Robust planning gives you a framework for an initial category outline and engagement. Useful outputs from this stage are a category charter, stakeholder analysis, a vision statement, and market analysis.
The category charter is a statement of the scope, objectives, and the stakeholders engaged in the management of the category. It provides a high-level overview of their responsibilities and outlines the category objectives. It also defines the role of the category manager(s). The Category Charter is a reference point for the ongoing development and evaluation of the category.
Stakeholder analysis is simply the analysis of “who’s who”, what their interest in the category may be and whether they are likely to be supportive or have other perspectives upon the category. By identifying those with whom you need to communicate, and their preferred style, you will be able to manage stakeholder perceptions and expectations throughout the process of change, and secure their support. An appreciation of different viewpoints also helps with analysis of options, and identification of less obvious critical success factors.
A vision statement expresses the desired future state that the category must have in place to fully satisfy the defined and agreed business needs. This is a useful summary tool which can be used to re-check that all stakeholders have the same end-goal in mind.
Market analysis enables you to formulate a strategy on how to develop your category management. It studies the attractiveness and the dynamics of a services or goods market within a specified industry. By understanding the key drivers of your market, you can identify competitive and commercial advantages. There are many different aspects to a detailed market analysis, but some examples are: