1 – Have you done your research?
Of course, when developing your brand and product range you would have spotted a need in the market and conducted your research accordingly. But have you researched what scaling up your production would involve?
We come across lots of brands, with wonderful products who are so keen to get into retail and gain that nationwide exposure, that they fail to do the necessary homework.
Make sure you know the retailers you are approaching inside out, their reach, their values, their existing ranges and crucially, what sort of best practice processes or manufacturing accreditations you may need to achieve just to be considered.
2 – Image is everything
You could have the most ethical, most effective, best tasting, best smelling, life changing product ever to have been created… Yet, if your brand doesn’t stand out, chances are it won’t get noticed. Buyers are inundated with products, so much so they can go ‘brand blind’, in order to get noticed you’ll need to stand out.
Buyer’s will also be considering the consumer, does your packaging stand out when put on the shelf next to competing products? If not, you may have to go back to your design team.
Try it for yourself, take your product to your local supermarket and put them on the shelf next to your competitors to see if you think they stand out from the crowd... just don’t forget to take them home with you when you leave!
3 – How social are you?
The first thing buyers will do once they’ve sampled your product is to Google it and check up on your social channels. They’ll be looking for confirmation that your products are in circulation and are being enjoyed. Trustpilot reviews and Google reviews are great to build and nurture, but more important are your social interactions.
Small followings, minimal likes and comments are a sign that your brand isn’t connecting with a wider audience.
Creating engaging content, launching give-a-ways and interacting with your audience is a great way to build a following -and should be seen as an essential tool to prove to buyer’s that your finger is on the pulse of the consumer.
4 – (What’s the story) morning glory?
Stories are powerful. A story can communicate complex ideas and information into easily digestible narratives. When we tell stories, our brains have a tendency to forget most of the detail, but they are very good at remembering how the story made them feel.
You might have all the stats, the evidence, the research and pages and pages of data, but if they don’t tell a story they won’t get heard.
Buyers are typically very time poor and will be pitched to several times a day. Rather than giving them data overload, wrap it up in a simple narrative, tell them a convincing story that will make them both think and feel.
5 – Get your mindset retail ready
Okay, you’ve followed tips one to four, you’re happy, confident and very excited… then some feedback arrives that you weren’t expecting. Maybe they didn’t like the taste, or they thought the price point was too high, the buyers maybe feel the market is currently too saturated. What do you do with this bombshell?
Your brand is your baby, you’ve conceived the concept, nurtured the products and grown awareness. After all the hours you’ve put in, it can be quite tough news to take in, but in order to succeed take it in you must.
Buyers know what works in-store better than you, they know their customers and they know what works. We’ve seen some great products fail because owners were too proud to make tweaks and insist that they know what’s right - when just a minor change here or there would have made it a huge success.
So, there they are, our 5 tips to get your brand retail ready. If you’d like to discuss any of the above or would like to chat to us about how The Buyer’s Discovery Club could help launch your brand in some of the UK’s biggest retail outlets, please get in touch today!