My name is Cedric Chereau, I have around 18 years of experience in Retail Analytics. I spent most of my career so far in Europe and in the US, and have worked with international groups like Carrefour, Walgreens, LVMH, American Express and most of the biggest CPG companies in the world.
In 2015, my co-founder and I felt that the company we were working for didn’t make the right decisions when it came to technology. We tried to change that internally, we even tried to buy the company. It didn’t work, so we quit our consulting jobs and launched UntieNots, completely from scratch.
Our ambition was and still is, to combine our deep retail expertise with the most advanced AI and implement it at scale.
The cumulated 30 years of experience of the founding team is useful when it comes to working with big companies like METRO, because of our experience, we know how large corporates work: we understand the pain points, the processes, the tools and the culture, and can thereby adapt accordingly.
More specifically, that was exactly the reason why we developed a solution designed to work at a very large scale.
In addition, because we already work with four major retailers in Europe; millions of shoppers are already accessing their “loyalty challenges” with ease and zero limitations. Our app has proven capacity to manage a third of Twitter’s traffic. This “readiness” of your solution is essential when looking to partner with a company as big as METRO.
The two things that really matter for decision makers in large companies are “Who am I talking to?” and “What benefit could I bring them?”
It is key to talk about your experience and past successes (in your professional life but also in your personal life). Explaining who you are is the best way to capture attention.
Then a clear presentation of the benefit of your tool ex. “We can generate millions of incremental sales by incentivizing your customers to choose METRO more often than your competitors.” is what will persuade decision makers to talk to you a little longer. No need to waste time on the technicalities: the “how”, the “when” and even the “how much”will all be covered later.
During the program, we met with Senior Executives in Berlin, then with our key mentor Katja Schumacher, after which, we pitched our solution to different METRO countries to see where a pilot would make the most sense.
Countries are already working on plenty of initiatives and finding the right country for our pilot was a combination of multiple factors: strategic priority, team availabilities, market maturity… Russia was the perfect fit for many of those reasons.
I was surprised to see such a strong communication between METRO countries. The teams are really in contact with each other.
I often heard “yes, we talked about it internally” or “Germany (or Turkey or Romania) told me about it”. – That has been a great advantage in working with METRO and it is not that common in large companies!