You researched and did the work and your hot sauce has found its way into some great retailers. Retailers do what retailers do…order product, stock shelves, and send you a check. But your relationship (and your bottom line) can be so much more than just that. Maximize your relationship by working as a marketing partner with your retailers.
You’re in this together.
You and your retailer have the same goal…to sell more hot sauce. They have ways of promoting it–their website, social media, product display, in-store demos, and employee education. You might feel that it’s their job to sell your hot sauce to their customers, and you’d be right (mostly), but retailers have several balls in the air. They don’t always have the wherewithal to do a great job of it, so a little help from you can go a long way in boosting sales for the both of you..
How you can help.
- Website and marketing materials. Don’t leave it up to the retailer to come up with the words and images that will represent your product to their customers. Make sure you give them your most current product info from the get go. Include your company bio, product descriptions, and professional photography.
- Social media. Like and follow their pages and ask them to reciprocate. You can even suggest they use some of your business hashtags when they write posts about you. Give the occasional “shout out” to them on your pages and direct your customers there.
- Point of purchase product display. Customers will pass right by your hot sauce if it’s not displayed well. Make it stand out on the shelf with a professional and compact point of purchase display. You often don’t have a say in how and where it’s displayed with large retailers, but small retailers often welcome an easy and eye-catching display.
- In-store demos. Putting a face to your business will build your brand and connect customers with your product. They are much more likely to open their wallet if they can meet the maker and taste the product. In-store demos are often required with large retailers, but offering to do demos for small retailers creates goodwill, builds your brand, and moves more product.
- Employee education. Employees can be huge advocates for your product. A shopper walks into the store looking for a hot sauce to send to her sister in Wisconsin. An employee who has met you and tasted your product is more likely to steer her to your hot sauce.
Related: How to Get Your First Retailer
Why it works.
- Your contribution puts you in the forefront of the retailer’s mind. A retailer that loves you will do a better job promoting your product.
- Having some control over how the retailer talks about your company and how the product is displayed allows you to communicate your brand more effectively, and it goes a long way toward generating more sales.
- Spreading the word about your retailer with your customer base and social media followers, and vice versa, expands the reach for both of you.
What are some ways you’ve worked together as a marketing partner with your retailers?
Additional Reading: Make Your Startup Food Biz Look Big With These Special Tips