Our client conducted a study of brand-switching in an HBA category using our substitution/out-of-stock methodology. The results were disappointing, as shown in the top chart on the left. While brand loyalty was not particularly high in this category, their brand was showing 50/50 results – when the product the shopper wanted was not available, shoppers were as likely to leave the brand as to stay with the brand.
This category was undergoing a transformation based on technological advances that was causing retailers to look more closely at SKU rationalization. The concern that our client had was that in a category review they could be de-listed as a relatively weak entry. We conducted a follow-up study in which we compared the current shelf to a shelf where the minor “low-tech” brands were removed.
The results were not encouraging for our client. Category sales did not decline when we removed our client’s brand, which is what we would hope for if their brand was important.
The results pointed to our client’s vulnerability in this business. Efforts have been underway to re-position themselves and to increase their brand equity.
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