You've worked hard to develop a great product that will revolutionize the category and meet unmet consumer needs. You've managed to gain distribution at key retailers and consumers love your product. So, what are you doing to keep your product on retail shelves?
Most manufacturers and retailers put all their effort and energy into getting a product on the shelf. Few put as much energy into keeping it there. This is a huge mistake that can ultimately affect the strength of your entire brand portfolio.
Getting the product on the shelf is sometimes easier than keeping it there. Some manufacturers rely on brokers and distributors to manage their distribution. While this can be an effective strategy to getting your product on the shelf, it is not necessarily the best strategy to manage the an ongoing relationship with the retailer.
For this reason, I recommend that manufacturers partner with their brokers and distributors to work closely with the retailer to help support your brand. Together, you can aggressively work to develop, implement and execute strategies to grow sustainable sales for both you and the retailer. You can leverage their strengths to maximize your growth.
Tips for staying on the shelf
Retail shelf space is limited and competition is fierce. Manufacturers that don't continually work to support distribution and meet consumer needs will soon find its products in jeopardy of being discontinued to make room for new items. Manufacturers need to remember that retailers are continually bombarded with new item requests. If you're willing to take a leadership role in the category, you'll be viewed as trusted consultants to your retailer partners.
Getting a product on the shelf is no guarantee that it will sell. Manufacturers should work closely with retailers to build excitement around products. This can be accomplished through strategic merchandising, strong promotional support, fair prices and educating the retailer on the benefits of your product to help them make the sale. Your website, social media, pricing strategy, merchandising and advertising should all be coordinated to help drive sustainable sales growth.
The best strategies put the consumer first and always strive to meet and exceed their expectations both in the retailer and in the market. The key to optimizing product growth should also include cross merchandising strategies.
Product placement is key. Once you get on the shelf, your goals should be to gain optimal product placement, increase your holding power and creating a home for more of your branded items.This strategy is important because it helps to protect your shelf presence, strengthens your brand image and creates additional holding power for future growth. Brands who fail to take advantage of this while sales are strong might find it difficult to maintain their leadership position in the face of new competition.
You've worked hard to become a category leader, why not take advantage of that to maintain and protect your shelf presence?