We are in the throws on OND and a few things to note.
- If you are not aware of what OND means, you might be in the wrong business.
- The sales market is getting a slow start this season because of a few reasons. Firstly, the horrific natural weather acts of late have caused a shaky consumer confidence. Between the long summer, fires, floods and hurricanes the holiday shopping season missed October, but there appears to be a strong NOV/DEC push coming. Two, there is some economic uncertainty out there and consumers are holding the wallet a bit tighter, but that too appears to be easing.
From a BevStrat perspective we ask, beg even, that our supplier partners be active members of the selling community this time of year. Often suppliers sell in cases to wholesalers and believe the job is done. In fact, it is quite the opposite, we welcome our suppliers into the market with tastings, account visits, and events. Now is the time to act because no one needs us in January!
- Visit your wholesaler. As I write this I am in San Jose having just met with a distributor along with the brand. We were thanked profusely and identified as a supplier that gets it and wants extra holiday focus.
- Visit your key retailers in the market. I very much remember when I was a retailer and a supplier visited me, even worked the sales floor on a weekend. All that matter, and all that adds cases.
- Listen to the market specifically. If your brand has competing brands on price and quality – ask your account what the customers are thinking as they peruse the aisles. Take that feedback well and adjust for that market. I have never ever seen a unified marketing and pricing plan that is valid across the USA.
- Dinners passive selling of your brands goes a long way. Customers and accounts remember events not brands. Create a memorable event, and the brand will be associated with that moment in time.
- Supplier led in store tastings: Liquid on Lips, that’s the whole sentence, That is what matters.
At the end of the day, if you blow Holiday time it is not the end of the world. But given that 43% of sales come in the last 10 weeks of the year, it would be a little armageddon. Suppliers need to own the brand success, or they will absolutely own the brand failure. The market will make sure of that.
Happy Selling !