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Field Sales Solutions deliver best in class solution to launch Duracell Optimum.

25/11/2021

EFMP UK Partner Field Sales Solution once again showcased their expert field sales skills when launching the new premium battery range, Duracell Optimum. 

Category leader Duracell is well known in the market for batteries that outlast other brands. Duracell Optimum is the biggest innovation in battery technology in over 20 years. The superior battery has been designed to deliver the noteworthy consumer benefits of EXTRA LIFE or EXTRA POWER superseding their previous premium range, Duracell Ultra. 

With the aim of launching on 1st July 2021, Field Sales Solutions were tasked with delivering a Best in Class launch for Duracell Optimum in the battery category in the major multiples, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Wilko.

THE BRAND CHALLENGE

Implementing a launch like this comes with many challenges which included straddling the fine balance of running the stock levels down of the existing premium range of Duracell Ultra while maintaining a level of availability in the 6 months prior to launch.

Securing instore support for a complex, fiddly and time-consuming category like batteries to merchandise was the next large challenge. Batteries are perceived as a high theft item and as such some retailers can insist on all stock having security tagging. Coupled with staff shortages and the pandemic meant retailers were under more pressure than before, emphasising the need to get them on board by scheduling time with key contacts instore to educate them on the brand benefits and outline the marketing support intended for the brand launch. 

And finally, to add to the complexity, the launch was due to take place during the European Football Championships when space instore was at a premium due to displays of Euro’s advertising and promotional paraphernalia. As a result, maintaining the sell through of the Ultra range and the smooth transition to the new planograms of Duracell Optimum was more challenging than usual. 

THE SOLUTION

The Field Sales Solutions team addressed these issues by planning, implementing and adhering to a detailed 6-month timeline set up to facilitate the completion of various aspects of the launch process. This resulted in the re-planning of fixtures and the activation of nationally agreed displays in prime locations in time for launch on 1st July 2021, with the aim to achieve 100% distribution by 6th August 2021.

Initially, the clearance of the Ultra stock proved to be a challenge for the Field Sales Solution teams due to high stock levels after Christmas 2020. Having access to the stock in trade data allowed them to see stock levels in each store versus the capacity for each SKU, which assisted them in achieving their targets.

In order to get buy in from key retail contacts, Field Sales Solutions conducted off-the-shopfloor meetings to get them on board with the launch process.                                                                                                            The objectives of these meetings was to:

• Do a product demonstration explaining the digital sales aid with details of the marketing support involved

• Emphasise the importance of Duracell products in driving category sales

• Securing agreement for the planogram for the main fixture on launch day

• Gaining agreement for prime store locations for the nationally agreed displays 

In addition to the objectives set for these meetings, the field teams had a further 6 objectives to meet in order to secure a successful launch.

• To ensure that the Duracell Ultra stock in stores had been reduced significantly by launch date for Optimum

• To book 250 pre-sell appointments with retailers nationally

• To achieve 100% of distribution of Duracell Optimum across all covered stores by mid-August

• To achieve on-going availability of 95.9% for all Duracell Optimum SKU’s from August onwards

• To achieve 81.3% of Nationally Agreed Displays at prime locations

• To site as many incremental displays/touch points as possible. 

RESULTS

The launch was a tremendous success. Duracell Optimum reached its distribution targets within 2 weeks with 100% distribution across all covered stores. This was significantly higher than the industry New Product Development (NPD) averages. 

The team completed pre-sell face-to-face appointments in 526 stores, exceeding the target of 250 stores. During each of these meetings an innovative, creative, and memorable product demonstration was carried out using a kit that replicated the flash and photo print of the Instamax camera. An Optimum battery was used on one side and a competitor battery of the retail contact’s choice on the other – the kit counts how many ‘photos’ each battery takes before it runs flat, thus demonstrating the longevity of the products.  Duracell Optimum outperformed all the other batteries.

Reaction and feedback from retail store managers was outstanding, enabling the Field Sales Solutions teams to secure premium shop-floor space for the Optimum launch.

‘The value the team adds to our store operation is huge, especially over the last 12 months which have been a real challenge. What has been really interesting over the last few months is the launch of the new Optimum product. It was refreshing to have this presented directly to us from Nicola during a sit down meeting we had booked in. It was delivered with enthusiasm and had a great mix of factual information and demonstration videos. As a result, we’ve been able to launch this in store successfully and also answer any customer queries accurately. This also cemented a great working relationship with Nicola and the Duracell brand – one which will be successful going forward’ 

Mike Jolley - GM Lead Manager, Sainsbury’s, Blackpool

On-going promotional compliance for the Optimum Nationally Agreed Displays, including data for up to 3 months post-launch, was 90.9%.

Over 1745 Optimum displays were implemented across all retailers with 25% of them sited in front of store key locations, which had been agreed locally between Field Sales Solutions teams and store contacts. 

“The Field Sales Solutions team have been instrumental in the success of the Optimum launch and achieving the distribution and availability targets so smoothly and quickly.  This was delivered through focused preselling with key and new contacts, delivering a new and unprecedented product demo not used with retailers before. Optimum is now a key category and profit builder for both Duracell and retailers alike. With Christmas ahead (Duracell’s Biggest selling time of the FY) the Field Sales Solutions team helped deliver the perfect platform for Optimum to be the consumers battery of choice at Christmas”

Cheryl Mapleson, Instore Operations Manager for Duracell 

The results speak for themselves. Field Sales Solutions have once again demonstrated their ability to think and act strategically by implementing innovative field solutions that achieve exceptional results for their clients.

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