Broadcast vs. Narrowcast Availability
Driving product availability at targeted points of sale is a critical factor in gaining consumer trial, growing impulse sales and strengthening market presence.
Coca-Cola established the premise of trying to make sure products are "within arm's reach of desire".
Making products broadly available in the point-of-sale universe involves heavy costs in distribution, merchandising equipment and trade programs.
Very few brands justify the sort of broadcast availability pursued for Coke and other carbonated soft drinks.
The business case for availability has to be built on the basis of when and where there are consumer targets who need and want the products.
Most brands should pursue narrowcast availability to:
- Target specific sets of consumers
- Track how these consumers go through the day and the week
- Understand where to connect with consumers at existing and potential points sale.
Role of Prime Locations
Prime locations are those points of sale with high concentrations and traffic flows of consumer targets, and so targets themselves.
Every brand has distinctive types of prime locations, such as:
- "Points of Sweat" for Gatorade
- "Points of Morning" for Kellogg
- "Points of Youth" for Sunny Delight
Consumers are captive at primes, or visit in the course of their day.
- Schools, work sites, and heath care institutions have captive consumer populations.
- Convenience stores, recreational facilities, and lunch spots have high traffic.
Prime locations are not the same as channels, because not every account in a particular channel delivers exactly the same set of consumers or provides the same type of consumer experiences.
Driving Discovery, Trial and Repeat Sales
New beverage and food brands are discovered and tried on impulse by consumers at points of sale that they frequent during their day.
Advertising can establish initial awareness, but discovery of products depends on market penetration
A danger of too broad an availability strategy is that trial goes badly and repeat sales are lost, either because the product was:
- Inappropriate for the occasion and usage.
- Mishandled at the point of sale.
There needs to be a strong strategic fit between targeted consumers and the points of sale targeted for product availability.
- Brand-owners and distribution partners need to work together at target points of sale to optimize the consumer experience of the brand.
Aligning Brands with Consumer Occasions
Auctive focus on developing selling and marketing strategies by aligning brands with consumer consumption occasions
Highest Consumer Demand
Greatest Brand Building Opportunity (Reinforcing Brand Equities)
Highest Margin Opportunity throughout value chain
80/20 Rule, a subset of accounts often comprise the lion share of sales and profit potential
Scale Building in Distribution
A big challenge in executing availability strategies in prime locations is retaining the commitment and focus of distribution partners.
Distribution partners deliver the best results for a brand-owner when its products deliver high growth rates or large volumes.
Relatively few brands have the certainty of large volumes year-in and year-out (and those that do are often distributed directly).
In order to maintain the effectiveness of sales and distribution to prime locations, brand-owners need to keep building scale with:
- Additional flavors, package sizes and types.
- Line extensions and new products.
- Additional brands obtained from other brand-owners.
The key to building scale in distribution and growing effectiveness in serving prime locations is to find the optimal products for the consumers in these accounts, such as brands marketed to children and young adults for schools.
Outside sourcing of product can help to achieve scale in primes, so long as the external brands fit the availability strategy.