Collaboration: The Clorox Co.

Collaboration: The Clorox Co.

The Clorox Co. understands that effective trade collaboration is a two-way street. Not only is the process about gaining insights from trading partners but providing them too.

• Category Advisory Services initiative allows Clorox to share consumer and category insights with retailers.
• Marketing programs with retailers like Roundy's focus on the pharmacy and prevention.
• A retail advisory panel helps Clorox reach Hispanic consumers.

The Clorox Co. understands that effective trade collaboration is a two-way street. Not only is the process about gaining insights from trading partners but providing them too.

“Retailers have loyalty card data, we have attitudinal data,” said Don Knauss, chairman and chief executive officer of Clorox during a presentation at the Grocery Manufacturers Association's Executive Conference in Colorado Springs. “When we put those together, we really get good insights.”

This spirit of collaboration runs through the entire company. With its Category Advisory Services initiative, Clorox is able to collect data from shoppers and share it with retailers. Insights include product trends as well as detailed advice on how to manage a category at the store level.

One unexpected area of focus is the pharmacy. Last year, Clorox launched a program with Milwaukee-based Roundy's Supermarkets [4] that involved merchandising Clorox disinfecting wipes alongside other products that tie into flu season. Clorox plans to continue growing its presence in health and wellness by focusing on prevention.

“If you look at [health and wellness] holistically, it's going to continue to touch everything we do,” said Bob Richardson, director of sales, industry and customer development for Clorox. “We spend $1.8 trillion in this country on health care. We need to turn that into prevention.”

Another “mega-trend,” according to Richardson, is the growing power of Hispanic consumers. Clorox has convened a panel of Hispanic retailers to advise it on how best to reach these coveted shoppers. “We'll bring them in and have them educate us on what we should be doing with our products,” said Richardson.

Another growth area for retailers is in online grocery. Clorox has kept pace. Target Corp. [5] recently approached the company about helping establish an online portal for its Brita water filters. Clorox complied, and did such a good job that Target named the manufacturer one of its five vendors of the year.

Recognition from retailers and others in the industry is nothing new for Clorox. The company consistently ranks at the top of supplier-retailer collaboration lists compiled by firms like Kantar Retail. Recently, Harris Teeter [6] and Price Chopper [7] recognized Clorox for excellence in joint business planning.

“We always want the category to win, and our brands tend to flourish as a result of that,” said Richardson. “Of the eight major categories we're in, we're generally No. 1 or No. 2 in every brand. If we educate the retailers on how the category is going to do, we'll probably get more than our fair share of sales. They have to trust you, that you have the insights not only with the products and the categories but with the shoppers as well.”