I come across many product-based business owners and one of the top things I hear from them, is how unique and different their business is. Their products are so personal to them, and they believe that nothing else comes close to what they have to offer.
They love their brand and products so much and want to see it in every store shelf imaginable. Often times, they created their product(s) because they did not see anything out there that’s comparable, so they made their own. This is something I felt when I launched my Dream Life Designer Planner, because I did not see any other planner in the marketplace that did what my planners did.
And so, business owners start the process of producing their products and looking to stores to partner with to expand their reach.
Something I try to teach in my wholesale workshops is to make sure your products are indeed unique. This may sound obvious enough, but I want to show you how important this is to the retailer you’re trying to get into.
Stores are always looking to increase their sales vs. the previous year. Just like you should be doing for the sales of your products and looking to grow year over year, this is very important to stores as well. They look to new products in order to do this. However, when you present products to them, make sure the store’s customers are not just trading out another product for yours.
What I mean by this is, if the customer walks up to the store shelf and sees your product beside another. If they are the same cost, and they buys yours, all they’re doing is buying your product instead of their current brand. This does not increase the stores overall sales, because they are buying your brand in place of the other product. This is good news for you, but is not advantageous to the store (unless they make more profit with your brand). Plus, if your product is a lower cost, then you just reduced the store’s sales volume.
However, if you’re products are unique and different, they can add incremental sales to the category and store. So the customer will still buy the other product AND yours. Thus, the store has an increase in sales.
Skincare companies do a great job at this. When I was a skincare buyer, I was introduced to so many different products. There were bb creams, cc creams, creams for colouration, pores you name it. The great thing about these new creams was that they were incremental to the skincare category. So my customers would still have to buy their cleanser, toner and moisturizer, but then also buy those other creams to add to their skincare regime.
Another great example was the iPad to the electronics category. When the iPad was invented, it was truly an incremental sale to the electronic’s category. You would still need to buy a phone or computer, but the tablet when it was first introduced was truly new innovation that did not replace another product’s sales.
So for the products you’re introducing to stores, identify how they add incremental sales to the stores, and help them with their overall sales. Maybe it’s a premium offering, thus you would be trading up their current customers to increase the ‘basket size’ order. Or maybe it really is a new unique product that customers will try and buy, in addition to their current purchase.
When you’re able to do this and communicate this to stores, it’ll help you stand out and be more attractive to stores and buyers.
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