As shelf space comes at a premium, this means that product assortments are regularly reviewed and pruned – or ‘rationalised’ – to ensure that only the best remain and that there is no ‘cannibalisation’ of sales. To break through this clutter and position your brand on shelf, you need to have a strongly differentiated brand offering.
Buyers are paid to be kept informed and on top of industry trends, however as a brand you cannot expect them to know the intricate details of each product you produce. Many retailers rotate their buyers through different categories, this doesn’t enable their buyers to become product specialists.
Don’t send through your products and presentation, to a buyer and then sit back and hope that they will call you. Buyers receive many samples, and most of the time these either sit in a cupboard waiting until the buyer needs to introduce new brands or they are possibly handed to an assistant buyer to hold onto. It is better to secure a meeting with a buyer to present your products. Once you have been fortunate enough to secure a meeting with a retail buyer, you need to ensure that you are presenting your brand in a manner that considers all their questions and concerns.
Buyers can be very hesitant in introducing a new brand however by building a contingency plan, you can make all the difference to influencing their decision. When you take the time to help them to understand your product, positioning, marketing and USP and how you can help them to drive sales and footfall you’re helping them to make an informed decision.
Since your brand is going to be sharing shelf space with your competitors, you’ll need to understand your competitive landscape in their stores and what advantages and value you bring to the retailer versus your competitors.
Review your competitors packaging, their branding, their marketing and POS. Spend time on the retailers’ website and have a look at how the brands are promoted online and within their magazine. Conduct store reviews and spend time talking to their customer to gain their perception of your brand. This will provide you with a far better understanding of how to build your business case for a meeting with a retail buyer.
New brands are constantly popping up across the beauty arena, equally there are many brands that maintain longevity and remain top of mind. Your brand needs to deliver in terms of packaging, marketing and formulations. Retailers rely on in-store brands to support them with their category growth opportunities, whilst they may have a large budget to spend on their marketing, they will look to you as a brand to see how you support your marketing, and they will also expect you to contribute to joint marketing initiatives in-store.
Prepare a data-backed business case to support your product presentation. This needs to be compelling, comprehensive and supported by facts and figures. Present a strong case that encompasses all touch points across your brand including your:
Product samples in final packaging
POS information – fixtures, fittings, promotional materials
Information on your target customer
Market related information – statistics, market share
How your brand is positioned vs. your competitors
Wholesale and retail pricing
Sales history by brand, by category, by product
Current and future distribution strategies by channel and market
Marketing and promotional calendar
Social media – Instagram, YouTube videos, Facebook groups, blogs
PR releases and coverage in monthly and trade magazines and newspapers
PR and social media are important considerations. Consider the beauty editors, bloggers, vloggers and influencers who may have written about your brand. The more likely a buyer is to have heard about your brand or experienced your brand online, the easier the conversation will flow.
Would you like some help with developing your retail pack? Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you to prepare this.
‘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.’