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.
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Coke and Costco are about to find out, together, who has retail leverage in this relationship. The only question is how long will it take? One party will eventually have to make concessions, or more concessions than the other guy, and for those of us keeping score at home, it should be obvious who the winner is.
Think about other categories. At its most basic form, Retail Leverage comes down to who needs who more.
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NEAT! organized its retail leverage strategy around airport kiosks. They built a base of success in airports. Their first retailer was their own channel. They believe this gave them their best chance to succeed. Today, Neat’s products are found on the shelves of the largest Office Superstore chains – Staples, Office Depot and Office Max, many regional retailers and on the websites of such behemoths as Amazon.com.
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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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When you start breaking down Powermat’s launch strategy, you’ll realize they are using a hybrid of retail leverage strategies. More importantly, they are doing it on a scale much more relevant to challenger brand marketers used to dealing with 7 figure budgets.
1) Offer Program or Product Exclusivity (sort of)
2) Have Something So Big “They” Can’t Ignore
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The secret 6th entry in the 5 sure-fire ways to get Retail Leverage is Price. I feel dirty even saying it.read more
The powerpoint presentation can look dreadfully similar on the number of marketing communication vehicles you can use whether you are on a $5M Marcom plan or a $50 Marcom plan.
Put simply, unless you are the Geicos or Capital Ones of the world that have MARCOM budgets that dwarf the size of most companies’ total revenues and the GDP of some small countries, pick a…one…uno…a SINGLE communication vehicle that meets these criteria listed below to deliver maximum impact.
REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR ONE COMMUNICATION VEHICLE STRATEGY:
1. Makes Sense Strategically (long vs. short story to tell? Reach vs. Frequency goals? Close to a Retail Sale? Etc…)
2. Reaches Your Target Audience – (obvious you want to shout where your target customers can hear you)
3. Penetrates Enough to Be Heard – (your budget should be able to support a high level of reach/frequency over time)
Five Ways To Build A Culture Geared Toward Retail Leverage:
1. Tie each corporate executive’s bonus to growth at a “pet” retailer
2. Have the sales team do some heavy lifting during National Sales Meetings.
3. Require product managers to model profit pool for their category at key retailers.
4. Shop together and learn.
5. Don’t enable the “Desktop Marketer.”
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