Not too long ago at a major mass retailer, we presented a new product that we thought would make a lot of sense to stock. Not so fast, said our buyer…prove to me this is the right product…and the right time…for it to be on the shelf.
Maybe you come into your new product presentations prepared. We certainly thought we were. We had consumer insights around the product, a price point that we knew was right in line and the opportunity for this retailer to be first in the market.
Your buyer expects you to know the market backwards and forwards
Prepping for a major meeting or line review goes without saying. But are you ready for the phone call from the buyer straight into marketing? The buyer expects you to know their business, their competitors and the market backwards and forwards all the time, especially when it’s a phone call on the fly. This goes for any touch point the buyer has with your company.
How can you control what happens outside of marketing? Maybe try a few of these approaches:
- Brief executive team. Make sure they aware of who’s winning and losing in the market – and why.
- Ensure that trends are collected and distributed to the sales and marketing team regularly. Create top line reports that ensure you can view key metrics by key channel or customers.
- Take the time to bring the cross functional teams up to speed on market dynamics. Lots of contact happens between your customer with shipping, customer service and quality. Make sure they all know the big picture.
“What problem is this solving for my shopper?”
Our buyer was all set to pounce. He thought we had a product that we couldn’t defend. And for a moment, he had us in his sights…except when we recommend a new item, we bring the consumer reasoning behind the recommendation.
To get and keep the attention of your buyer, bring along with you these facts for every new product you bring to the table:
- What issue it solves – the need
- Your recommendation on how it fits the customer’s assortment
- Financial impact – size of the prize
- Consumer insights – in-depth insights as to why this is the right item for their customers. Get this data even if you have to go and use a third-party. It’s the sale clincher.
The bottom-line? We made the sale and put a product on the shelf that exceeded everyone’s initial expectations. The buyer looked like a hero, we sounded credible and then proved that we were when the product started flying off the shelf.
For other Channel Instincts posts on product marketing, see What Drives Your Product Marketing? or Are You a Marketer Or Just a Product Expert?