Every consumer brand needs a route-to-market strategy to determine which distribution channels they should use to get product to its target customers. Also known as a go-to-market or sales execution strategy, Route to Market (RTM) Planning is an essential activity for brands that want to grow sales of their existing products or roll-out new range extensions. For launching new products into a marketplace, RTM Planning is sometimes described as Brand Activation.
The biggest challenge for RTM managers in the CPG (consumer packaged goods) and FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) sectors is to achieve profitable brand growth by maximising sales while minimising the costs of distribution. This ensures that products reach the customers in an efficient and effective manner, maintaining availability to consumers across all channels to drive offtake and ultimately sales growth.
Developing a successful route to market strategy requires a focus on the right categories and the needs and behaviours of your target consumers. To increase revenue, profitability and customer loyalty, it is vital to choose the right sales channels, products and value propositions for your brand.
At Serendipity2 we support consumer brands with their Route to Market planning activity, by helping you answer some key questions:
- Who are the consumers of your brand?
- Where do these consumers live, work and shop?
- Which retailers do they prefer and which shopper occasions are most relevant for them?
- Why should consumers choose your brand within its category?
- What is the potential size of the market opportunity with those consumers?
Following our unique RISE approach, we employ a six-stage methodology to help brand owners develop an effective Route to Market strategy.
1. Review & summarise existing sources of relevant consumer research for the brand, such as output from focus groups, online surveys or in-house market research.
2. Define the key characteristics of the brand’s consumers across demographic, lifestyle & attitudinal attributes. Use this insight to develop an overall Brand Profile in terms of target geodemographic types.
3. Segment this target audience into a number of distinct Personas, to reflect the different types of consumers that make up the Brand Profile. Develop pen portraits for these Personas to help brand & marketing teams create engaging and relevant campaigns.
4. Apply the Persona definitions to the UK population to estimate market potential and the sales opportunity within each segment. Map this potential geographically to highlight areas with the highest consumer demand. Overlay locations of existing distribution outlets, target retailers or other sites/estates. Differentiate these distribution channels by retailer brand, fascia/format and store size.
5. Based on store characteristics, define catchments using appropriate distance or drivetime given the site location (e.g. High St, Shopping Centre, Retail Park). Use these catchments to estimate the brand consumer footfall opportunity for each outlet, and rank stores based on these estimates of local market potential.
6. Plan and execute a roll-out strategy to the right stores, in the right locations to the right target audience, supported by the right range and promotions for each key retailer.