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David Zahn

ZAHN Consulting, LLC

BrainTrust Query: The Incredible Dissolving Store

November 30, 2012

How should category management professionals adjust to a world with vastly more information and a good deal less control? The accompanying diagram identifies ten factors and sources to consider. How should category management adapt to the onslaught of mobile consumers and the influence of Big Data?      [more...]


Jamie's perspective is a thoughtful one that definitely challenges the status quo of category management thought. As some of the comments above point out (Zel and Ryan)—the world is not orderly and cannot be easily represented by the tools that many category managers are most facile.

What gives me pause in the chart is that while the shopper is in the center and acknowledgement is given to the importance of the shopper—the outside circles are all focused on what retailers and manufacturers do "TO" the shopper or each other. I think that the "Shopper" circle has to be engaged, spoken with (not to), understood, and helped.

The model (as I understand it and interpret it) is still trying to fit the shopper into the outer circles more than understanding how the shopper WISHES or WANTS to be approached. Jaime gets us to think more about the chasm between "us" and "them." And that is a positive. I just think we are still in search of "Galileo" to tell us that the shopper is the center of the universe and we revolve around it and not that we are "earth-centric" and shoppers revolve around us.

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