/21
UNDERSTAND Initially, we worked with our client partner’s cross functional team to better understand the foundational elements of their business. This consisted of a deep dive into their approach to sales go-to-market strategy, a sequential approach to building an early-stage business, broker network, how they supported their distribution to drive velocities, gain trial & awareness, and create new demand, as well as their Marketing investment strategy to their consumer. We needed to understand why their consumers valued their products, their key points of differentiation and how best to build their business through strong retailer proof of concept, without adding to their cash burn. We took a holistic view at their Brand segments & SKU portfolio to ensure we had the most productive and profitable mix for our supply chain & on shelf performance.
PLAN We knew we needed the right plan in place to ensure success on our customer’s shelves. This meant reviewing past promotional performance and customer specific marketing initiatives to determine the optimal playbook across categories to re-establish brand credibility and re-build growth. We identified key partners to invest with to grow our brand and deliver strong retailer success to use with the rest of the market. We worked through plans to provide accurate financial and production forecasts, which allowed for improved safety stocks, a firmed-up supply chain and SKU optimization to drive more profitable & productive SKU’s in the portfolio, thus improving cash flow.
EXECUTE Once our internal plans were set, we began to implement our changes. This included executing significantly improved promotional calendars at top retailers across conventional, natural, and mass: (i.e., Kroger, Whole Foods, Target, Sprouts, etc)**. Understanding the need for urgency, we quickly engaged the buyers and category managers to both ensure that our brand was well supported at the shelf and meeting or exceeding retailer investment expectations. In addition, we implemented our SKU rationalization at the shelf level to avoid supporting SKUs with unattractive margins. We then worked with the cross functional team (marketing, supply chain & finance) to develop touchstone innovation & a brand refresh that resonates with our core consumer – receiving terrific feedback from retailers across both natural + conventional. As we look back on what we have accomplished in 2020 – driving 2X growth, outperforming category growth in multiple segments, turning around SKU productivity with improved velocities, improving overall margin structure – we are confident that we have set ourselves up for a successful 2021 and beyond.
**Retailers named are trademarks of their respective companies.
Sunset Strategic Brands is a proven outsourced sales, strategy, sales finance, and retailer marketing integrated partner that rapidly scales your CPG business at a remarkably low cost. Sunset is comprised of a national DIRECT sales and support team of 16 individuals with extensive and proven sales experience spanning across Grocery, Natural, Mass, Club and Alternative CPG Channels. We are not a Broker, rather we are YOUR Direct Sales organization... and much more!