Case Study: Charting a New Course for Expanding Category Leadership

Charting a New Course for Expanding Category Leadership



A global book publisher experienced lagging sales in the children’s book domain at retail. The reality of its modern challenge was rooted in the discovery that children’s books were traditionally organized by age of the readers, yet research illuminated that children’s reading skills do not align to their age.  Furthermore, the retailer was confronted by recognizable gaps in available content; several children’s book segments were underdeveloped.  In addition, consumers faced significant confusion and difficulty when shopping in the retail environment.  Upon facing this collection of hurdles, the retailer asked TPG to help conduct thorough Shopper Insights research to uncover and solve for the barriers to purchase.  Once validated, the need to implement these findings within a shopper-centric category definition that included reframed initiatives would be critical.

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Through extensive research with both a major retailer and publisher, we uncovered key parent and child reading habits and practices which were driven by the child’s reading comprehension and development.  Further assessment revealed that orchestrating a redesign of the retail department, in addition to buying classification and marketing of children’s books, created an opportunity for an age-based segmentation to a “reading development” segmentation.  Thus, five new reading development segments were constructed. 


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This momentum category shift delivered new a platform for business analysis and decision making to drive long-term growth.  Supporting efforts rendered a new department layout at leading retailers and new signage programs, further assisted by 100% new marketing programs.  These synchronized efforts significantly changed the publisher’s view of how to manage its business and achieve 25% category growth after in-store executions were complete.