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Ideation versus Sell-In

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Which of the two is your biggest challenge? Creating an innovative idea within a retail environment or selling that idea internally or externally?

Innovative Thinking
Sell-in
Aisle Flow
John Youger
49 months ago

10 answers

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I have ALWAYS found that selling in ideas is harder than creating the ideas inside. When people come up with the ideas, they like what they develop.

Howard Moskowitz
49 months ago
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Within the retailer environment, I always found (like Howard) that sell-in was far harder than idea creation. Retail buyer success metrics reward high velocity case movement (mature/well established products) not the slower & longer velocity builds associated with new products. It was easier to gain traction when I could 'prove out' the incrementalism of an idea and/or it was clear the idea would help reduce leakage to key competitors.

Lucinda Wright
49 months ago
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I think both are fairly challenging. The difficult thing is to come up with a breakthrough idea that can easily be sold into existing retail architecture. It's very easy to sell in mainstream, expected ideas (a new flavor! A new pack size). It's very hard to sell in big breakthrough ideas (a new business model!). The holy grail is to get a disruptive idea that has significant upside to the retailer that's in their best interest to execute (Campbell Soup shelving units). The obvious follow up to that would be - how do you come up with those ideas? In practice it's leveraging people who understand the current constraints of the customer, combined with expansive thinkers who can rearticulate those constraints into advantages. We usually refer to this as "asset-out" innovation. Start with the constraints and then work out.

Bryant Ison
49 months ago
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I've found sell in much harder....both internally and externally to retailers.   Why?  different knowledge, frame of reference and many folks use their personal preferences as filters.   so many stakeholders each with different concerns/areas of interest.  Then you need to "prove" idea value to retailers who bring a whole other lens, biases and goals.   

Christine Hade
49 months ago
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As I follow this thread, I sit and wonder how in the world do companies ever really come up with new ideas, anywhere? In my 43 years of business, I have found that in recent years it has become INCREASINGLY HARDER to get companies to accept the possibility that ideas can come from anyone but the nethermost apertures of those inside the corporation.

There is an increasing industry dealing with innovation. But the real ideas are the ones the client has in the corporation.

The outside experts are hired as window dressing, almost like a symbol of 'corporate good citizenship.' There is so much process, with Stage Gate and other systems, that it seems often our business innovation has split into what 's really innovated (inside ideas, on the fast track), and what's trotted around for PR, for business media, for conferences, the 'innovation process' with outsiders.

The former, inside ideas, seem to get done, probably because the champion is in the company.

. The latter, the innovation process, seem to get talked about but G-d forbid they should move beyond PR buzz to action. It's probably because their internal champion is a process person, not a true stakeholder with a major financial stake.

Sorry to be such a stick in the mud. I should really prance around, and talk about the start up nation, the innovation economy, innovate or die, agile design. But it's really 'who with power do you know who will back you because of what's in it for them.' Period.

Nonetheless..it makes GREAT reading...if it were only true


Howard Moskowitz
49 months ago
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I feel your pain Howard.....driving innovation within large CPG companies or major retailers is an exercise in extreme frustration (I lived that frustration in both places), which is why I now work with cool young brands and start-up founders who don't accept that something can't/shouldn't be done. I don't have to study the trends from a distance or go through endless focus group psycho-babble....I'm in the eye of the storm and having a great time. I hope it gives you some relief to know that legit innovation is still happening!!

Lucinda Wright
49 months ago
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Thank you Lucinda. I also have moved away from the large CPG companies, where these people 'play at business,' but really dress only. The ability for CPG to innovate is unbelievably minimal. They manage each other, talk the talk, but none walk.

I'm doing things that are really of interest. I've decided to take my Mind Genomics and give it to the world, so that anyone can innovate. It's free, even for business. There are some constraints..like one has to pay to privatize data..minor amount ..but it's my gift to the world. I can no longer deal with the lying, nonsense, game-playing, and general incompetence of today. I'm almost 74, and have an good track record. I would like to 'go out' changing the world, giving the hopeful start-ups tools that can help them succeed wildly. I no longer believe in crawl before you walk, walk before you run. That leads to an incredible world of creepy crawlers.

Here is the link to my vision, and the BiMiLeap APP (Big Mind Learning APP). You (and everyone) are free to use it. Email me to get a link
mjihrm@sprynet.com

It's right now in Android, in a few months in Apple
The goal is to give back ... and help billions of people reach their potential
And all because I got fed up with the CPG bullsh*t, the non-real language, the corporate gamesplaying, and the moral bankruptcy of middle managers whose job is to keep their job.
(Rant over, amygdala stabilized, patient not hyperventilating, seizure officially ended :))

The writeup: Directory 3 (especially the report..but the whole directory is really worth reading for anyone wanting a shot at a better future:https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zukz0vjfjua839w/AAAoi25GSIF1KifPsXk-6HpDa?dl=0

The full directory: This is also worthwhile. It's a lot of material, but it will get the reader launched and massively competitive (if there is anyone who wants to be competitive, when the alluring work/life balance waits) https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zukz0vjfjua839w/AAAoi25GSIF1KifPsXk-6HpDa?dl=0

Sorry for the very long response
If I had a month, it would have been much shorter
And if I were politically correct, and working for a CPG company, it would not have appeared
Oh the liberating pleasures of being old..when one can make a fool of oneself, tell the truth, and simply care about helping, not computing the expected impacts on one's career of each move, each action, each statement

Howard Moskowitz
49 months ago
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Great! I'll give it a read....thanks so much.

Lucinda Wright
49 months ago
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I agree with the majority here. Ideas are easy. Selling in ideas is hard, especially for really different ideas.

Dawn Houghton
48 months ago
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Indeed selling externally is more challenging to me. I am not a salesperson and I think that sometime I did not take the full advantage of an idea due to this (or at least this is what I think, maybe it was just not that good). On the other side I have great marketing people close to me to balance my lacks.

Paolo Beffagnotti
48 months ago

Have some input?