Retail Leverage – An Agency Executive’s Perspective

By Vincent Young The battle for power at retail often provides very black and white perspective to those on the brand side, or the retailer side.  Let’s face it – we both think the other needs us more than we need them – unless of course you are a challenger brand, in which case you [...]

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All Hail the Kings of Retail Leverage – Monster Cable

The strategy is nothing short of genius – find a high-demand, high dollar consumer electronic product category and profit by selling the low-cost, high-margin accessories that complement the device and make it actually work.

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Product Specification: A Shield in the Battle Against Private Label at Retail

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As long as I can remember, only two brands of toothpaste have mattered – Crest and Colgate. I use Crest. Why do I use Crest, you ask? Because, as a very young child, our family dentist used Crest during my annual check-up and he then gave it a tacit recommendation that we should be using it too when he gave me a sample tube of Crest (along with floss and a new toothbrush). From that moment on, my Mother would look for the Crest brand of toothpaste for our family to use. When a brand is either directly or indirectly specified as “appropriate for optimal effectiveness” by an expert or by a complimentary good, then your brand’s ability to wield assortment, pricing, and promotional power at retail increase significantly. Sounds like a recipe for Retail Leverage (or inoculation against private label).

So how do you protect yourself?

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The Retail Leverage Principle of Physics – When Two Opposing Brands Are Better Than One

By Vincent Young Most categories at retail have room for a “good-better-best” stratification of category players. In today’s culture at retail, the retailer is predisposed to seek ownership of the “good” position by introducing an opening price-point category alternative under a private label or house brand. As a result, branded suppliers typically feel compelled to [...]

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Warning! Brands at Retail – Your Product Development Process Is Harmful To Your Health

This is an excerpt; To read the full article, click the title.

SUMMARY:

Typical 5 Step/Gate Product Development Process:
1. Discovery/Scoping
2. Building the Business Case/Plan
3. Development
4. Testing & Validation
5. Product Launch

This process has one major flaw if you are a brand whose business case is primarily built on accessing the consumer through the world of retail – the retailer is predisposed to prefer a private label solution …

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STAINMASTER Carpet Goes Wall-to-Wall at Lowe’s

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While the STAINMASTER brand has considerable equity in the home furnishings and flooring industries, the team at INVISTA was able to gain distribution at the world’s second largest DIY/Hardware chain by thinking like a challenger brand and adopting two key strategies to gain Retail Leverage.

Retail Leverage Principle #1: Bring Pent-up Demand to Stores
Retail Leverage Principle #2: Offer Product or Program Exclusivity

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Implications For Marketers From Walmart Sku Reductions

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In order to effectively compete, challenger brands must learn to package innovative product offerings together with marketing programs designed to represent at least one of the following four forms of retailer financial growth:

FOUR WAYS TO OFFER RETAILERS FINANCIAL GROWTH:
1. Increase overall category demand
2. Increase the attach-rate of high-value complimentary items
3. Motivate a “trade-up” within the category
4. Help a given retailer win the war against another retailer

The most difficult thing for brands like Glad and Hefty is viewing themselves as challenger brands when their histories have been more reflective of the rare “power” brand.

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Five Retail Leverage Predictions for 2010

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Five Retail Leverage Predictions for 2010:
1) The CMO Will Become the CCMO (Chief Customer Marketing Officer)
2) Creative Services Agencies Will Learn the Language of Retail
3) It Will Take a Village to Make Social Networking a Relevant Marketing Tool for Retail Leverage
4) “Co-operative Planning” Content Will dominate Newsstand Best-Sellers
5) The New “All-in-One” Brand Will Dominate the Retail Landscape:

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Lexmark Offered the Apple Store Value Beyond Printing

Despite its apparent misfit with the Apple Store panache, Lexmark announced last month that it successfully secured distribution of a new Lexmark-branded All-in-One Printer called “Interact” in Apple Stores and at store.apple.com. So how did Lexmark accomplish the seemingly impossible? By enacting a retail leverage strategy that aligned the Lexmark brand and product offering with the needs, wants, and expectations of the interconnected, tech & fashion-forward, high performance Apple-nation.

To read the full article, click on the article title.

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Maximizing Test Store Performance (A Must-Read for Challenger Brands at Retail)

THE DILEMMA OF TEST STORES:

What should you do when your fate at retail is dependent on your product’s performance in a handful of “test stores?” If your sell-through is strong, then your product line gets rolled out to all stores nationally – if not, then your door practically closes forever at that retailer with that product line, even down the road when the “new and improved” version hits the market. The real question that we all struggle with is “Should my company put forth any efforts to stimulate demand in a test store environment, even though we know that those efforts will not likely be replicated upon national roll-out?” The answer is an unequivocal, “yes!”

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