Most inventors have big dreams of seeing their products lining the shelves of major retailers like Wal-Mart or Target. With millions of shoppers each month, getting a product sold in a big retailer is a proven way to put inventors on the path to success. But, it takes a lot to get there.
Pitching a product or invention to a major retailer is a daunting task. Many entrepreneurs from across the country try to get their products in big-box stores each year. There’s a lot to consider before making the pitch, and then there’s the pitch itself. Consider these four tips if you’re ready to take your invention to the next level.
Target the Right Store
There are so many big-box retailers out there, so spend as much time as you can evaluating your options. Do you want to sell in department stores or discount stores? Is your product high-end or moderately priced?
Visit several retailers and browse the shelves to understand the types of products they sell. Imagine where your product would fit — be sure to make this part of the pitch when the time comes. Also, look into what retailers offer that might give you an advantage. Some have special programs for startups, women-owned, or minority-owned businesses.
Also be sure to take a look and see if they allow for regional distribution. We have often seen that companies that do so have regional buyers that have a good amount of flexibility in selling new products.
Boost Production Levels
Selling products at big retailers means a major production increase. Are you ready for that? Before pitching big, make sure your manufacturer can handle the increased volume while maintaining quality.
Make sure you’re prepared and that you can demonstrate your level of preparedness to the retailer. Some retailer contractors include penalties for vendors who do not deliver merchandise in a timely manner. Smooth production and delivery systems keep business relationships intact and profits up.
Create a Strong Branding Campaign
From websites and social media pages to product packaging and advertising, marketing and branding signal to retailers that a product is ready for large-scale distribution. A great website and interactive social media pages make the product professional. Packaging is equally important. It should draw customers’ eyes as they walk down an aisle, and this is something that big retailers look for. Check out your competitors’ packaging and look for ways to do it better.
Plan a Solid Pitch
The pitch is everything. First, decide who will actually make the pitch — you or a hired representative. Make sure all pitches include samples of the product, printed information about the product, price lists, marketing and promotion plans, proof that you can meet large production volumes, manufacturing information, and your business history.
Ready to make the pitch to big retailers? We can help. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the inventor’s hotline at 888.864.1760 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.