FMCG firms need to focus on category before brand

FMCG firms including Nestle and Interbrew are working with

management consultants Glendinning to develop a category management

approach to marketing.



The strategy will focus on working with retailers to build first the

category, then the brand.



In a session entitled 'Driving brands through retail' Stephen Mawby,

director of consulting at Glendinning, explained that in order to grow,

brands need to start by looking at the category vision, and then look at

the role of the brand in that category.



"Retailers do not care about brand growth, but about category growth,"

said Mawby. "However, if brands allow single retailers to dictate their

brand strategy it would become immensely complicated. So, suppliers need

to drive the agenda."



Jonathan Michelmore, category manager at Nestle, revealed that it has

been restructuring its £260m consumer food division around

category management over the past 15 months.



The new approach has included selling different sizes of the snack in

the confectionery and biscuit sections at different price points. "You

need to take the brand round the store and think about the other

occasions on which it can be used," said Mawby.



The process has also included training some of Nestle's brand marketers

to become 'internal experts' on category management.



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