You’ve developed a bloody brilliant new product and have booked a meeting with a Category Manager. Now what?

This is it. The moment you’ve been waiting for. Your new product is going to have a chance at the big time. The supermarket equivalent of Olympic Gold.

So how are you going to make the most of this opportunity? How can you ensure your product is presented to the retailer in the best possible way?

You need to learn to think like a category manager.

Put yourself in their shoes… What are the pressures and challenges they face? What are their goals (career aspirations and organisational goals) and how can you help them look good?

The more empathy and understanding you have of the category manager’s position, the more likely your chances of pitching your product to them in a way that solves their problems.

To do this you need to understand the strategy of that particular retailer, your competitor’s strategies and the nature of the sector. You need to be bold and present a convincing case of how your new product will deliver incremental sales growth to their category.


Deliver your pitch with gusto. If you’re not excited about it, how do you expect them to be?

Ensure you have an awesome, professionally developed brand and pack design to make your new product idea tangible. You must clearly demonstrate how your new product will grow their category and how easy it will be dealing with you. Don’t underestimate the importance of being easy to deal with.

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