FMCG suppliers need to be mindful of and address common pitfalls that can eat away at return on investment in data purchases intended to provide valuable insights and recommendations to retailers.

Category and shopper management specialist Bridgethorne reaffirms its belief that suppliers that have adopted a category management approach, based on investment in data, research and a skilled category resource, have seen proven success that has resulted in it becoming the modus operandi of the business.

However, the company says, the time and resource it takes to analyse data, the analysis methods which foster partisan results and devalue credibility, and the inconsistency of data analysis methods used across category teams, which can be exasperated further as team members change overtime, can all adversely impact on return on investment.

To help suppliers overcome these pitfalls Bridgethorne has launched a suite of Category Tools, which provide best in class analysis methodology that is universally acceptable to retailers. The category tools are built using category data and are intended to deliver a comprehensive understanding of category dynamics; to help identify risks and opportunities for the retailer, brand and product; to deliver quantified recommendations on range and distribution, as well as providing insights to support robust category arguments that will increase a supplier’s credibility and influence with the trade.

“The best part of the category tools is that all analysis is done for you” explains Caryn Gillan, Bridgethorne’s Director of Category and Insights. “This means category managers can spend their time overlaying their category expertise and building recommendations and compelling category stories, which is where they really add value”.

The suite of tools includes a Category Overview, Distribution Matrix and Customer Scorecard to track performance; Market Coverage, Range Architecture, Gap Analysis, Deserved Distribution and to get range review ready; Size of Prize, Opportunity Quantifier and Contribution to change which assist and quantifying and identifying category opportunities.

“This suite of tools has been carefully curated to deliver return on investment and best in class analysis,” adds Gillan. “Manually analysing data in order to deliver robust range, distribution and space recommendations can take days. Our Category Tools deliver these recommendations in a click of a button.” In addition the tools ensure a consistent approach across the team that can be sustained even when team members change.

Bridgethorne offers offer a range of services in Category Management, Shopper Marketing and National Account Management that are designed to provide positive return for clients and their categories ensuring budgets and spend are optimised. We practise our skills and apply our knowledge everyday using our best practice tools and processes. Services include:

Range and Category Reviews; Category Vision; Market Assessment; Joint Business Planning; Training & Capability Development, and Shopper Research.

Further information at