Do I have your attention? Sad but true stories for all my brand makers and suppliers to be.
We deal with this reality all the time. No matter how good your brand is, no matter how wonderful your distiller is…your winemaker…your brewer, there still needs to be room on the shelf. My father had a great saying. He would say, “When you break your leg, it is an emergency to you, but to the doctor it is routine”. What this really means is that your sense of urgency may not rise in equilibrium to the lack of enthusiasm of the buyer of the account you want to be in.
We represent spirits, wines and beers. We do not sell, nor do you make, a product that is not one of those three categories. On and off premise accounts already have what we sell and have what you make. You might age it different, store it different, bottle it different, but it is still on their shelf or back bar in some form or fashion. Suppliers with ego often go into accounts and declare that their brand need to be on the shelf. That is the need of the maker, not the need of the account. Remember, shelf space is finite in length and width. Shelf space, floor space and cooler space is all valuable real estate.
Here are 4 tips to elongate that space and find your rightful space on the shelf.
Go to the account with a plan. With limited space and limited cash flow accounts want to know that what they buy will also sell. Come to them with a plan of attack. How will it be sold? How will the consumer find the brand? How will the supplier support the brand in market?
Create your own space. Create your own space while not killing some other brands. Coolers racks, stackings, door clings, counter POS are all ways of creating space where none exists. If you know that real estate is limited, you will need to build on new dirt.
Be around. No one wants a brand to sit at an account. Accounts want to know that the supplier will not let the brand die after the purchase. How are you going to support your brand at an account post purchase? Communicate this message to the store or restaurant. A purchase with limited risk is a better purchase.
Be mindful of what is a realistic price. The market will tell you the truth. They do not care what your brand cost you. They do not care what you feel it is worth. Pricing your brand correctly is the #1 reason things don’t sell quickly. Because a brand has high value does not mean it has high price.
From an advice standpoint, always sell to the retailer on and off premise as if no one needs your brand. Which is a true statement. Sell as though they want your brand and just don’t know it yet. The shelf, cooler, POS, cash wrap is all valued and valuable places to be. Approach them as if all shelf space is Billionaires Row in New York City…hard to get into and worth every penny to be there.
Three Tier Talk
by Brian Rosen, www.BevStrat.com
Brian Rosen is Former CEO of America’s #1 Retailer, Sam’s Wines in Chicago, Former Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Retail and sought after retailer consultant.
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