Openness from both parties involves agreeing to leave confrontation to one side and accepting that, even for the retailer, the brand isn’t always the be all and end all. They must also appreciate that the supplier may not be an expert in each of the hundreds of categories present in its shops. What’s more, they must accept that sometimes a category’s function and importance may not overlap for both parties: products that are fundamental for the retailer may be ‘routine’ or ‘occasional’ for a supplier, depending on the positioning of its chain.
Trust involves listening, understanding, sharing, admitting doubts – and perhaps even weaknesses – and accepting that collaboration should benefit to both parties.
If we have an open and trusting attitude, we can share the essential element that is so often missing in these projects: information. How many initiatives fall by the wayside or are reduced to a classic planogram exercise which, let’s face it, is more a tactic than a goal?