Total Excellence Journey: Step 1 Developing a 5 point plan

Our research confirms that creating category excellence is how to win in 2020. Why? The grocery industry is going through significant structural change as the industry adjusts to technology, economic and social impacts. Consumption patterns will emerge as consumers and shoppers become more influenced by environmental and healthy consumption patterns. So how will brands connect?

There is a need to take a holistic view of the shopper journey. In 2020 Understanding and defining the decision path and the path to purchase has never been more important to brand growth.

Below are just some of the ideas that we use to drive for total category excellence.

1. Do you know how to maximise the commercial influence in the market?

Have you got access to the right tools, standards, and solution road maps to drive an agile response to market demands? When scoping a gap do you have a robust and practical action plan? Has the assessment by the project team covered all outcomes?

The business of solution design, solutions development and solution testing will become core to growth.

2. What must be delivered to drive commercial influence?

The third phase must be to embed best practice across the lead departments. Streamlining solution delivery, solution feedback and solution tracking requires commercial and functional discipline. A great way to create cross-department trust is to publish and engagement plan handbook designed to bring all the stakeholders together and improve cross-discipline communications.

All this can be summarised across commercial, supply, operations, and support functions. A capability audit combined with a capability vision leads to capability planning, activation, and management.

Are you doing what all that is necessary to win? Is there a focus in the business for an integrated or cross-functional approach?

3. Is there an understanding of what is needed to be effective?

Is the supply chain, finance, brand, and operations integrated to deliver commercial excellence?. Is the business able to help brand owners find and deploy the commercial capabilities needed to develop and implement winning commercial performance strategies?

4. Have you covered all the ‘Excellence’ pathways? 

Commercial excellence relies heavily on the five pathways of:

  • Category leadership development
  • Category marketing development
  • Consumer marketing development
  • Shopper marketing development
  • Customer marketing development

5. How to create a competitive advantage?

Establishing your business as category leaders in the minds of your customers is a requirement for the respected brand. Any strategy should create “Category Marketing” capabilities within your business that will guide and direct your commercial, innovation and development plans.

At the heart of any vibrant strategy is the creation of “Consumer Marketing” capability that allows your brands to influence and drive category growth and development. At every step, you should build your “Shopper Marketing” capability to win the Shoppers decision beyond the Point of Sale. Defining your “Customer Marketing” capability to ensure you become a trusted advisor to your key customers is a primary directive.

About Big River Solutions

If you have a need to accelerate performance, build capability or find the right talent, Big River Solutions can help you on your journey towards Commercial Excellence. Over recent years and with the help of our clients we have developed a program of “Fresh Thinking’ designed to apply a systematic approach to improve business problem-solving skills.

As a business, it is the long-term relationships that we build with all the stakeholders that are most important to us. We are the ‘clients champion’. It is this value that means our clients do not use us once but rely on us delivering for them continuously.

Our commitment to quality, consistency, rigour and more, ensures that high-performance standards are a priority for anyone building commercial trust.

Continuous improvement is at the heart of everything we do.


Good luck and if you need any help our contact details are below.

Who are Big River Solutions?

  1. We are Big River Solutions a global Category Marketing consultancy based in the UK specialising in driving commercial excellence.
  2. Our focus is on helping our clients grow through connecting their categories and brands to their target consumers, shoppers and customers. Creating Category’s for Growth is our expertise.
  3. We help develop rigorous and commercially integrated strategic and tactical growth plans for categories and brands based on knowledge, insight, vision and a deep understanding of market drivers.
  4. We help convert plans into action through innovation and engagement that drives positive behaviour changes in target consumers, shoppers and customers and delivers expected results.
  5. We help develop and embed commercial capabilities required to gain and sustain competitive advantage through organisation and people.

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