Retailers are constantly looking for unique brands that introduce an authentic one-of-a-kind retail experience to their customers. In this digital age more and more brick and mortar stores are looking for those hard to find “treasure” brands that can truly share an “Aha! look at this” product moment.
Think from the buyer’s perspective – what brands will pull my online shoppers in store? Seasonal buys are a thing of the past for most stores. There is always a little bit of money in the buyer’s budget to spend on something amazing. Here are key recommendations that must be addressed in order to have retail success.
1. Start off the relationship by anticipating their questions. Do you have selling history? Is your production and/or manufacturing set up and ready to go? Can you deliver and deliver on time? You may want to test your own production cycle in smaller boutiques at first. Do you have some inventory up front in case they want it right away? If necessary, can you negotiate on consignment? All things to consider.
2. Is what you are offering really new, modern and fresh? Highlight what is really innovative and unique about your product. Why their store? How is it really different than any other product line currently on the market – and how is it the same? How does your product solve the customers’ needs?
3. How will this product/collection enhance their store? Is your price point competitive? You are unique, but the buyer also wants to know that your products will move as fast as their best sellers. Before contacting them, do your research and be sure to visit the store a few times to check out their displays, client profile and sales representatives.
Know who your customer really is and chose the right retailers from the get go. Make sure the packaging, including small things like hang tags and labels deliver what you promise and that your products don’t take up too much space or rack room.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back right away. The best time to follow up with a buyer is any time. You can nag a bit with a few emails and calls. Make sure they are in the office, not traveling. Another great approach in the process is to ask the buyer, what can I create for your customer that she/he really needs, wants and desire? (This whole compromising your artistry and creativity vs reality is a whole other story). Be willing to listen to the buyer’s feedback, there’s a reason they know what sells. Advice on color, shape and sizes will increase your chances of succeeding on store shelves.
Oh, most importantly, let the buyer know how you are going to promote your brand so it’s moving off the shelves. Need help developing a marketing and promotion plan for your collection. Drop us a line or tweet us @marketcouncil