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Why Lindt? …Because here I make a difference and that’s sweet. James, Area Manager

Category Manager

Job ID 4336

Location United Kingdom


1 - Main Purpose of Job

Responsible for the development of the category partnership within designated accounts to drive their premium confectionery offering through category management tools – specifically market data analysis and insight, research analysis and insights, and ranging and merchandising

To support in the development of Lindt as Category Experts in the premium chocolate confectionery market

To interpret and effectively execute brand plans within the retailer.

2 - Key Responsibilities

o Category analysis, insight and reporting

o Ongoing analysis and interpretation of key account level and channel level data from retailer systems (e.g. Retail link) and market data (IRI, Kantar, Dunnhumby, Aimia etc) to identify category opportunities.

o Tracking of customer performance vs. KPIs including risks and opportunities

o Provide Account teams with regular category/Lindt performance updates, insights and opportunities within the key account/channel.

o Provide key accounts with regular performance updates and insights to drive category growth - create a regular meeting forum for category updates

o Expand customer contact matrix and drive customer contact strategy forward to increase depth of influence

o Provide analytical support in the development of category plans and range reviews in other retailers if required

o Support the Lindt internal selling and IBP process as required

o Managing and supporting customer category range reviews

o Build ongoing relationships with key retail contacts (commercial (buyer & buyers assistants), seasonal planners, category, marketing, merchandising)

o Identification of retailer performance gaps and opportunities through data analysis

o Use of insights from data analysis to influence range and distribution, from breadth and depth perspective, by format and affluence tier as required

o Application of Lindt category management approach to influence range, space and merchandising – incorporating visits and meetings in the merchandising centre at key times through in-depth understanding of customer ranging process and priorities

o Gain confidence of buyers and other retailer contacts as category rather than sales focused resource

o Work collaboratively with sales team to drive recommendations with customers

o Work towards achieving Lindt targets within key account around share of space/sales, planogram development, distribution targets etc

o Implement Category Plans with customers

o Support the development of category plans with key customer

o Lead the implementation of category projects in the key customer

o Use insight and work with Customer Marketing to develop ease of shop planograms, fixturisation, POS and other in-store initiatives

o Lead category projects in other Grocery and Impulse customers as required

o Lindt merchandising strategy
o Support the Lindt merchandising strategy and vision in all customer projects.

3 - Working relationships

  • The role will demand strong interpersonal and influencing skills to build and maintain relationships with key contacts:
  • Internal Grocery account team – lead in category projects, maintain close alignment with key account and wider sales team
  • External customers – build relationship with buyers and key contacts
  • Marketing – ensure detailed understanding of category plans and how brand plans fit together, assume internal category champion/lead in one of the key pillars as required
  • Customer Marketing – work together to develop in-store merchandising solutions and shopper visions

4 - Qualifications, Knowledge and Experience Required

  • Undergraduate degree preferred (minimum 2:1).
  • Previous experience in a customer facing category management role, FMCG environment (min 4-5 years)
  • Proven knowledge and experience in category management within the UK grocery sector.
o Understanding shopper/consumer/market insights and how these drive category growth in retailers
o Understanding brand strategies and interpreting these into Account level plans, down to format and affluence tiers
o Managing customer range reviews to deliver category sales growth
o Implementing and evaluating category plans and trials in store
o Tracking performance vs. targets – distribution, space, range
o Producing and implementing planograms
  • Strong numeracy, analytical and data interpretation skills
  • Strong working knowledge of Nielsen/IRI, TNS, Dunnhumby/LMG data, and qualitative research interpretation.
  • Working knowledge of merchandising and planogramming systems e.g. Nielsen Spaceman
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Advanced Microsoft Office skills (all) – especially Excel & PowerPoint.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, able to build relationships and influence at all levels – internal and external
  • Confident, assertive with previous experience of face to face communications with retailers
  • A self starter, with drive for results and highly motivated
  • High level of initiative, able to drive forward projects independently
  • A high level of creativity and passion – be able to take any data and turn into strong insights 

5 - Skills & Knowledge

Managing Vision and Purpose - Communicates a compelling and inspired vision or sense of core purpose; talks beyond today; talks about possibilities; is optimistic; creates mileposts and symbols to rally support behind the vision;
makes the vision sharable by everyone; can inspire and motivate entire units or organizations.

Comfort Around Higher Management – Can deal comfortably with senior managers; can present to more senior managers without undue tension and nervousness; understands how senior managers think and work; can determine the best way to get things done with them by talking their language and responding to their needs; can craft approaches likely to be seen as appropriate and positive.

Perspective – Looks towards the broadest possible view of an issue/ challenge; has broad-ranging personal and business interests and pursuits; can easily pose future scenarios; can think globally; can discuss multiple aspects and impacts of issues and project them into the future.

Listening – Practices attentive and active listening; has the patience to hear people out; can accurately restate the opinions of others even when he / she disagrees.

Creativity- Comes up with a lot of new and unique ideas; easily makes connections among previously unrelated notions; tends to be seen as original and value-added in brainstorming sessions.

Dealing with Ambiguity – Can effectively cope with change; can shift gears comfortably; can decide and act without having the total picture; isn’t upset when things are up in the air; doesn’t have to finish things before moving on; can comfortably handle risk and uncertainty.


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