It's all about finishing well.  Understand the point-to-point mechanics of how your stuff ends up in your customers' hands.  Attach yourself to an order-understand the touch points from the consumer's initial awareness of the product or category through traditional advertising, online search, or social media all the way through the in-store merchandising experience-and see what you learn about potential weak spots in your competitor's assumptions.

Capitalize on opportunity.  "Whenever there's an opportunity for foot traffic, from either a season or a competitor, you really have to capitalize on it,"  "Regardless of whether you get the ad space, you always have an opportunity in stores to promote your product and take advantage of that traffic."

Plan for trouble.  Losing a key merchandising opportunity promised by an important partner happens in life and in business, but that doesn't mean you can't make doubly sure that won't happen today or tomorrow. And never stop working just because you've been told you got the ad.

Be ready when trouble arrives.  One of the most enduring lessons that an experience teaches is that you should have the resources ready when the opportunity (for the disaster) arises.  Having the foresight to train and retain the right resources is half the battle.

 

Contributed by Stephen Denny, Keynote Speaker & Author of Killing Giants, 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry.

http://www.speakersforsuccess.com/stephen-denny/

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