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Retailers are the WORST sellers: A Wake-Up Call for Brands

marketing retailers strategy Aug 09, 2023

The Untapped Potential of Retailers in the Food Industry: A Wake-Up Call for Brands

The food industry is expansive and varied, housing numerous brands, each vying for a significant portion of the market share. One common strategy many of these brands lean on is securing shelf space in popular retailers. While retailers provide a substantial and essential platform, it’s crucial for brands to recognise a pivotal truth: retailers are primarily a convenient location, not necessarily your best salespeople.

The Misconception about Retailers

A widespread belief amongst emerging food entrepreneurs is that once their product secures a spot on a retailer’s shelf, it's only a matter of time before sales skyrocket. However, this belief can lead to a complacency that negatively impacts a brand’s growth. Retailers, whether large-scale chains or local grocery shops, have a straightforward role – to stock a variety of products that cater to a broad spectrum of consumer needs.

Their main strength is being in a strategic location where consumers can access a plethora of choices. While they indeed play a part in selling by providing visibility, they aren't inherently invested in the success of individual brands.

Harnessing Retail Partnerships

Brands need to shift from the mindset of 'retailers sell' to 'retailers display'. This distinction is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Product Visibility vs. Engagement: While retailers ensure product visibility, they don’t necessarily ensure engagement. Brands must engage consumers through other avenues – marketing campaigns, samples, or direct interactions – to drive sales.

  2. Building Brand Loyalty: While a retailer can introduce a consumer to a product, brand loyalty is nurtured beyond the shelves. It’s a direct result of quality, consumer engagement, after-sales service, and more.

  3. Consumer Education: Retailers rarely have the time or platform to educate consumers about the uniqueness of each product. This task lies squarely on the brand. Whether it’s the health benefits of your organic juice or the sourcing of your gourmet chocolates, it's up to you to tell that story.

The Power of Multi-Channel Engagement

In this digital age, relying solely on retailers is an outdated approach. Here's where multi-channel engagement comes into play:

  • Digital Presence: An active digital footprint via a website, social media, and e-commerce ensures you directly connect with and educate your audience. SEO strategies and targeted ads can guide potential consumers to your site where you can control the narrative.

  • Pop-Ups and Samplings: Physical engagement through pop-ups, events, or sample distributions in strategic locations can initiate direct brand-consumer interactions. This not only offers firsthand feedback but also builds a connection beyond the retailer's shelf.

  • Loyalty Programs: By offering incentives for repeated purchases or referrals, you’re increasing the likelihood of creating dedicated brand ambassadors who'll indirectly promote your products.

SEO and The Digital Marketplace

Speaking of digital presence, let’s touch on a vital component for any brand – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The digital marketplace is massive, and standing out requires more than just a website or a social media account.

Effective SEO strategies ensure that when consumers search for products in your niche, your brand pops up among the top results. Incorporate relevant keywords related to the food industry, your specific products, and consumer needs. Regularly update your content, be it blogs, product descriptions, or consumer reviews, to stay relevant. Engage with consumers online, respond to their queries, and use analytics to understand and improve your digital strategy.

In Conclusion

Retailers play a significant role in the food industry ecosystem. However, understanding their position and function can redefine a brand's approach to sales and marketing. While they provide the platform, it’s up to brands to perform. Engage directly with consumers, tell your unique story, and harness both physical and digital channels to maximise your reach.

Brands should remember that in the vast food industry, retailers might introduce your product, but it's your continuous effort that will make it a household name. Stay proactive, stay engaged, and always be ready to adapt.

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