Collaborative innovation key to cpg/retail success, Kalypso finds
Sunday, July 17, 2011
leaders are looking to collaborative idea generation -- working with many
partners in the value chain, including competitors -- to discover new and
meaningful ways to satisfy the customer and build bottom-line results. But few
industry players excel at collaboration, which among other traits, requires
diversity of leadership, according to a study by Kalypso.
In a survey of more than
170 executive Network of Executive Women members, Kalypso found manufacturers
and retailers with a well-executed collaborative innovation program in place
have the potential to improve sales and profits 15 to 20 percent.
consolidation and private brand growth, cpg manufacturers must recognize their
biggest customer may also be their biggest competitor, the study found. Still,
the benefits of cpg manufacturers working closely with retailers are many,
including insight into shopper needs; opportunities to differentiate in ways
that drive equity and make the manufacturer indispensable to the retailer and
access to more retail space and greater success of new items.
For retailers looking to
differentiate manufacturers’ offerings to meet their shopper strategy,
collaboration with manufacturers is a way to provide an improved shopping
experience for their customers through consumer insight/sensory market
research; offering complete convenience solutions to shoppers by bundling
offers; and creating a better shopping experience in the store.
While the vast majority
(97 percent) of survey participants believe it is "very important” to be a
strong collaborator and innovator, only 35 percent rated their efforts
"excellent.” One of the most significant barriers cited is the impression that
"too much collaboration can be perceived as a lack of strong decision making,”
the survey found.
The industry leaders
clearly defined the characteristics needed for collaboration. The top five
qualities industry leaders believe are needed for collaboration are: listening
to customers, partners and cross-functional teams; using diversity to form
opinions; avoiding the "not invented here” syndrome; communicating clear
strategic objectives and priorities; and sharing the glory.
When asked to rate the diversity of their leadership teams, 59 percent
of survey participants described their leadership teams as somewhat diverse on
gender, 30 percent as somewhat diverse ethnically and 41 percent as somewhat