Preparing to meet a Retail Buyer

Perhaps the hardest task facing brand owners is getting that first listing with a retailer.

Persuading a retailer to take a risk in listing your unknown and unproven range which has no brand awareness is not straightforward regardless of how brilliant you think it is.

There are however many things that you can do when preparing to meet a retail buyer in advance of your presentation that will increase your chances of success. In this blog, I want to focus on just one of them, differentiation. Buyers see so many presentations of brands that are just look-a-likes to other major brands, differing only perhaps by aroma, or bottle shape. To grab a buyer’s attention, you need a strong call out of a major difference. This could be any number of statements, but examples would include a major benefit claim over the market competition, or a new type of formulation texture that is unique to your product. It might be a new method of product application or ideally a real innovation which is first to market with a new formulation addressing a customer concern in a radical new way. Where possible differentiate your brand in as many ways as possible, from a clever, funny, or expert brand name, to the packaging design to novel ingredients.

When preparing to meet a retail buyer…

More differentiation = a higher chance of success

As a brand creator, it is important to understand market trends in the category in which you participate. Take time to visit trade shows such as Cosmoprof, to read beauty journals and trade magazines, to network with cosmetic scientists and formulators and to study your competition in detail.

Lastly, it can be worth investing in trend reports such as Mintel or Euromonitor as they will not only provide forecasts on category and sub category growth forecasts, but also on major category trends. Showing a retailer that you’ve done your research and understand where your brand fits within both macro and micro trends will gain you credibility with buyers and provide evidence to support your sales potential claims. Many brand owners choose to invest in some help with brand development with people who already understand the trends and who can translate them into great advice, speeding up the go to market process.

If you would like some help to identify your products true differential and how to present your brand to retailers then please contact us