How to Launch your brand into Retail - Bespoke Advantage

Launching into Retail, What you Need to Know

Presenting your brand to retail can be confusing – what do you need to have to be ready to sell?

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.

Retail 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.

Know all about your competitors

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. Retail buyers 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.

Creating your retail pack

Are you unsure of how to work with retail buyers in the beauty industry to ensure your product gets stocked? 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:

 Contact information
 Brand story
 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.