You are completely inspired about your new brand, you can visualize this sitting on your favorite retailers’ shelves and it looks amazing! You are so proud! In your mind, you are so clear. Products lined up neatly, shelves fully stocked, packaging looking beautiful and crisp, with great copy and logos. You visualize yourself turning through the store and coming face to face with the gondola end and you can’t stop smiling, feeling pretty smug as you love what you have created!
And then you physically walk into your retailer and your heart sinks, this looks awful, nothing like your planogram, where did it all go so wrong! And more importantly how are you going to fix this? The truth of bricks and mortar retail is that your product will not always look like what you have in mind. From the moment, your product leaves your warehouse, through to the time it is unpacked and merchandised in-store it may have been through several warehouses and transits before arriving on-shelf.
The secret to successful bricks and mortar retailing is to create a sensorial experience for your customers, your customers are looking to be excited about the look and feel of your products. This is something you can do far better instore than online, so think about the journey your customer goes through when walking into a store, and how you can stand out and appeal to them in way that excites them.
1. Design your Brand with the End in Mind
Consider merchandising as you develop your product. Certain colours and designs don’t look good on shelf. Not all colours travel well, white can look crisp and pristine but can also become discoloured in transit. Packaging can get crushed on route to stores. What can you do about this? Ensure that your development process includes conducting transits tests to test the durability of product componentry and packaging.
2: Manage your Packaging In-Store or Hire a Team to Do this for You
Reality check, retailers may be short staffed in-stores. Whilst they hate to be ‘out of stock’ and losing sales, on a busy day if they are short staffed, shelves may stand empty. You may have to provide your own staffing for their stores, or you might be better off employing the services of a merchandising team to travel around the country managing the stocking and merchandising of your products in-stores. Ensuring that your brand is correctly merchandised in-stores through the services of a professional team implementing a well-thought through planogram, could save you a lot of money in lost sales.
3: You can’t Control where you are Positioned in Store
Although I have been involved in many a negotiation with a beauty brand (including with the most premium brands in the most premium stores) with regards to their location in stores, with some refusing to go in unless they were positioned at the front door, remember products and brands are merchandised based on a planogram and their contribution to sales performance. You are not responsible for the stores planogram. So, you will have to compromise. Be prepared to do this. Based on the size of a store and the value of your sales contribution, you will be allocated a space. It may not be what you have in mind, bear in mind you may not be the brand that drives the most sales for this retailer. Accept and be happy with that. This will change store to store dependent on the layout of the store and the brand portfolio.
4: Retail changes Day to Day
Promotional dates change, orders changes, planograms change, sometimes whether a retailer wants to keep your brand in-store changes. That is the nature of retail, you can’t control the way people shop. Accept this, there is nothing you can do about this.
5: Have a Plan A and a Plan B
Plans are great, they provide you with a structure and a vision. But be prepared to flex this, this is the way all successful retailers and brands work. Whilst you have a Plan A for your brand and for your product, as you roll your brand out from retailer to retailer, and market to market, remember you will have to flex this plan to changing demographics so have a Plan B.
Do you need support with your product development and in designing your brand? Get in touch to discuss how we can work with you.
‘Through Janet’s management skills, expertise and proven track record on the job she successfully managed the purchasing of our retail operations and ensured the integrity of our brands in-stores. Her enthusiasm and total dedication, delivered results in any project she was involved in.’
‘Janet is one of the best people I have ever worked with in my career. She fully understands the whole process of product development, supply chain and marketing. Janet has in-depth experience of toiletries and international retailing. I would recommend her to any company or client.’
‘Janet has excellent beauty market knowledge. Level headed with clear vision, direction and the ability to drive business forward, Janet led the teams through a complete product design change advising on what the key marketing messages should be, incorporating her technical knowledge and beauty expertise.’
‘I highly recommend Bespoke Advantage to business owners across the beauty, spa and wellness industry. Janet has been a fantastic support to my business. Through her in-depth knowledge of the beauty industry she has provided me with strategies specifically tailored to my business needs, to help me to grow my business across the marketplace’.
‘Janet has a wealth of experience across retail, buying and marketing. She conducted a full strategic review of our cross functional business and the travel retail market to develop a comprehensive buying and quality control strategy that was signed off at board level. I highly recommend her as an asset to any business.’
‘Janet is extremely professional, knowledgeable and thorough, an expert of her field. This shone through from our first conversation, which instinctively led me to want to work with Bespoke Advantage. As a new skincare brand the expertise of Bespoke Advantage has been invaluable.’
‘Janet, absolutely fantastic to meet you today. Thoroughly enjoyed The Beauty Workshop. You definitely excel in your area and beyond.’
‘We have been really pleased to work with Janet. Through her 6-Month online coaching program she showed us exactly what we needed to do each step of the way. Really look forward to having future opportunities to work together.’
‘Many thanks again for all the help, support and words of encouragement, as I said before, best and most sensible thing I’ve done in developing my beauty ideas is to engage with you!’
‘It’s been inspirational working with Janet. We are in the process of launching a skincare brand however have received conflicting opinions from so many people we were really confused. I am so impressed by Janet’s knowledge and experience in product development, marketing and retail and the way she explains everything so clearly. She is very motivating and positive, and so much fun to work with. I have much more clarity and confidence in how to move things forward.’
‘Bespoke Advantage helped us to bring our brand to life creatively and strategically. We have a clear strategy in place, with a distinctive brand message that enables us to articulate our brand to retailers and to journalists.’