Maybe great products can’t solve ALL of your problems but man O man, they can get close. Consider some of the opportunities facing retailers today and how a strong merchandising strategy can make life so much better. (It’s market time so there is a little selling at the end. 🙂 Thought you should know.)
Differentiate or die: It’s the title of one of my favorite business books and a good lesson for all. If your store is pretty much like every other store in your market, then you need to set yourself apart or you give no reasons for the consumer to shop with you instead of your competition. Your people can make that difference but so can’t your products. Carry a line that will blow people away because it looks and feels different than what everyone else has, and if your selling story is good enough, consumers will leave your store telling their friends. Do you have products like that, and if not why not?
Profits are the fuel: Rising acquisition cost, expensive financing cost, overhead, commissions, delivery fees, giveaways etc., There are a lot of things chipping away at your bottom line and your product assortment needs to provide you the healthy margins you need so you can promote your business, to sell more products, to make more profits to promote your business, to sell more products to make more profits and on it goes. How many beds on your floor carry 70% margins? What if you had more?
Stories matter: When we were kids we learned a lot of very important lessons from people that loved us, telling us stories. Some of the most iconic brands in our universe got that way because they were master storytellers that didn’t sell us 64G of storage space. They told us that we had 1000 songs in our pocket and then showed us the kind of joy that would deliver with people dancing around your screen. Do the products you carry capture the hearts and minds of your consumers or are they just like every other brand in the market?
Bottom line is this…what if you had a product line that was so sexy the story was actually fun for your sales force to share. Products that made you so much money there was actually something left over for you, and because of your vision as an incredible merchant looking out for their consumer, you were able to secure exclusive distribution and not share it with anyone?
I am really proud to be one of the founders of Spink and Co bedding and believe it or not, our collection of luxury mattresses does all of this and more. But don’t take my word for it, let me connect you to one of our retail partners and you can hear it from them. We grow our beds on our own 300-acre farm in Yorkshire, England using the wool from our own sheep and the hemp and flax from our fields. The Queen herself has celebrated our company with 5 awards for things like innovation and sustainability. But the best part is how these beds look and feel, so if you want to experience something nobody in the industry can offer you, please stop in and see me at Las Vegas Market in Dormeo space in B980. If you can’t make it just call me at 630-788-7138 or email me at email@example.com.
Don’t forget about the Dos Marcos Meet-Up in Vegas on July 28th @4pm space C-1596 in the Englander showroom. Why stand in the hot and sweaty cab lines, hang out with us and have a cocktail! Trent Ranburger is our special guest host so swing by and enjoy some fellowship.
Also check out this podcast with one of our sponsors Sarah Bergan from PureCare. She is awesome and does an amazing job talking us through the sleep essentials category and why it is so important for mattress retailers to lean into this opportunity to build tickets and grow profits. Sarah gives up some very good tips on how to be successful in selling sheets, pillows and protectors so don’t miss it!!!
Putting S&C on our floor was a no brainer and such an impactful piece of real estate our floor was missing. It’s the alternative to a certain brand that you knew you needed. The story sells the product right along with the feel.
Thanks Tom, you guys have done an incredible job with Spink and Co. Especially you with your enthusiasm not just for the product, but for helping people live a better life!!!!! You are awesome, thanks for the comment and for reading.
Mark, always a good article with great suggestions!
I have to add my experience as R&D, when I developed great products but old enterprise culture cut me off from marketing. I knew why the product I developed was a winner, but I couldn’t communicate it. As a result, the message didn’t get through to the final customer and the product didn’t get the result it was expected. I have learned that today’s globalization requires great products and also better communication at all levels.