The blueprint to growing a successful brand includes 9 important foundational elements brands cannot afford to overlook. They are the building blocks that help brands get their products onto more retailer shelves and into the hands of more shoppers.

Every architect or contractor knows that the strength of any building lies in the foundation that it rest on. Tall buildings have foundations that go well under the ground many, many feet. Even a house has a sturdy foundation underneath it. Buildings in California need to have a special foundation that’s earthquake resistant. The point is this, every brand just like every building needs to be built on a sturdy foundation. The strength of your foundation dictates how long your brand is going to be around, for weeks, days, months, years, decades or even longer. The strength of your brand also dictates how well it’s going to handle a seismic event.

For example, not being able to fulfill an order or losing distribution in a major retailer. Seismic events like this can be real and even bankrupt a small brand. This is exactly why I wanted to invite Tim Forrest to come on the podcast today. He’s sharing with you his nine pillars of success. Just like every sturdy building, its foundation or its pillars is what helps the brand remain sturdy against any adversity or seismic event. Tim’s nine pillars for food company success include all the things that you need to be thinking about each and every time you call on a retailer, develop, and launch, and promote a new product or gain distribution in another channel.

Stay tuned because Tim has an exciting resource that he’s making available exclusively for you. You’ll learn more about it at the end of the podcast. Before I go any further, I want to remind you that there’s a free downloadable guide for you at the end of most every episode of my podcast. I always try to include one easy to download, quick to digest strategy that you can instantly adapt and make your own, one that you can use to grow sustainable sales and compete more effectively. Remember, the goal here is to help you get your product on more retailer shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. I appreciate you listening. If you like the podcast, share it with a friend, subscribe, and leave a review. Now, here’s Tim Forrest.

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Hello and thank you for joining us today. This is the Brand Secrets and Strategies Podcast #113

Welcome to the Brand Secrets and Strategies podcast where the focus is on empowering brands and raising the bar.

I’m your host Dan Lohman. This weekly show is dedicated to getting your brand on the shelf and keeping it there.

Get ready to learn actionable insights and strategic solutions to grow your brand and save you valuable time and money.


Dan: Every architect or contractor knows that the strength of any building lies in the foundation that it rest on. Tall buildings have foundations that go well under the ground many, many feet. Even a house has a sturdy foundation underneath it. Buildings in California need to have a special foundation that's earthquake resistant. The point is this, every brand just like every building needs to be built on a sturdy foundation. The strength of your foundation dictates how long your brand is going to be around, for weeks, days, months, years, decades or even longer. The strength of your brand also dictates how well it's going to handle seismic event.

For example, not being able to fulfill an order or losing distribution in a major retailer. Seismic events like this can be real and even bankrupt a small brand. This is exactly why I wanted to invite Tim Forrest to come on the podcast today. He's sharing with you his nine pillars of success. Just like every sturdy building, its foundation or its pillars is what helps the brand remain sturdy against any adversity or any seismic event. Tim's nine pillars for food company success include all the things that you need to be thinking about each and every time you call on a retailer, develop, and launch, and promote a new product or gain distribution in another channel.

Stay tuned because Tim has an exciting resource that he's making available exclusively for you. You'll learn more about it at the end of the podcast. Before I go any further, I want to remind you that there's a free downloadable guide for you at the end of most every episode of my podcast. I always try to include one easy to download, quick to digest strategy that you can instantly adapt and make your own, one that you can use to grow sustainable sales and compete more effectively. Remember, the goal here is to help you get your product on more retailer shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. I appreciate you listening. If you like the podcast, share it with a friend, subscribe, and leave a review. Now, here's Tim Forrest. Tim, thank you for coming on today. Before we get started, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to where you are now?

Tim: Sure, Dan. Thank you very much. I was fortunate enough to start loading food trucks in school and so ended up graduating. I've been in the food business for 31 years, worked with some of the world's largest legacy brands in food and then was fortunate enough with an opportunity to start my own consulting company. This is my 21st year and my clients, all the way really, they span the scale from food entrepreneurs in the U.S. to literally governments in Europe and producers all over the world. It's exciting. I really enjoy working with food entrepreneurs and people that are creating something and making something happen.

For instance, Georgia Olive Farms, it was just an idea when they created olive oil. I was able to get involved with them and help them in an early stage. Then, occasionally, I work with a billion dollar client. It just runs the whole gamut. It's just been an exciting process.

Dan: I appreciate that. In fact, actually, I was listening to some of the content that you shared with me and reading, et cetera. You and I have in some ways a similar background. I too started actually loading trucks, driving a DSD truck and then eventually went to work for Unilever, so learned how to do things ...

Tim: Wow.

Dan: Yeah. Starting at grocery as well. Let me repeat that. The idea that we can take what we've learned from doing things from the perspective of wearing different hats, as a grocery manager, as a DSD driver where you're calling on the store, in the backend of the store, where you're selling end of the store, and then working through Unilever beginning as a territory manager, and then working our way up now. The point being, Tim, is that those insights are so valuable. What's really great about them is that those are the insights that we can use to help our clients out. Can you talk a little bit more about some of those insights that you came by as you are working with different brand?

Tim: There are so many areas to go. One of the things that immediately hit me, and I didn't really understand it at the time was channels and retail at food segments. I was able to literally go in the back door of every segment. One of the first club stores in the United States was Makro, they came from Europe. They're not around anymore, but delivering to Makro and Sam's and working in the club stores, going to ball parks, going to theme parks, to supermarkets, convenience stores, the drug channel, delivering and going in the backdoor of restaurants as well.

Going in the backdoor really set me up for being able to get my clients really into any place, really any retail food or food service location in the United States and help position them for success understanding what it is the buyer is looking for and positioning their products in such a way that it provides value to those retailers, understanding they have needs and what can we do to take care of those needs.

Dan: Well said. In fact, my greatest successes came from my ability to understand what the grocer or the retailer really wanted. I think that's one of the things that's overlooked in this industry where a lot of people effectively hand their keys over to someone else and say, "Hey, go put my product on your shelf." Well, one of the benefits of calling on stores like you and I did is that we're in their on a day to day basis working with the retailers, understanding specifically what is their pain point, what is their problem, and then developing strategies to help solve it. Whether it's trying to drive traffic in a new category or whether it's trying to build excitement around something that's already there.

There was a unique opportunity for us to wake up every morning and really make a difference within those retail stores. I found that my greatest successes came from being a solution provider to the retailers I work with and supermarkets, club stores, and by the way, restaurants as well. Can you talk more about that?

Tim: Yes. One of the things that happen or occur pretty quickly, I go from working with at least these super, super, super people at Unilever, Nestle, working with a ... We mentioned that some of the largest companies in the world. I'm going in with data. I'm going in with presentations. I'm going in with services. I'm going in with products, but that are surrounded by really a lot of value that's just not in the product itself. Immediately, I'm working with smaller clients, smaller companies that don't necessarily have the resources. More importantly, they don't even realize what it is that's missing from their presentations and from their business.

They don't even realize that these buyers, meeting after meeting after meeting are seeing customer avatars, are seeing demographics. They're understanding how many consumers will buy a particular product that's being presented to them and then a smaller retailer or smaller manufacturer will walk in and say, "Wow, taste my great tasting product. What can you do with this? Can you sell this for me?" It's just the other way around. The retailer needs to be helped and managed through that sales process and explain the why, why this product is good for his retail account and why the product is going to succeed and what it is the manufacturer is going to do to help it succeed.

A quick way to think about this, so many of my clients particularly early on, their thought is, I'm going to go to the retailer, I'm going to go to the channel, I'm going to go to the restaurant and the reason I'm going there is I'm going to provide them this great, great tasting, great looking, great presented product and they're going to make me lots of money. What happens is really, when you need to flip the paradigm and say, "No, your job is to go bring the money." They want to make money and it's your job to explain how you're going to help them make money. When you understand that process and concept, it changes the conversation, it changes the presentation.

It changes the information that you bring to the table. In that concept alone, helps to explain it. People step back a little bit and say, "I want to go sell Walmart and instantly I have national distribution and $12 million in revenue from this item going nationally." It's not the way it works. Walmart wants to know how you're going to make them money. Where's the money for them? That's what they're going to be asking, that's the job of the manufacturer.

Dan: Absolutely, well said. I couldn't say it any better. In fact, I really like the fact, the idea that you're talking about teaching brands how to shift the paradigm to I'm going to bring them money. Going back to what you're saying, we're talking about this before is I tell brands that just because your mom likes it, doesn't mean everyone else will. There's got to be a compelling reason for the retailer to put on their shelf. Retailers want a couple of things. They want to know that if they put your product on their shelf, that they're going to grow sales in their store, grow profits in the category, and more importantly, grow shopper traffic in their store.

If you can illustrate that, and I love the fact that you're talking about using fact based selling to do that, then that's a win-win for the retailer. If you can help make the retailer's job easier, then savvy retailers will bend over backwards to help you succeed. Some of the stories that you shared and some of the things that I listen to where you're talking about how you're doubling sales back when you're working for Keebler, et cetera. It's about providing incredible value beyond what your competition provides and solving that problem that the retailer has which is, how do I get more traffic in the store? How do I compete more effectively against other stores in their market? Do you have any antidotes or stories around that?

Tim: Sure, yeah. I mean, I don't know many people that have had million dollar opening orders. There's a lot of clients I would not suggest they start off with a million dollar opening order. I had one client, I put together by following what we're talking about and showing the retailer how they're missing opportunities and showing them that there's an opportunity with this new category. I was able to help one manufacturer create an opportunity, they were never in this category before. The client ended up ordering as a ... Never ordered the product before. They had zero relationship. They ordered 26 truckloads ...

Dan: Wow.

Tim: ... on one PO. The client had never had an order of that size. They actually could not shift a PO. Their system would not allow a PO that was larger than one truckload because of the way they shift. It took us a day or so. It's a simple way to figure it out. This is coincident, they added a letter. The PO number were numbers, a number PO. They suggested it, so we had 26 POs. We put a letter A, B, C, D at the end of it. Again, because we were talking to the buyer about value, about the opportunity specifically where they were missing opportunities in the category and with the product they've never had before. That gets back to the business case and explaining ... You talk a lot about the basket. Helping the buyer better understand this category, helping the buyer better understand the consumer and in delivering that information to them, that's what's so important.

Dan: Absolutely. I think a lot of brands forget that retailers generically don't make anything. They sell their people's product. What they sell is the real estate are in their shelf. Where I'm going with this, Tim, is there is a belief, a myth if you will that retailers have all the power. I want to change. I don't want challenge it. The reality is that retailers need brands as much as brands need retailers. Going back to what you said, if you can help to empower the retailer to sell your products. In other words, if you can help the retailer help you sell your products, then that's a win-win for both of you, going back to what you said.

Tim: Yeah, Dan, I want to jump in there. When you say selling story, we're not talking about a selling story of this Olympian created this product or we're not talking about a story of the incredible drama in history of the brand. The selling story, we're talking about a business case for the retailer that's going to convert to dollars in their category.

Dan: Right. That's so important, fact-based selling. When I was with Unilever, category management, it was in its infancy. I had a unique opportunity to be part of that original discipline as it was growing and becoming what it is today. The point being is that before it was all relationship selling, now you're adding that into your selling story. You're baking in those facts, those actionable insights that help the retailer understand how you're going to help them grow sales in the category.

With that said, when you're talking about that selling story beyond, as you said, the Olympian, how do you bake in those facts, those actionable insights to help compel the retailer to understand what's unique about the product that you're selling, the product that you're working with so that it makes the buying process for the retailer frictionless.

Tim: Exactly. I want a share three different sales calls. I was involved with a client. These are all different companies. It's more important never today with buyer transitioning from department to department that we come to them with intelligence and a great business case or story as you shared on the product. I've had three presentations and the buyer had just come from ... One had been an auto parts buyer, another had been an office products buyer, and then there was another one that I just thought was so ... Oh, it had been a purchasing government. He had just come from a county government buying position where he purchased materials for the county and just was sitting now in the role of managing a food category with, well, the largest retail distributors in the country.

They're looking at you just like you shared, Dan. They've got real estate and they're trying to figure out what do I need to put on there. They're listening to either you or they're going to listen to the category captain on what's going to go on the shelf. They don't really have strong opinions. They're waiting for you to provide them the information and data on what should be on the shelf and for you to help him do that. I know in this business, my first million dollar account, first client, that's what I did, is I specifically went in there. We looked at the category, examine the category.

We pick where are the opportunities where they were missing what consumers were buying and we plug those gaps. We fixed those gaps. They very quickly became my first million dollar customer in the food industry. That's really been the opportunity and really the biggest deals that have happened have come from examining, looking at that, not just adding incremental, "Oh, we've got a little bit better tasting product or we've got this." Even though we're within a category, we're actually opening up whole entire new customers that would not necessarily purchase from the category because of items that we brought into the category.

Dan: Absolutely. In fact, I think one of the Achilles heels of the big brands is that they believe innovation is a package change or maybe new sprinkling, a new flavor on their current products. You know what I mean. There was a brand that I worked with or did a project for that took a product and they put a label on it, put it in one category. They changed the label, same product, put it in a different category or something else. They put a different label on it, put it in a different category or something else. There were five different variants of the same product. The reality is that it was one product. My point being is this, consumers are a lot smarter today now than they were.

Consumers are not fooled by this. They want products that meet their needs. They don't want to be ... I don't want to say misled, but at the same time, they don't want to be sold to. Consumers want what they want. If you are what you eat and what you eat matters, then those consumers that are focused on the proper nutrients in the products that give them the value that they want that sustain them, they're going to go out of the way to find those products. This is what natural products do better than any other brand or any other product out there, so providing real innovation as opposed to just a smokescreen or changing the label or something like that.

When you're talking about some of the brands that you're working with, some of the brands that you've worked with and you're talking about your selling story and helping the retailer understand what's unique about that product, what strategies would you use, Tim, to help a retailer identify or understand why this product is something they need in the category especially when you consider that that product doesn't have the velocity that maybe a bigger brand has?

Tim: The answer to this question is what drove me to create my nine pillars. I knew that I was missing things from my presentations when I was working with new entrepreneurs and helping them with our marketing and their PowerPoints that we bring in, deliver with the product, and the sales calls. What I did is I just broke down. I just came up with the areas that we didn't have and that we needed. I organized them in three areas for the retailer, the package of the product, and then the consumer. Then, I just flash those out in each area through real simple ... The package need to be innovative. We need to have creative execution and it needed to be a strong brand.

Then, for the retailer, we needed to be a traffic builder. We needed to have a business case. We needed to have insights as to how to properly position that within the store for the consumer. I did this. I've got a graphic for this as well. I've got lots of writing and I've talked about this great deal. For the consumer, we need to be consumer centric. We need to have consumer insights. We need to demonstrate that we were connected.

Dan: We'll certainly put a link to all this valuable information on the podcast webpage and in the show notes. Let's talk about this a little bit more. One of the things I think that larger brands do is they tend to commoditize the shopper and the products. When you're talking about your nine pillars, let's first talk about the consumer, talking about the consumer from the consumer's perspective. In other words, if you can step in their shoes and walk their walk and understand the product and the consumers, understand the product and the category from their perspective, that's very different than what the large brands do where they try to lump everyone all together or they use a focus group to say, "Here's what's really driving sales."

By understanding that consumer from where they live, how they buy products, et cetera, are on a more intimate level, that's how you do more to drive sales and help the retailer. Do you have any thoughts around that or any stories around that?

Tim: Yeah, sure. A while ago, you mentioned the sprinkles, chocolate enrobing a product or changing a flavor and line expansion and just ... What's happening there is the manufacturing facility a lot of time just driving the product. What's the easiest, quickest way for us to get a new skew out there? We think, well, what equipment is in our plan? Can we just simply get an ingredient, make a slight change and then we've got a new skew. We can ask for more shelf space that we can grow. There's no thought, no thought whatsoever, just what you mentioned of the consumer.

The most important piece of this in my opinion, what starts it all is we need to have an innovative product that the consumer will buy. That's just number one. It begins with a consumer. From there, everything else grows from that. We've got the teams on board already if we have products in the market and we're selling. The creative execution needs to tie into that we understand that it resonates with the consumer. Our package style, if it's going to be used ... Depending if there's some reason the package and the branding, it needs to resonate with the consumer that we've chosen for that. Not just to be big and bold and bright, but it needs to have meaning.

The colors we choose need to have meaning, the branding, the imagery, the website, the Facebook, everything, all needs to be surrounded around who it is that consumer that we're focused on, and then along with the branding itself. The two other sections, now, a lot of people get that close in their product when they come to market. So many of my clients, when I first worked with them, they're missing the consumer piece. They really don't bring in the insights and they're not really showing how their product is centered around the lifestyle and the way their ideal consumers use that product. They don't really understand the timing.

They're not really sharing seasonality and all the different issues. One of the things that I'd like to do, and I've yet to see anyone do this without working with them is, "Okay, how many of your ideal customers, Mr. Manufacturer, are in this retailer?" Then also, if possible, I'd like to go in to the retailer and tell him the best stores for my product. For instance, if I'm in a sales call and there's 200 stores in the chain, I'll pull the zip code of that chain in a spreadsheet. Then if I can correlate and I know there's 50 stores that are ideal with my consumers, I'll pull those 50 stores.

If we are going to start with a test, say a 20-store test for 10% of the stores, I want to be where I think I'm going to have the most success. You got to understand a lot of different pieces. You need to understand your product. You need to understand your consumer. You need to understand the retailer footprint. If you can connect and bring those together, I have that in my presentations. So often, the buyer will ... I've had this happen multiple times because I'll just be happy to get the 20-store test or so. They'll jump ahead and they see that we've done a good job. They'll just normally go for a distribution. I end up going in all stores.

Dan: Well, and that's so helpful to know. This is one of the things we were talking about before. It's one of the things I talk about a lot. Let me back up a little bit and unpack some of these. You're talking about what I would call the power of purpose, making sure that everything that you put out there is making a statement. You never get a second chance to disappoint a customer. That includes your website, how the consumer buys the product, how the consumer learns about the product. How the consumer learns about the product, how the product appears on the shelf, everything. It's got to be right. There's got to be a purpose behind it.

Again, make it easy for the retailer to help sell your product. Now, this is where I really ... I'm so glad you brought this up. A lot of brands that I work with or talk to are so eager to get distribution. They don't think about whether or not that make sense. What you're talking about, adding strategy, thinking about what stores have the best opportunity to sell your product. I was talking to a brand, Tim, that sells an $11 jar of peanut butter, the stuff is great. When they went to the retailer and had the retailer put the product in to test it, the retailer put it into a market that has primarily blue collar lower income.

Well, there's no way that product is going to survive or do well in that category. That's a market where low prices matter most to those consumers. Yet if you had the ability to step back and think about what stores this retailer has and where they're located and identify where the high-end stores are or the more progressive health-focused shoppers that can afford to pay $11 a jar, that's going to help your odds or help improve your odds in terms of getting that product into the hands of more shoppers. That is so critically important. I'm so glad you brought that up. When you're working with brands, how do you help them see that? Now, you mention you look at the zip code, what other strategies do you use beyond that?

Tim: Well, your jar situation, we want to think about competitive context. One of the things that I've done in the past is have the Whole Foods locations. Are there retail locations that are directly within a mile or two miles of the whole foods? I'll use that. There's different reasons to use that information. That's been helpful for me in multiple, multiple situations, understanding where the Whole Foods is located and where those native foods are. If I know that, I can use that for a lot of data, a lot of issues. Then, the other way is I'm thinking about ... Like that peanut butter jar that you were just mentioning, the peanut butter.

You could use that specifically with competitive retailers to bring that product in to those stores and help them understand that those consumers ... Yeah, they're shopping at Whole Foods, but they're probably visiting your store as well. I love your conversation about the basket. Get their basket, get those customers in the door and service their needs. That's a way that I've done that in the past.

Dan: It makes so much sense. Thanks for sharing that. I agree. That's a really great strategy to understand where the natural retailers are within a market and then try to develop sale strategies that leverage the mainstream or the other retailers in their market if in fact your sale is going to Kroger or Publix or Wegmans or another retailer. The point being is that this is the quickest way to understand or identify where the opportunities are. To go one step further, again, helping the retailer understand why your product is unique and why your product is going to help them drive traffic and their store grow, et cetera. On that note ...

Tim: Yeah, you see ...

Dan: Go ahead.

Tim: Dan, I didn't mean to interrupt you. You see what we're doing here. We're not selling the peanut butter. We're not talking about the fact that this is a family recipe peanut butter that began in whatever city. We haven't even really discussed ... We've been talking about the consumer and helping them grow their business and be more productive with their retail locations that are in competition, say, with Whole Foods. It's a total different discussion than going in and just selling a product and hoping the buyer sees value or can figure out how to use or how to market and sell those product within their stores.

Dan: Absolutely. If no one buys your product, you have no reason for being. We need to focus on the consumer. Thank you for bringing that up. One of the things that I think a lot of brands discount or don't really put a lot of thought into is when you're thinking about particular retailers, as you mentioned, and I appreciate you're doing it, a lot of people don't think about the fact that consumer shop a variety of stores. They don't shop retailer A or retailer B exclusively. They buy stuff online. They buy products from all different channels, drug, mass merchandise, et cetera, mass merchandise being at Walmart or Target or something like that.

My point being is that you've got to be everywhere that your customer shops, one. Then, two, when you're working with a retailer, if you could develop sales, solid sales at one retailer, then that's a great incentive or a point in negotiation when you're working with a different retailer. Look at what I was able to accomplish at that retailer. "Oh, by the way, would you like to have my shopper in your store? Here's how you do that."

Tim: Exactly. Along the same lines, one of my friends and client, he shared he would rather be a leader and a value in 500 stores than to be on the shelf in 5,000 stores. That's what we're talking about, is bringing value to the retail.

Dan: Yeah. One of the things that drives me nuts is you constantly hear "experts" drawing on and on about how price is the only thing that drives customers at the shelf. Wrong. It's not true. The reality is that if that were true, the decadent luxury items will be declining in sales, and they are not. Customers want what they want. The customers who buy health-focused products, products that deliver exceptional value, will pay a premium for the products that they want. Also, with factor and convenience and making it easy for the customer to find the product once it get into the store. We'll get into that in your nine pillars in a minute.

Once you can build all that into your selling story so that when you're working with a retailer, helping the retailer understand what differentiates your brand again, that's really, really important. Another way to put this, a lot of brands chase other brands to the bottom when it comes to price as opposed to helping the retailer drive sustainable sales and profits in their store by focusing on what really drives category sales. That again is the shopper that's willing to pay a premium to buy your brand on a specific retailer shelf. Your thoughts?

Tim: Yeah, I think you said it great. I think you said it great. It's surprising. A lot of people may not even believe this but I've helped multiple clients raise their prices and increase sales dramatically for a lot of reasons. I had one client. We actually raised the product. It was an indulgent chocolate. We raised it $2 per unit with a large pack. They ended up selling out of the product. They couldn't believe that raising the price would do that to their volume. I've got an article on my website, you can go there. It's basically bell curve pricing. What a lot of people don't realize is that if you take a category, if you just take a bell curve and take the highest ... There is a point where most of the product is sold.

The highest units of product are sold at a certain price. A lot of people think as you go down in price that your sales will go up, but it's not. It actually goes down. The point being when you go from that middle point, the point being as you lower the price of your product, the actual unit sales will decline because people ... One is not supported, there's a lot of different reasons. You're going to sell the lowest 13% ... If you take an entire category where you just take ... Let's just say retail price per ounce, the lowest 13% in price will sell approximately the same number of units is the highest 13% in price for the entire category.

What I'm saying is if you want to be the lowest price in the category, you're going to sell about the same units of the highest price item in the category as well. I'd much rather be highest price and then have the profit in all the margin tie to that so I could support it than to be in the negative situation with the lowest price item about to be really probably discontinued in the coming season.

Dan: Well, I agree with you. Thank you for sharing that. One of the challenges I think brands think about is that they're getting beat up on about price. You've got to have a low price. The distributor, the broker, retailer, everyone is saying it's about price. Wrong. We're talking about a Chevy and a BMW will get you from point A to point B just fine, no difference in terms of the fact that they will physically move you from point A to point B. However, the reason that a BMW can charge more money is because of the extra value. Customers are willing to pay extra for that product if they believe that there's value.

Now, where I'm going with this is that if you undercut your price too much, consumers are going to say, "Hmm, what's wrong with it?" Is it really that great of a buy? In other words, if I have ... Back here, back to the example you gave. You're talking about a $2 price increase in a bar of chocolate. A customer or a shopper comes into the store, looks at that and says, "Wow! $2 extra, that's got to be some really good chocolate. I think I'm going to try it." That's something you need to not lose sight of as you're developing your pricing strategy. You've got a price it for what it's worth. You've got to put the value behind it. Then as a brand, you got to stand behind your products and not be so worried about the fact that you're trying to chase price down to the bottom. Your thoughts?

Tim: Yeah, absolutely. Exactly. The buyers, they are paid and they want to take the category forward. They're looking for products that can drive the category higher with sales. If you can sell at a higher price, they want that product there. They don't benefit. If you bring in a lot of similar product and all that you're doing is bringing in a lower retail, that doesn't provide value necessarily to the category. If all you're doing is taking the category down, where is the incentive for the store? How are they going to make more money if the sales aren't there with it? If you can sell at a higher price and you bring additional value, that is what they're looking for. That's the key. Help me take the category higher with bigger sale, with more sales. That's the value. That's where the value is for retailers, the category manager in the department.

Dan: Well said. I'm so glad you brought that point up. That's something that's really overlooked a lot. I'm so glad that you said that because that's something that brands, especially small brands, really need to think about in terms of how they go to market. They go to market strategy and the story that they're telling the brands, telling the category managers. Specifically, a lot of the category managers are thinking about managing their product by paying attention to top client reports.

If your product has good velocity, well, that's good. Let's keep around the shelf. The problem is that smaller brands don't have that same velocity. When we talk about the best way to identify how to help a brand do that is by understanding the contribution or the profit that a small brand brings to the category. To your point, if a retailer can sell fewer more expensive items, that's how they're going to grow sales in the category as opposed to selling a lot of items at a lower price. This is why I developed my course, How To Assess The Health Of Your Brand, which is focused on identifying exactly how to drive sales by helping the retailer understand that your brand at a higher price point is driving more contribution, more profit, and more sales to the retailer. More importantly, and this is another thing I think a lot of brands overlook and retailers overlook as well, and this gets back to market basket. If the customer that won't settle, that buys my product, when they shop the category, they're going to buy other products, premium products across the entire store.

For example, a consumer buying organic bread is probably going to buy organic spread, organic dairy, organic produce, organic a lot of other things. That consumer is far more valuable to the retailer than the consumer that comes in and just wants the cheapest price that they can buy.

Tim: Here's the thing. So many products come on the market and they're dead on arrival before they even start. Let me help you share this within. You and I both know this, you probably have seen this, you may not, anyway. One of the things, if food companies don't get to your eye quick enough or they don't really understand the industry well enough, they'll go to market and they're going to compete on price. They don't realize that they've just cut them self at ever being able to scale or to bring other people into the program or to use distributors and new markets and to expand the product.

What they'll do, so many people and I repeatedly share this with my clients is they want to deliver products. Say, they create a product and they want to deliver it and they'll either use a family member or someone close to them, but they won't charge. They will not charge at all for the distribution piece. They think they're being successful with their local city's retailers when in essence really they're only competing on price because there's no distribution margin built into their product on the retail shelf and the retailer is happy to sell their product, tremendously lessen some of the bigger brands that were coming in that are a national brand or even a regional brand that are using distributors.

This food entrepreneur is thinking they're being competitive and they're being successful when really all they're doing is they're not charging for the distribution piece. They're eating that. They're not able to really scale that product. Because they focused on the pricing and competing in the category the way they're doing without charging for that distribution layer of the industry, they're not developing the branding, the consumer connection or the understanding of where their value is such that they can sell in a much bigger way, either statewide, regionwide and nationwide because they haven't yet figured out that they need to pay for that distribution segment.

Dan: Absolutely. On that note, like you said, it's a lot harder to go up in price and try to sell your product and convince consumers that the same thing that they were buying before is worth more money today than it was yesterday. If you start higher and work your way down, you've got to have a happy medium, a well balance, a good balance. That's one of the things that a lot of brand struggle with. How do you do that? One of the ways that I recommend a brand, I want to get your thoughts on this, is that you identify a product, hopefully a premium product and then you have some parity pricing. I want to be within so many sense of that product.

Now, I would do this, by the way, at the ounce level and I would focus on within the retailer but more importantly maybe a high-end retailer, like you said, Whole Foods or something. I want to be within so many pennies in terms of price of that product. Dan: Anyhow, so when you're talking about developing a pricing strategy, that's a good easy way to get started. We can get a lot more technical. For the basics, if you have a benchmark that you can put your product against and then use that as a KPI, key performance indicator, and then leverage that across your entire funnel, your sales funnel, so that everyone that is selling your product understands you need to be within so many pennies profit or within so many pennies or whatever price difference of that other product, then that helps you maintain a solid pricing strategy as it go to market strategy. Your thoughts?

Tim: Good, Dan. For food entrepreneurs, so many of the folks that probably are listening to this that we work with, as we shared earlier, they need to be innovative and bring value to the category. They need to be paid for that. I expect my clients to be leading the category in price per ounce. They need to be taking the category higher and with higher retails and higher price per ounce, and not consider or even think about playing games with any national brands and having to be anywhere with parity or anywhere below any of the national brand. Because they bring so much value that needs to be out there.

If they can't derive profit from what they're doing, they need to just ... I almost hesitate to say this, but I want to say stay home and don't bring your product forward. Because really, it's going to be very expensive and costly to grow this item and it needs to be innovative and then you get paid for it. It's very expensive on the frontend to do this.

Dan: Absolutely. Let's go one step further. If you take all the margin out of your product, then how do you support the retailer? How do you help drive sales through promotions and other vehicles? Now, let's talk about your retailer pillars. When you're talking about or focusing on the retailer, retailers, distributors, brokers, everyone's got their hand out and everyone wants a piece of your pie. If you've got a really good story, a fact-based selling story that you can leverage with the retailers, that's a point in negotiation to help lower your menu fees or your slotting. People don't know this. A lot of big brands don't pay those fees. That and then, number two, it can help you get more runway out of your available resources. When you're working with a client, Tim, and that's working with a retailer, how do you help leverage these strategies to help that brand succeed and compete more effectively?

Tim: Well, one of the things, Dan, we're talking about profit, we're talking about these percentages and margins and these issues. One of the things to consider is even though we're talking about all that, that the only thing that has value ... If we're talking about a food entrepreneur and he's going to sell his business, really the only thing that has value is going to be the brand and the product, the overall sales because they're going to end up taking this product and moving it into their mix and then more than likely into their facility. Real estate production facility really has no value. They're looking for, they want to see that this product is selling.

They have to have margin so when they purchase it, they can bring that over. That is one of the areas I'm always pushing. The other thing is early on smaller sales. We're going to grow and be able to be more economical with our manufacturing. With some folks, there are some different options that we can do to make it more profitable. We don't want to base our profitability on hopes of future economy with manufacturing distribution and larger orders. It really needs to happen at day one. It needs to go forward from there.

Dan: Well, and that goes back to getting more value, more runway, more bang for your buck. I want to throw out another thought. A lot of these brands, as they're trying to grow, as they're trying to get more revenue, get more investors, the more valuable your brand is, even if you don't want to sell it. The more valuable that your brand is, the better terms you're going to get when working with an investor so that you won't have to accept the garbage deal that some brands would. In other words, you could work with an investor that has the capability or the relationships in the industry that are going to help repel you to grow even more. I agree. Thank you for sharing that. How do you leverage that with brands? What do you with them to help them understand this important message, this important topic?

Tim: Okay. When you asked the question, can you help narrow it down a little bit more for the brand, the question?

Dan: Sure. When you're working with a brand, how do you help the brand help the retailer understand the value of their product so that when they're putting it on the shelf, not only does it help the retailer but it also makes the product more attractive to investors and to potential buyers of the brand?

Tim: Yeah. It's so important, is the consumer connections. We talked about this in my nine pillars. Very, very important is that you understand who your consumers are. You demonstrate with your programs, your packaging and everything that you do that you're connected to them, that you also have insights in how to leverage your product in the market in such a way that it's connected with them, also that you know where ... We mentioned earlier, talking about store, store locations. If you can help the retailer understand that and understand why they're buying it, when they're buying it, who they are, where they're located, that can help you to be more successful and to get on the shelf with that account.

Also, it shows them that you have the ability to communicate with your actual consumers. We mentioned brand, they're part of your brand and part of your family. You're able to communicate and to have influence over them purchasing your product without being in the store. If you walk through a store, we were talking the other day, I was in a store but I was just. If you walk in a store, there are so few locations within a store for you to expand on your brand and to really highlight your brand within the store except on shelf. That's why it's so important that you're doing things outside the store.

For instance, one of the things that I'll do is I love sports and for brands and connecting sports with brand. You think about a football stadium, when I think of football, I love football in college and specific college football, but also I think of it as that's 100,000 person sampling event. You'll never get many people in a grocery store. You've got an opportunity to sample there. Major league baseball, the NFL as well, I've actually had my product ... I've worked with different stadiums to work with them to sample my product there. It's a term, I've never seen it anywhere else, but I call it paid sampling.

If I can get my product sold within a stadium in the leisure segment, I consider that as a paid sampling event. Pushing this, I've actually had my products on the Dallas Cowboys airplane. That's a small market, but just as a growth of working with stadiums as some funny things have happened. That's a way to influence a market, is by going into these events and making things happen at the event so as to influence the retail marketplace. That's the beauty of Costco. When you're doing a Costco, we're talking about multiple locations and our consumers are not tied to one retail location.

The beauty of Costco on a Saturday, you have hundreds and hundreds of people going through a Costco where you do a demo. That's going to benefit you in the market. That is specifically part of my thought process of when I'm working with Costco. I've helped 22 different vendors that never done business in the club store channel take their product and create a club store item and go to market. Part of my thinking on that is that this is going to benefit you in the market in your other retailers because of the heavy sampling that we're doing in club channel. The same thing with QVC. I've been fortunate to have 12 different items on QVC.

Again, early on, it took me four years to get my first item on QVC and I didn't really ... I was thinking about this great selling event. It's going to be so exciting. I was an exciting event. Then I realize this is not really a financial event, this is another paid sampling event for me. The 12 items, after our first couple of items and I realize what was happening with QVC, I totally flipped my thinking on it from being, okay, we're going to make all these money from working with QVC to, okay, this is really a marketing event and this is going to help us to grow these items. It's going to help us to sell in the retail segment. Because the value we're sampling with video and then beyond your talent, they're tasting and showing how wonderful a product taste and it's a way for us to literally get in front of millions of people, get into millions of homes without sampling a physical product.

Dan: That's a great point. One of the things we're talking about before is that brands need to own their customers outside of a retail store. If I go into a store to buy your product, you don't know anything about me. You don't know who I am or how many use the product, et cetera. What you're suggesting, I love, because that gives a brand an opportunity to develop a relationship with a customer, a future customer that they don't currently have. When you're talking about sampling, which is such a great way to do things, as a grocery manager for Price Club which later became Costco, I paid close attention to the fact that if I put a product or an income, what were the exponential sales for doing that?

If I featured a product, if it was in a travelling roadshow, some of the different avenues that they had, what were the growth potential of that given item? Yet if I demo that product, this is before brands decided, I had the opportunity to decide which brands are going to demo what products, et cetera. By choosing which brands demo the product, I could see exponentially how much the sales growth would be. Fast forward a little bit, love what you're suggesting. For you to get your product into the hands of new shoppers, that's the sole purpose of trade marketing.

It's not to promote your product to give someone a special price if they were already going to buy your product. The sole focus of trade marketing is to get your products in the hands of a new shopper, potential shopper and build brand awareness. What you're getting at, and I love this, are different creative strategies that brands can leverage to help build their community or community around their brand outside of a traditional retail store. The best part about this is that instead of the push strategy where when you walk into the store, you wipeout your checkbook and how much do you need for this display, now you've got to pull strategy. The pull strategy is where a consumer goes into the retailer and says, "Hey, where's this stuff? I love it. I want to buy it at your store." Anymore thoughts on that?

Tim: Good, Dan. Good, Dan. This is not fancy, nice to have, wow, Tim, those ideas are neat but I don't know if I want to do all that work. There's no option. The option now does not exist for you to not have that relationship with the consumer and you build your brand up. The reason is, the power of retailers to have private label. What's happening is you're going to teach. If you don't do the consumer's part right, and what we're talking about right now, if you don't do the trade marketing, if you don't do the sampling, if you don't have the relationship with the consumer, what's happening is you're teaching the retailer that your innovation is welcome and warranted for the category and they're going to introduce their own private label brand with your innovation as quickly as they can once they understand there's an opportunity there and there's a big market there with big dollars.

It's imperative that brand owners take the initiative and go out and reach out to their consumers and own that connection so that they can put up a bit of a defense against private label because it continues to roll forward, it continues to be what's happening. Just look at Trader Joe's. It's fun to tell people, "That's 100% private label store." A lot of people in the industry understand that. One of my clients don't think about it like that, that that's an entire private label store but it's an important piece of the discussion when we're talking about innovation and branding and trade marketing. Because it is expensive, but it's a part of a necessary requirement to provide some production for your brand and product label.

Dan: Absolutely. Backing up a little bit, when we're both working for Unilever, we learn the power of a brand. Think about it. Have you ever heard a consumer say, "You know what, I'm going to drive clear across town to try that retailer's private label something." The reality is, to your point, and I think private label has a point as a place on the shelf and it needs to be there in most cases. Private label typically pulls dollars out of the category and it typically doesn't do anything to really drive sales. Let me explain that. Brands are the innovation as you mentioned, and thank you for doing that. Brands provide the innovation to the retailer.

They're the ones that are driving consumers in the store with the strength and the promise of their brand. They're the ones that are promoting their product on the shelf. They're the ones that are participating in all the programs. A lot of people don't understand that. For the most part, private label is something that the retailers solely responsible for. What I'm getting at is that the retailer has to promote on their dime. They have to merchandise it on their own dime, et cetera, or their brands are paying a premium to do those things for the retailers. They're really participating in what the retailer is doing.

My point is this, brands need to be on every single shelf. Private label in the absence of a branded product has no value. In other words, if you put a peanut butter in a shelf, let's say it was the only peanut butter and you're starting a new category and consumers had nothing to compare it against, well, there's no value to it. Is this a good value or not? Brands provide the value that helps private label grow and succeed, et cetera. Brands need to understand that if they allow themselves to become private label, a lot of brands talk to me about wanting to go private label right off the bat. No, bad idea. Develop your brand. Develop a brand that consumers want.

Then, at some point, once you have a strong following, then you can offer private label offering to a retailer that might be your product in a different package. More importantly, again, it would keep going back to this, it's all about ... Well, we're talking about private label. I agree with you. Private label is important to the retailer. Private label needs to have a brand to compete against. In other words, if you've got private label on the shelf, well, okay, is that a great value? If you don't have a brand to compare it to, then it's hard to make that assessment or that decision.

Yes, brands needs to produce their own private label and then help the retailer understand why their brand is important. Because remember, they're doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to trying to drive new traffic in other retailer store. They're the ones that are doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to supporting their retailers' promotions. When you're building your selling story and you're talking to retailers about why your brand, why they need your brand in their shelf, you need to include something about how you're helping to support their retailer on a daily basis to help them drive sales and help them get paid more effectively in their market. Your thoughts?

Tim: One of the things that I like to do is small food entrepreneurs have the opportunity here to really control the conversation ...

Dan: They do.

Tim: ... and could be very successful with this, and also put a little bit of fear into the buyer when you start talking about the business case. When we start talking about business case for your product, you need to with backs be able to go in there and share with them your per point of distribution sales. So many of my food entrepreneurs, they'll come to me and they have stores that are doing because they're local, they've worked them, they pick the right locations. They'll have stores that are selling literally $150 per week retail of product, if not more. For any buyer, if you extrapolate those numbers into 100-story chain or 200-story chain, that will just explode the opportunities with them.

It's so surprising and shocking for so many of them. I've noticed it repeatedly, it's a natural strength of small food entrepreneur operations that are, say, they have their first 20 or 30 stores when they move in to start talking to the larger chain buyers. So many food entrepreneurs don't realize how much power they have in a conversation on this. That's why it's so important they have strong business case when they present to those buyers. There's an opportunity for them to really shine here. They just have to work the numbers. So many of them go in sheepishly and say, "Oh, we only sold a quarter of a million," or "We only sold $150,000 last year," but they're only in 12 stores or they were only in a small number of stores.

Those numbers actually on a national chain wide or even state level would be incredible, fantastic. They're just amazing. Because their background they're not looking at per point of distribution, they're not thinking about their market from a standpoint of what is our ACV. They're only penetrating two ACV, yet they could be tremendously impacting the stores that they're in, and they often are. That's why they want to grow. They're showing the innovation. That's where the opportunity from really shine, is in the conversation. You're not taken back by the fact that they're not Unilever or they're not Kraft, they're not Coca-Cola. They're really doing well where they are and they're going to bring value to the retailer.

Dan: Well said. I could not agree with you more. That is so critically important. Again, we're talking about how from the perspective of velocity, sales velocity, how much movement you have, these small brands don't compare to the larger big brands. If you pay attention to the contribution, the contribution is the sales that you have where your products are being sold. Or as you said, that's per point of distribution. By the way, this is exactly why I developed my course, how to assess the health of your brand. The point being is teaching brands how to leverage that important message when you're working with a retailer, again, to show the retailer that you deserve to belong on their shelf, that you're providing more profit, more growth, where your products being sold, and more importantly how if your product were in more stores, guess what you could do? Look at how many more sales that I could bring you. That is something that I think brands need to do. Your thoughts?

Tim: Absolutely. I agree with you 100%. I didn't realize you had a course on that, but absolutely. People need to understand this, and they don't. So many, it's like a eureka moment when I share this with people. It's really exciting when we see with a retailer and flips the conversation. It gives a little bit of power particularly of food entrepreneurs and even bigger brands. There are so much this leverage in the corner of the buyer and the chain and they do everything they can to take advantage of their negotiating power that this is something that really will help the food entrepreneur to be more successful in this call.

Dan: Absolutely. That's actually why I developed all those many courses. The point being is this, when you don't have a lot of runway and virtually unlimited resources, you got to be more strategic. You got to think smart. A larger brand can walk into a retail, wipeout their chat book and say, "I want this product in every single one of your stores." Or let's say they've got a relationship with that retailer so they can leverage that. You don't have that if you're a small brand. If you're a small brand, you got to have a compelling selling story whereas you said, a business case. I like that. Or you can help the retailer understand why they need you in the store.

You've got to provide those insights. If you can communicate those clearly to the retailer, your reason for being, that's going to help the retailer understand and appreciate why they need to have you on the shelf. More importantly, that's going to give the retailer a compelling reason to work with you, to help you drive more traffic, those valuable consumers that you drive into the store to help the retailer drive higher market baskets and more importantly, to help the retailer drive sustainable growth in their category and compete more effectively in their market.

Tim: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You said it great. I agree with you.

Dan: Thanks. Well, I appreciate that. On that note, your nine pillars. I want to make sure that I've got a link to everyone who's listening in this podcast, in the podcast show notes, and on the podcast webpage. Could you please send me links to all the important things that we've talked about today so that we can point people in your direction?

Tim: Sure.

Dan: When you're talking about the nine pillars, can you talk a little bit more about those, why they exist and then how you leverage those with brands. What differentiates your nine pillars from other business strategies? Why they're so important to the brands that are listening to this podcast?

Tim: Yeah. One, I've never seen it anywhere else. I'm not sure that I've seen it ... There's definitely not been in this format. I'm not seeing this format ...

Dan: No.

Tim: ... anywhere. This came from a struggle that I had and a recognition that I had. My clients weren't talking about the customer in our presentation. I'd have a food entrepreneur. We have an innovative item and some of the items I work with have been some of the most innovative food items I've ever come across. It's just amazing, some of the food products that I've been able to be a part of. It's just exciting to see it, but yet they had nothing about the consumer. They really didn't know. They were particular a big creator of the product. It was their recipe or some reason. They had so much ownership. It was their baby.

They'll talk the entire time about their baby instead of who is the consumer and what consumers gravitate to this who's most likely. The one thing that just really gets me with anyone in the food business and so many people say, "Well, everyone loves it. Every single person that's ever tasted this loves it. Everyone will buy this." We don't have the opportunity to market to everyone. We don't have the opportunity to sell to everyone. We need to have a very focused and tight understanding of who our best consumers. Who's going to be the first consumer to give us a dollar for the product? Then, we need to build our market and our program around it.

Yes, maybe everyone does like it. Maybe it's true, but we need to put a flag, we need to put our stake in the ground of where we want to sell this. For the food entrepreneurs out there, that's what Unilever and Nestle and Kraft and Coke, and those guys sell to every consumer. Let them manage the $50 million marketing budget. While we're growing this thing, we need to find who's going to give us the most money the fastest for our product so we can sell it on the shelf. That's one of the key components, everything that we're talking about. That goes into the business case.

Dan: Well, and that goes this is so important because brands like we were talking about, gaining distribution in the wrong retailers isn't going to help you. Some of the small retailers, and I'm a huge fan of independents and I want to help independents every way I can, but the barriers of entry to get that product on a shelf or sometimes greater. If you can gain runway, if you can grow sales and get traction at a larger retailer and then start going after the independents and start working with the independents, that will give you incremental runway to support more independents down the road. It's critically important again that you need to own your customer.

As far as the nine pillars are concerned, how can people learn more about them and where can they go to to contact and work with you and to get involved Tim, thank you for your time and thank you for sharing your insights. How can listeners learn more about with you and your nine pillars?

Tim: Yeah. For one thing, just go ... There's a lot out there. I'd been interviewed a lot about this, but on my website, I've got some information also. I'm going to put up a special page on my website that they can download a lot of these materials straight to it.

Dan: Great.

Tim: Then, I'll have links there. If they'll go to I'm going to put a bunch of freebies, a bunch of downloads there. Let's go to, and I'll have a lot of resources. The first thing that I'm going to have on there is an image of the nine pillars.

Dan: Good.

Tim: The nine pillars are really simple. When you see that image, it lays out the nine areas. That's a just list. What I do is I just use that as a checklist. I'm going in to present with a buyer, I want to make sure that I'm covering those nine areas in my presentation. I need to be able to explain, even the smallest food manufacturer out there, they're doing a lot of this already. It's just that they're not communicating in this format with buyers. They're missing an opportunity. They're not sharing where they're doing it. When I bring up the fact that they participated in a fair, let's say, the State Fair of Texas. I said, "Now, did you participate? You had a booth at the State Fair of Texas?"

"Yes." I say, "There's ways that we can leverage that with our marketing and to share that with the buyers that that's an opportunity for us to drive traffic to the stores." So much is already happening there. The point being, with the retailers, you need to have that information, so the nine areas, the traffic builder, the business case, you need to have insights for the retailer, for your products, the package. Anyway, the list is there and I'll have that. Also, if you want to go deeper in the nine pillars, I've got a very long ... about 45-minute discussion just on the nine pillars. I'll link that up there as well. Then, I'll have some ... I call them cheat sheets or presentation cheat sheets to help me to lay out a presentation and how to just make sure you cover these nine areas. I'll have that download available. If you just go to, they'll be available there for download.

Dan: Thank you so much. I cannot thank you enough. This is so great. The foundation of every brand is basically this. If you've got a solid foundation to build your brand on, that's going to help you grow and be successful long term. Take advantage of these resources. They're fantastic. Make sure that you'll listen to all of the content on Tim's website. It's fantastic. Tim, thank you ...

Tim: The other thing ...

Dan: Go ahead.

Tim: Thank you, Dan. Yeah, I was just saying also I've got a little mini course. I'll put a link there. If anyone wants to take, I've got my own little mini course and cover some of the nine pillars. If they want to take that, they just put that in email and automatically I'll send them. They'll get the free video. It's just two minutes. Each video is just two minutes, but it really goes pretty quickly and shares with them some insights on the nine pillars.

Dan: Fantastic. In fact, you and I were talking about possibly collaborating on a mini course. I look forward to doing that too. These are things that brands need to know. Again, if you know this and you started using these strategies from day one, you're going to be a lot more successful. Over 80% of natural brands fail within the first year. A lot of it is because they don't use these strategies that we're talking about. They're not creative. They're not thinking about different ways to help grow sales. They effectively hand their keys to someone else and say, like you said, "Go to some of my stuff." That doesn't work.

Tim: This works ...

Dan: Go ahead.

Tim: Yup. This works with natural organic. The ideas that I'm sharing I learned with Legacy Brands, but I brought them to the organic in the natural area. That's how I've literally ... I mentioned the 26 truck load, well, an organic launch that I did, the initial order was $1 million because the buyer was comfortable with the insights and the information that we brought that they didn't feel like they were making a mistake in this area. For this one retailer, we did $7 million in organic retail with this item. It is because we understood it was bringing value to the category and they were comfortable with that. It was a lot of work, but the initial rollout was $1 million, and it was very exciting.

Dan: That sounds exciting. It's amazing. Again, it goes back to where we started. By leveraging the strategies that the big brands use and then converting those strategies into something that works for small innovative brands, that's how we help raise the bar naturally. That's how we help these brands succeed and grow it's shelf bits because these brands are the ones that are driving sustainable sales across every category and every channel. As you mentioned, this is why natural brands are such a hot commodity for big brands. This is why big brands are interested in them.

More importantly, this is how you gain the traction and how you get your product in front of more customers. At the end of the day, that's what this is all about. Meeting the needs of the customer, selling your product, where your customer is. Then more importantly, making it easy for your customers, for any customer to say yes and to buy your product.

Tim: Yes, yup.

Dan: Tim, thank you so much for coming on today. I really appreciate your time and your insights. I'll make sure I put a link to everything. Thank you for sending up the separate page. Then also, thank you for making all those resources available. This is so critically important. I'm such a huge fan of your work. I'm also such a huge fan of what you've been able to do and how you've been able to help brands. I look forward to our next conversation. Thanks, Tim.

Tim: Thank you, Dan. I enjoyed it very much. I appreciate it so much. Very kind of you to share that and to recognize that. I appreciate that very much.

Dan: Well, thank you. I want to thank Tim for coming on today and for sharing his insights and his wisdom. The stories that Tim shared are proof positive that this stuff works. Brands that have a sturdy foundation and a good strategy are the brands that are going to succeed beyond tomorrow. I also want to thank Tim for making resources available to you, the podcast listeners. As Tim said, you can download the resources at I'll be sure to put a link on the show notes and on the podcast webpage. Don't forget to check out Tim's many other resources as well. I have some exciting news that I want to share with you.

Tim and I decided that we'd collaborate on several courses to help you get your product earn more retailer shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. We talked about the importance of a solid foundation to build your brand on. For that reason, this week's free download is my turnkey sales story strategies course. This course is designed specifically to help you build that sturdy foundation to support all these great strategies. This course is free, because it's my way of giving back. I want to help give you all the tools and all the resources to succeed at retail. You can get to the course by going to As always, thank you for listening. If you like the podcast, share it with a friend, subscribe, and leave a review. You can download the show notes at I'll look forward to seeing you in the next episode.

Thanks again for joining us today. Make sure to stop over at for the show notes along with more great brand building articles and resources. Check out my free course Turnkey Sales Story Strategies, your roadmap to success. You can find that on my website or at Please subscribe to the podcast, leave a review, and recommend it to your friends and colleagues.

Sign up today on my website so you don’t miss out on actionable insights and strategic solutions to grow your brand and save you valuable time and money.

I appreciate all the positive feedback. Keep your suggestions coming.

Until next time, this is Dan Lohman with Brand Secrets and Strategies where the focus is on empowering brands and raising the bar.

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