How long would it take you to solve a Rubik’s Cube? When many of us pick one up, we see a jumbled mess of color. Some of us see disorder and confusion. Despite the seemingly chaotic puzzle, many jump immediately into moving the pieces around. With a lot of hope and not much of a plan, you start trying various things to find the right combination that begins to look like a solution.

What is your goal when you start solving a Rubik’s Cube? Some solve one side and that brings a certain level of satisfaction. It can feel like a good ending point. Others have no thoughtful goal on the front end, but rather are satisfied with a mindless distraction. Many start with the goal of solving it completely, but give up when they realize they don’t fully understand the puzzle in front of them.

The Retail Rubik’s Cube Pieces

The puzzle of navigating strategy in the retail industry is like solving the puzzle of a Rubik’s cube. There is increasing connectedness in retail as the industry consolidates and converges. Moves that we make at one retailer or in one area of the business have implications at other retailers and in other areas of the business. Yet, many CPG companies organize and deploy resources, be those financial, internal people, or outsourced agencies, in silos to solve “one side” of the business. This approach doesn’t account for the connectedness of the retail puzzle and the advantage that comes from solving for all sides together.

The approach to the puzzle has been greatly aided by the availability of structured data. 15 years ago, we were missing large amounts of data and much of our data was not connected. Some retailers opted out of sharing data with suppliers or with data aggregators. There was little to no way to connect a brand’s marketing spend with sales. It was as if we were solving a Rubik’s cube with some of the color blocks missing. Today, data is much more readily available and technology exists to structure it in a meaningful way. We have a much more defined puzzle to solve.

The world record for solving a Rubik’s Cube is 17.4 seconds. Speed cubing is done by people that have an understanding of the algorithm that exists in this connected and structured puzzle and have practiced solving the puzzle in its various combinations.

Understanding Your Brand’s Scale and Scope

In order to understand this connected and structured retail ecosystem, it takes scale and scope. It takes scale to make the investments to structure the data. It takes scope to understand the full breadth of connectedness and to see more than one combination in the puzzle. This is scale and scope that few individual CPG companies have on their internal teams.

At Harvest Group, we exist to serve our clients with a passion for their growth. In pursuing that aspect of our mission, we are investing to deliver the scale and scope that is required to help our clients solve the increasingly connected puzzle with a databased approach. We don’t just see one combination of the puzzle, but we see many across our client partners.

What does your Rubik’s Cube look like? Are your resources disconnected from the full retail picture? Is your data unstructured?

Retail strategy can’t be solved in 17.4 seconds, but speed does matter. First movers and early adopters get the benefits of competitive advantage and learning systems.

Some see a disconnected mess. Some solve one side. Some see a structured algorithm and move with speed to solve it.

If you’re looking for a partner to help your brand solve the retail puzzle, our team at Harvest Group would love to help. Email us at or fill out our Contact Form.