What can I do with my degree?
The analytical insight in the world of consumer goods
When you go grocery shopping and grab a Snickers bar on your way out, you might not be aware of all the analysis and insight that goes into the placement of the chocolate in the store shelves?
As a Category Manager at Mars, Isak is responsible for the placement of well known products like Uncle Bens, Twix, Bounty and Extra gum in the grocery and convenience shelves.
– I remember my first month at Mars. I was literally eating one candy bar every day. It was like a dream come true for me, as I’m a massive fan of our chocolate! But of course it couldn’t go on like that. Now I really enjoy eating a chocolate bar from Mars once in a while, but not every day as I did in the beginning. That wasn’t sustainable.
Placing the products
The shelf needs to have a logical outlay for the consumers. This entails having products that are typically bought on impulse in eye-level, and products that are typically planned purchases in other areas of the shelf, among many other factors. It is also important that the products have a fair share of the shelf, based on their share of sales in the category.
– We use data both from sales into stores and out of stores, as well as panel data from consumers all around Norway, and this is the data I base most of my analysis on. When it comes to the collaboration with our customers, it revolves around having the best possible assortment and campaigns to create value for both Mars Norway and the grocery and convenience banners we sell our products in.
Making calculated choices to develop brands
Isak finds it really inspiring to be a part of developing a brand in a market. In Mars, they have a combination of established brands, such as Snickers and Extra, and new launches in the Norwegian market, such as our Be-Kind nut bars. This entails different strategies to make sure that the products perform in the market.
– My colleagues and I have to make calculated choices in areas such as marketing, promotions, and placement to give our products the best possible chance to succeed in the Norwegian market. Even if we really like a product, it is not a given that the Norwegian consumers will pick the product up in the store.
Inspiring days at work
With a Major in Strategy, Isak sees himself as an analytical person. The tasks at Mars really compliment those skills, and for him it is really inspiring to be able to create value through market data and customer insight.
– I also really enjoy having customer presentations to be able to present my findings and insight. I am sure that the experience and responsibility I get from brand development at Mars will be a very valuable asset for the rest of my professional career.