March 10, 2020

What Does My Dog Have To Do With File Power?

See that big "crunchable" there? That's what I call those things ... my dog (Dash) loves 'em. He gnaws the hardened chicken off of them, then retires to a hard-earned nap.

Safeway and Walgreens sell them for about $5 a pair. My dog could work through six of those a day if left to his own devices, so that's an expensive hobby.

Safeway and Walgreens keep about four bags of those on hand each week, so I needed a different source. That's where PetSmart enters the picture. They sell the two-packs in large quantities. I'll order 30 2-pack bags. About the same price as Safeway and Walgreens. Delivery in 4-7 days, on average.

Then I noticed that Walmart sells 5-packs for about the price of a 2-pack at PetSmart. Ding! I order eight of the five-pack bags. Dash is happy. I'm happy. Delivery in about 36 hours.

This goes on for about two months.

And then?

Something changes.

The crunchables sent by Walmart are "different" ... packaged the same, priced the same, but the hardened chicken is no longer fused to the rawhide. Dash can peel the chicken off in about ninety seconds. Not only does he pile on the calories, but the whole game that he loves to play, a game that usually takes 10 minutes +/- ... the game is over.

He doesn't like the new formulation that the vendor created for Walmart in an effort to save cost.

And I don't like that PetSmart has price parity with Safeway/Walgreens. If I'm buying such a huge quantity, shouldn't PetSmart be able to save me a couple of dollars?

So I've reverted back to Safeway/Walgreens.

When PetSmart analyzes File Power, they'll see an infrequent customers ... and they'll conclude that I'm not worthy of their attention. They'll say I don't possess File Power.

When Walmart analyzes File Power, they'll see a lapsed customer ... and they'll conclude that I'm not worthy of their attention. They'll say I don't possess File Power.

Safeway/Walgreens will see that I lapsed in a product category and then returned. They'll say I'm worthy of their attention. They'll say that I possess File Power.

All four brands, of course, are "wrong". It's a product/price/quantity issue, and all four brands fail to meet my expectations.

Frequently, File Power is a byproduct of executing your merchandising strategy incorrectly. Get product/price/quantity right, and the customer delivers long-term File Power.

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