Kantar: Kroger and PepsiCo making run toward top-rated companies
NORWALK, Conn. – Kroger and PepsiCo are making a run at Walmart and Procter & Gamble on Kantar Retail's annual 2015 PoweRanking survey released Wednesday. Kroger and PepsiCo each obtained second-place rankings overall in their respective industries for the first time in the 19-year history of the PoweRanking, based on how trading partners evaluated their performance across key areas of their commercial relationships.
On the retailer side, more than half of manufacturer survey respondents continued to cite Walmart as the overall best-in-class retailer due to its massive scale, sustained strength in logistics and operations, and recent investments in digital and ecommerce capabilities that will help it ensure consistent growth and profit over the long term.
Kroger, with its first-ever No. 2 ranking, was lauded by manufacturers for continued innovation and optimization of the data-driven tactics driving effective execution of its shopper-focused strategy.
Target came in at an overall No. 3 rank, but maintained its No. 1 position in "Best Store Branding" and "Most Innovative Merchandising Approach."
P&G maintained its ranking among retail trading partners on account of its strong brands and its capabilities in aligning strategies in a shifting retail landscape. "P&G is best due to the speed at which they respond to our new strategies," one major retailer shared. "It's a very intentional move on their part – to quickly understand changes in strategy, thinking in that language and moving to act on it."
PepsiCo was recognized most for its innovative marketing approaches, outranking all other manufacturers.
General Mills was virtually tied with No. 2-ranked PepsiCo, with high praise for its strong customer teams. In fact, General Mills achieved the No. 1 position for Best Sales Force/Customer Teams for the third year in a row.
"While 2015 may have been a challenging year, and we are likely at the beginning of a long period of evolution, in many ways there has never been a more exciting time to work in the industry," stated Dan Raynak, EVP strategy and development at Kantar. "It may require some 'pivots,' but those who place the right bets will continue to play an important role in the lives of consumers and shoppers for many years to come."
Both retailers and manufacturers expect the fundamental trend of increasing change, complexity and competition to continue in full force for at least the next several years, which means winning organizations will be those that can both anticipate important shifts in the business and quickly pivot their resources and capabilities to capitalize on them.
That fundamental capacity to identify and align with trading partners on the critical "pivot points" that can drive mutual growth is what PoweRanking participants emphasized as the biggest single lesson for the industry to consider as they wrap up 2015 and begin planning and preparations for 2016.
The 2015 PoweRanking study included responses from more than 600 retailer and manufacturer respondents.