Brand health is the strength of your brand. It’s calculated by the amount of trust and confidence consumers have in it. It’s measured by your distribution and your sales – your ACV (all commodity volume). Effectively it’s what you take to the bank. Tradeshows and industry events that align brands with retailers can help you dramatically improve your brand health by connecting you with key retailers and industry experts.
Let me explain. Have you ever heard of Dan’s Crunchy Granola? Probably not, I just made it up. The point is that if I take my new brand to a retailer and ask them to put it on their shelves next to other products, I’m expecting them to take a risk on an unknown and unproven brand. Anything that I can do to help demonstrate and amplify the strength of my brand, the quality of my products, and my brand’s ability to drive category sales will help me get it on the retailer shelves. Trade shows are a strategic way to turbo charge the process of building a brand through exposure to key retailers looking for innovative ways to increase sales.
During the rest of the year, a brand sitting on a retailer’s shelf waits patiently for shoppers to trickle by and hopefully pick it up and take it home with them. This is further complicated by promotions on competitive products – essentially paying the shopper to choose their product over yours. The hope is that your brand will prove itself so that you can increase your distribution. Nirvana for any brand is when the shopper chooses to pay full retail for your product over the promoted competition.
New and unproven brands need to continually fight for shelf space and profitable distribution. Increasing distribution means increased sales – sales increase because your items are made available to a greater number of shoppers.
Successful, well-respected and trusted brands have fewer hurdles to getting a retailer to accept new items and line extensions. This is because they have already proven that they can increase sales and shopper foot-traffic.
One of the primary benefits for exhibiting is that it gives new brands instant exposure to top retailers. Instead of waiting for a single shopper to buy one granola bar and grow your distribution one store at a time, trade shows make it possible to potentially sell several pallets to large retailers with several stores spread across the country. Trade shows also provide an excellent opportunity for brands to showcase new items.
Taking full advantage of every opportunity at trade shows can dramatically, and almost instantly, skyrocket a brand from obscurity to a brand in great demand. This requires a strategy to maximize every selling opportunity while the show doors are open. This means having plenty of samples, marketing materials, business cards, and friendly helpful staff members to properly greet and engage as many people as possible. Brands also need to have a follow-up strategy including reconnecting and follow up with everyone you talk to. Treat everyone who visits your booth with the same dignity and respect. You never know who has the ear of the store owner.