How to get the most bang for a buck? Where should I advertise? What shall I write?
Selling to a retail chain often means you have to advertise in their catalogues, newspaper ads, etc. You can present your product in one of three ways, Sale, New or Brand Name. This alone does not create a brand; you must also supplement the retail advertising with your own advertising campaigns and/or through reviews in magazines.
Where to advertise
If you want to describe your product in-depth, eventually positioning it at the high-end, you have to advertise away from retail catalogues. Find out which magazines your prime target customers read and advertise there. All magazines have statistics of the different target groups. Moreover, this is usually free. Advertising agencies can also deliver this information, for a fee.
It is very difficult to get a positive sales effect from advertising on TV and radios when dealing with consumer electronics and high tech products. The consumers cannot comprehend the technical information in 30 seconds. You must instead focus more on the design/brand than the features.
Whether you advertise in the different medias or not, you should always create press releases for new and unique products. You should boldly use the same magazines as your customers read. Create a database with the names of contact people at those magazines and develop a relationship. When sending an e-mail with press releases, do not send as an attached word document, keep the mail short and precise. Eventually use your own website as a link for a complete technical description. Send the press releases to the retailers too.
Finally, you should send your product for tests and reviews at the most accredited magazines as often as possible. Occasionally newspapers do these reviews. Always be sure to send optimized products, and then later you can refer to the awards you receive.
The difference between the On-line stores (Etail) and the Off-line stores (Retail), is that you can quite easily pay into an On-line store with advertising and theyll have plenty of room for you on their shelf; Whereas the Off-line stores have a limited shelf space and if you get in, they might throw someone else out. For that reason, the following will focus on the Off-line stores.
To make retail interesting for consumers, my experience has been that catalogues should be made of 3 ingredients:
Now there is actually a fourth ingredient that counts for catalogues. That is, products that retail know will not sell but contribute to the cost of the actual catalogue. This is where some retailers fail, having too many of these kind of products will cause them to loose consumers interest. It is a balance of budget.
Each of the following areas requires retails serious attention. To have a better focus you need to find out which category your product belongs in. Additionally, you present retail with a better joint venture.
1. Brand products
If this is the only place you advertise, it will be difficult for customers to position the product, and you cannot be in the brand product category. In my mind, brands are not brands until customers have that assumption. Consumers tend to focus less on the price for brand products.
2. New products
If your product is new, it has a chance to be in the catalogue for solely that reason. However, new means unique USP, in comparison to competitors. If your product is in the high tech field, you have the chance to show new USP every 4-6 weeks. Either the price has dropped or the things are faster and/or bigger. Software games are old after 6 months, sometimes sooner.
If you minimize the time span from development/production to introduction, you might get a few days where your product is obsolete. THAT IS where the most profit is for you and the selected retail chain(s). The difference in being first and second is enormous.
3. Products on sale
is the easy one. Cut the price in half and you are in business
with retail. Beware when you do this; it is almost impossible to
get the price back up to a profitable level. Consumers have a remarkable
memory when prices go up. Your other sales channels will let you
know of the customers disappointments (price, guaranty, etc.),
unless they get same price. Unfortunately, once every retailer
advertises the new price, consumers just expect this to be the
new price level and they are not in a hurry to buy.
Have a Retail strategy
Finally, some vendors do not care at all. However, this should not be a long-term strategy because retail wants you to have control. Furthermore, if you cannot provide that control, others can.
The author of this article Jens Welling has worked with retail purchase, retail sales and retail marketing over the last 15+ years. Jens Welling has written a number of articles as a good source for any new and established company who want success with retail sales. Below are short descriptions and links to other articles.
Why You Have To Do Your Homework
Choosing Sales And Distribution Channels
Unique Selling Points (USP)
What The Buyer Wants To Know
Rejection From Buyer
Building A Brand
Keeping Your Store Sales Alive