Retailers vs. Manufacturers Perspectives: Must-win Products for Holiday 2021

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When it comes to direct-to-consumer events this holiday, it’s important to understand the perspectives from a manufacturer lens vs the retailer. You’d think they be similar. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Remember, manufacturer benefits increase when prospective consumers are exposed to your brand.

Retailers vs. Manufacturers
In most cases, retailers are brand agnostic, which usually means associates follow a customer engagement strategy that includes a greeting and discovery process prior to making a recommendation. This engagement strategy does have its merits, with today’s consumers walking into retailers more educated about products than at any other time in history; they’ve thoroughly researched the product, and in some cases, just want an associate to validate their research before making a purchase.

From the manufacturer’s lens, it’s a different story. Most assortments have a variety of products that make up the ecosystem represented in the aisle that particular day. But in reality, every manufacturer has a few, what I like to call, workhouse SKUs. These are the few within the assortment that are forecasted to drive the majority of revenue. And because of that, these workhorse SKUs usually have more robust marketing funds and aggressive sales forecasts tied to funding agreements with retailers.

Is your brand getting a fair shake in the aisle?
This reinforces what we’ve discussed in previous blogs related to efficiencies in the aisle. As a vendor, ask yourself these questions: Where does the consumer validation process request benefit your brand? Does it support your marketing strategy? What about your merchandising strategy? What about your workhorse, must-win products this selling season? Most importantly, does a consumer validation trend support your end goal: a fair shake in the in-aisle consumer interaction?

For manufacturers participating in direct-to-consumer (DTC) events this holiday, it’s critical to differentiate your planning from your retail partners. As we mentioned, retailers in most cases have a structured discovery process that is a perfect scenario that leads to an ideal recommendation. However, as a manufacturer, it’s critical that your brand messaging is executed.

Make an emotional connection
For manufacturers, the process is more akin to the old retail term “attachment selling.” Meaning when a product is presented in a certain way, 100% of the time it increases your chance to be sold. Or in this case, attached. If you’ve you’ve ever attended a car show, you’ll usually see a brand ambassador up on a platform introducing the audience to a new automobile lineup for the current year. Why is it done that way? It’s because they know that buying can be an emotional decision and when someone takes ownership emotionally, they will pay for it financially. So, knowing that, it’s critical that this year’s DTC campaigns include key opening statements that create opportunities to purchase your assortments.

T-ROC, which offers end-to-end solutions for retailers, brands, and manufacturers, has several direct-to-consumer campaigns designed to complement and enhance your sales plans for holiday 2021. T-ROC can provide you with brand ambassadors in this highly anticipated selling season, who are not just expertly trained on your solution and the benefits that it enables, but who are also certified on your overall brand strategy, the ecosystem capabilities that your product brings to the table, and your workhorse wins with key revenue drivers.

To learn more about these direct-to-consumer opportunities and how they can fit in with your holiday plans, get in touch with contact Lou Kindschuh, Vice President of Business Development, lkindschuh@trocglobal.com.