How a strategic growth plan gave a beloved brand a competitive edge.
To maintain a competitive edge, brands must create a strategic growth plan to offer the best possible customer experiences, maintain strong distribution relationships, and continually expand by tapping into new sales channels.
Started in the 1970s by two friends, this small food shop eventually expanded into a national brand. Now a subsidiary of a global CPG organization, the shop boasts more than 40,000 distribution points through other retailers and grocery stores as well as 550 franchises in the United States and abroad.
Although distribution relationships and retail franchises are separate initiatives, it’s important to stimulate growth in both business models. However, on the retail franchise side, the owners struggled with supporting their franchisees as they worked to expand distribution.
In this case, there were significant concerns about making sure this small shop maintained its homegrown brand feel, even while expanding its reach. They needed to think outside the four walls of their franchised retail locations.
“I solve bigger problems that require a lot of headspace and time — ones that are hard to do when you’re putting out fires and running a business on a day-to-day basis.”
The team turned to Catalant’s Expert Marketplace to find Daniel, an independent consultant with extensive in-house experience scaling food startups and leading marketing efforts for consumer-facing brands. He had just the right targeted skill set to tackle their business challenges, answer key questions and help build out a comprehensive growth strategy for the company.
First, Daniel took a deep dive into the retail organization, surveying its successful franchisees. Then, he analyzed the competitive landscape of food retailers and identified best practices to adopt across franchises. Based on the data gathered from surveying franchisees, Daniel recommended specific ideas for supporting the retail locations as well. Over 6 weeks, he compiled three strategic support initiatives with tactical insights to maximize ROI on each effort.
Daniel’s recommendations focused on promoting technology, providing training, and facilitating communication between franchisees and the executive team. Through this comprehensive analysis, the team cut back on fringe projects and centralized their approach to off-site sales at franchises, giving them an actionable list of innovative best practices to deepen their competitive edge. As a result, increased franchisee support transformed off-site sales for 5 years.
The company took Daniel’s recommendations and ran with them. They leveraged the plan to grow sales across the U.S. and abroad using it to spearhead sales initiatives for successful expansion. Given the company’s track record, there’s no doubt the team will continue to lean on this plan to expand distribution and retail franchises.
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