Helping brands retail smarter.
At Retail Smarter, we’re a team of award-winning CPG experts, who help brands grow through retail sales, marketing, and supply-chain management. (We, and our myriad partners, do a host of other things, too, but it’s all about retail strategy and execution.) Brand messaging, consumer product packaging, omnichannel presence, shopper marketing, retail presentations — when it all comes together, it’s a thing of beauty. Simply put, we love what we do.
And we love sharing what we know.
Focusing on the Top Shelf.
For years, we’ve participated in retailer and industry initiatives to help emerging brands retail better, because they retail smarter. We’ve presented at conferences hosted by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), ECRM (RangeMe), the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and, one of our recurring favorites, Top Shelf, sponsored by Walgreens and the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC).
This year, founder Angie Echele challenged the 2023 cohort of women-led CPG brands to answer one of the top questions posed by retail category managers (whether they ask it out loud or not): “Why will consumers buy your product?”
Retail data: shopper behavior is changing.
According to the National Retail Federation, 82% of shoppers want the brand’s values to align with their own. And shoppers increasingly turn to small and diverse-owned brands to find those products.
- 82% of shoppers want the brand’s values to align with their own
- 75% of shoppers said they have stopped buying a brand due to a conflict in values
- 52% of shoppers are especially interested in buying sustainable brands
- 72% of shoppers rely on stores as part of their primary shopping method
Retailers must follow suit or risk losing shoppers at their stores. So, it’s not surprising that retailers have become heavily invested in discovering — and often nurturing — small brands. But retailers remain risk-averse. They know that 95% of new products fail. They want emerging, diverse-owned brands; but they also want evidence that the brand can be one of the 5% who succeed on the shelf.
Start with why.
A large part of that evidence is proof that your brand aligns with shoppers’ values. As Simon Sinek so presciently put it in 2009: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Of course, your “what” (your product) has to work, has to comply with regulations, and has to provide a good value. It’s also important that your “who” (you, your business, and your culture) is presented as a trustworthy, reliable, and retail-ready partner. But above all else, shoppers (and retailers) ultimately purchase because of your “why.”
Develop CPG branding, packaging, and retailer presentations to match.
Your retail sales presentation will certainly include a little about your company, and hopefully a little more about your sales history, market share, production capacity, and supply chain readiness. But all of these elements — particularly your marketing plan — should support a consumer experience centered around “why you do it” and how shoppers (literally) buy into the cause.
When it comes to our clients, we typically “start with why” through a brand messaging workshop. This collaborative process brings “why” into focus and delivers a message that really resonates with retailers and shoppers. Then, we apply the brand message to everything: consumer packaging, website and Amazon pages, retail media, social media and, of course, the retailer presentation deck.
Your final retailer presentation must be tightly focused on why your brand resonates with the retailer’s particular shopper, and show how you’ve aligned sales, marketing and supply-chain activities to deliver on your brand promise. With a presentation like that, it’s hard to miss your chance on the shelf.
Get by with a little help from your friends at Retail Smarter.
Of course, getting there isn’t always easy. So, if you find you need a little help (or a little more than that), hire us by the hour, by the project, or month-to-month. You’ll retail better because we’ll help you retail smarter.
We eagerly look forward to our annual participation with the Top Shelf program. (Thanks to the WBDC and Walgreens for continuing to invite us back!) There’s nothing we like more than meeting CPG founders and learning about the amazing journeys that started you on the road to retail. We’re rooting for you! And, if you think we can help, let’s talk.