Listed below are many of the challenges that brands routinely share with me. Let’s face it. We all have our strengths. But sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. If you want success, you must be willing to not only admit this, but do the research and surround yourself with those who can actually help you achieve your goals.
If any of these below sound familiar, you are not alone and you are in the right place!
WORKING WITH RETAILERS:
- Are you struggling to get your products on retailer’s shelves, meet with retailers or get into the big retailers?
- Do retailer category review schedules restrict or limit your innovation or new item launches?
- Do retailers complain about out-of-stocks or excessive back-stock?
- Do retailers merchandise your products in the wrong place?
- How do you prepare for a successful retailer buyer presentation?
- What other products do your customers purchase when they buy your products and why does this matter?
- Do you have a compelling sales story that stands out with retailers?
- What outstanding value are you bringing to retailers?
- Do you wish you just knew what retailers really wanted?
- Are you tired of feeling like an ATM?
- Do you spend a significant amount of your time raising capital instead of growing your brand?
- What are your 5-year objectives — do you want to be bought out or are you not for sale?
- Are you tired of being forced into promotions that waste money with no results?
- Are you plagued with deductions, slotting and excessive fees?
- Do you question whether demos or trade shows are the best return on your investment?
- Do you know how to identify incremental opportunities and increase sustainable sales?
- Do you know whether online sales first before going into brick and mortar retail stores or launching your new product in both makes better sense for you?
- Do you understand how to become a category leader and why this matters?
- If a big retailer wanted your brand, can you scale to fulfill their need without jeopardizing existing orders?
- If you are using a broker, are you communicating your expectations, providing scorecards and scheduling on-going review sessions with them?
- Do you want better results from your sales team, broker, distributor?
- Do you want to save valuable time and money and avoid the pitfalls that other brands have made?
- Do you want to know the strategies that the big brands use?
- Do you know if you have the right distribution to grow and the right assortment that attracts shoppers?
- Is your inventory forecasting accurate and efficient?
- Do you know how to stand out on a crowded shelf?
- Can shoppers easily find your products in their favorite store?
- Is your pricing strategy weak, ineffective, or nonexistent?
- Are your margins thin and unsustainable?
- Do retailers, brokers, or distributors complain that your prices are too high?
- Do you understand the value of using eco-friendly packaging?
- Does the time required to get new packaging derail your sales?
- When you need to implement changes, do wish there was a better and more timely packaging solution?
- Do you know what specific data you should buy?
- Do you know how to identify and work with the common data errors, inaccuracies and discrepancies?
- Does the sales data confuse, intimidate or frustrate you?
- Is your sales analyst, broker or category manager only pulling the standard top line canned reports?
- Do your top line canned reports tell a compelling story and provide actual actionable insights that the retailers really want?
- Do you understand the benefits and competitive advantage of customized reports and true category management?
- Do you know how to leverage the sales data to really wow retailers?
- Is your brand community focused or mission-based and does your message extend beyond the four corners of your package?
- Do shoppers understand the value of your brand over the competition?
- How do you turn your customers into brand evangelists?
- Do you have the right platform in place to ensure that your brand message is current and consistent throughout your sales force and across social media?
Take heart. There is a better way. Click here and print out these questions. Review them with your team.
Knowing the answers, investing in your brand and building a strong foundation will give you not only a better chance of success, but a significant competitive advantage.
My mission is simple – to empower brands. I am a Certified Professional Strategic Advisor with decades of CPG category management experience. I’ve been helping natural organic brands and retailers find solutions to these questions for many years and I can help you.
Listed below is your roadmap to success.
These FREE resources and strategies will help you solve your most pressing challenges. Use them.
After you have finished reviewing the information on this Start Here page, be sure to click on the Resources tab. Here is where you will find many valuable resources, free downloads, and tools to grow your brand.
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Reach out to me with your specific questions at Dan@CMS4CPG.COM or to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.
I look forward to supporting you in your success!
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SECRETS 004 The Why – Why this matters
On this episode, I drill down into the core focus of the BRAND SECRETS AND STRATEGIES podcast and spend some time answering that question more in-depth so you know what to expect. At the root of this is you and my sincere desire to serve by helping you compete more effectively. My mission is to level the playing field between entrepreneurial health-focused brands and their largest competitors. This episode is 12 minutes long.
SECRETS 068 Proven strategies to grow sales, stand out on a crowded shelf, and 2x your loyal shoppers
Proof that this stuff works!
This short podcast episode will inspire you. It’s a David and Goliath story. These strategies helped a small regional brand outmaneuver and block the largest national category leader from dominating sales and promotions at a new superstore’s grand opening.
Sustainable sales growth requires a thoughtful strategy and commitment to be better than other brands. Like the tortoise and the hare, small strategic incremental steps can add up to a huge win. Today’s story illustrates a better way to grow your brand.
SECRETS 054 What retailers really want — insider secrets to getting on shelf with Mathis Martines of Enlightened / Formerly Kroger
All brands wish for a crystal ball wanting to better understand retailers. Retailers want brands to take a leadership role in their categories and they want actionable insights they don’t have access to. Effective story telling is what sets brands apart.
SECRETS 017 The #1 reason most brands fail and how to avoid this fatal mistake
An effective distribution strategy is the essential path to growing sustainable sales. If consumers can’t find your product, they can’t buy it. Getting your product into the hands of more shoppers begins with consumers finding it on retailers shelves.
SECRETS 036 The importance of a compelling selling story to get your brand on store shelves with guest John Foraker with Once Upon A Farm
A compelling selling story is the key to every brand’s success. It is the key to getting your products on retailer’s shelves. It must include rich actionable insights about how your loyal consumers shop the category as well as fact-based recommendations.
SECRETS 019 Promotional Effectiveness – the the rocket fuel to get your products into the hands of more shoppers!
Today’s topic is promotions, the benefits and the pitfalls to avoid. I’ll focus on the issues plaguing brands in the beginning and follow up with the strategies brands can use to maximize their promotional effectiveness which translates to more loyal raving brand evangelists buying your products.
The Brand Secrets and Strategies podcast is an audio natural products accelerator for food startups, entrepreneurs, emerging health-focused brands and retailers. It’s radically different and raising the bar in our industry. We rise by lifting others. I remain passionate about our industry, mission-based brands, making a healthier way of life more accessible and raising the bar.
In addition to sharing my 25 years of experience, more than 50 well known industry thought leaders, CEO’s and Founders of successful industry organizations and brands candidly share their insider secrets and advice with you. Learn actionable insights and strategic solutions to grow your brand, avoid the pitfalls and save valuable time and money. CLICK HERE NOW to go to my podcast page to view a partial list of my guests and links to the shows.
SEND YOUR PODCAST, SPONSOR, TRAINER & SPEAKER INQUIRIES TO DAN@CMS4CPG.COM
What you need to know to be successful.
TURNKEY SALES STORY STRATEGIES is now live!
Stay tuned! I will be announcing several fall courses that will specifically address exactly what a brand needs to know to succeed and grow in this industry.
Popular articles that answer your most pressing questions
Proper item placement is the key to every brand’s success. It can be the difference between success or failure. Consumers appreciate stores that are well merchandised and easy to shop. Today’s busy consumers want retailers with clean well-organized and easy to shop stores.
Most brands have a love/hate relationship with their brokers and distributors. That’s because brokers and distributors support multiple brands at the same time. This means that they have a limited amount of time to focus their attention on your brand.
Brokers and distributors provide a valuable service helping natural organic brands grow quickly and compete across different channels and with multiple retailers. Few brands have any real insight into their broker’s day-to-day activities. Savvy brands are engaged at every level of their sales funnel.
Trade marketing is typically the single largest line item on a company’s income sheet, but how do you know if your trade marketing is effective?
Most promotions are ineffective and fail to encourage new shopper trials – the primary goal of every promotion. While rewarding loyal shoppers to make repeat purchases can prove beneficial, new shopper engagement is the key to growing brand sales. More importantly, effective promotions help retailers compete more effectively by driving shopper traffic into their stores and away from their competition. This is the greatest bargaining chip any brand can offer a retailer. Savvy brands leverage their ability to drive retailer sales when they negotiate with retailers for premium shelf space, incremental merchandising opportunities, etc.
The term “market basket “(or shopping basket) is perhaps one of the most important terms in retail. The market basket includes all of the items Shoppers purchase on each shopping trip. The reason this matters so much is that health conscious natural organic shoppers spend more than regular shoppers. For example, a shopper purchasing organic bread is most likely also purchase a variety of other organic products including organic spread, organic produce, organic yogurt, etc. This equates to sustainable category growth and more profit for the retailer.
Retailers and brands continually strive to understand consumer buying habits including the average list of items found in customer’s shopping baskets during each visit. This allows retailers to customize product assortment, in-store merchandising, marketing strategies, promotions, and pricing to better meet consumer needs. This customization improves the shopper’s experience and increases shopper loyalty.
Category Management was born out of a need to reduce out-of-stocks, reduce excess inventories, improve product assortments/merchandising, maximize promotional effectiveness/trade management ROI, while building sustainable item and category sales.