Trade Marketing Insights

How To Communicate Your Product Offering (And Increase Sell-in)

Posted by Callum Hornigold on 13-Jun-2018 14:02:07
Callum Hornigold
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Why Read? 

This post will explain how to:
  • Communicate your product offering to retailers to make it a more attractive proposition.
  • Use emotion within your product pitch to increase your chances of sell-in. 
  • Use communication techniques to make your product pitch more memorable
If you want a step-by-step guide that shows you how to create your product offering, please read the first part of this three-part series, ‘How To Develop An Irresistible Product Offering’.

Where were you when Princess Diana died?
Or when the Twin Towers fell?
I bet you can remember exactly where you were and how you felt at the time.
But could you tell me what time the first plane hit? Or what model of car Diana was in?
You probably can’t.
You know why?
Because you remember how it made you feel more than the little details.
How does this relate to your product offering?
Let me explain...
flashbulb memories
They’re called ‘flashbulb memories’.
Flashbulb memories are when you are more likely to remember something because of a strong emotional experience.
The bottom line:
A retailer is more likely to remember your product if it creates a strong emotional connection.
Want to know a secret? 
We’re all a big emotional mess, every last one us. We’re highly-evolved chimps that shout, laugh and smile.
No more, no less.
And science shows we make decisions based on emotion first, rather than logic.
As the highly-evolved trade marketing professional you are, you can capitalise on this when communicating your product proposition to a retailer.
But how do you create an emotional connection with the retailer (and with your consumer)?
The following techniques will help you to communicate your product offering and increase your chances of sell-in.

Download our 'Develop Your Product Offering' checklist to build a comprehensive product offering, step-by-step.

Emotion First, Data Later

emotion first
Which of these two word groups resonate with you more?

Group 1
Group 2
screen, sim, high-definition, monochrome chip, megabytes, technology, portable
innovation, gorgeous, love, excitement, passion, laugh, create, touch, share, happiness, beauty
I’m sure it’s Group 2: They're all words that evoke emotion (unless you’re a robot).

We’re programmed to respond more to these words because they trigger our brain’s limbic system, which deals with our emotions and memories.
This is where we make decisions first, based on how the information we receive makes us feel. It's only later that we use logic to rationalise our choices.
Telling a story that evokes an emotional response is a powerful way to ensure your presentation stands out when the retailer is making their decision. Think about it. By stimulating the emotional side of the brain, we're also hitting the part of the brain responsible for holding onto memories. It's a double whammy!
To trigger emotion within retailers and increase the chances of getting your product ranged during the product presentation, paint a picture of a real person based on your buyer persona.
Who are they? What are their challenges and fears? What are their dreams and aspirations?
Now use this information as a trigger to discover something they’ll care about and weave it into your product story.
Then, reinforce it with data from your market research.
You don’t need a big budget to set the scene and tell your story.
Sometimes the simplest of stories can be the most effective.
Take a look at this example we created for LG on a very tight budget, using a simple voice-over and imagery.
This is crazy:
Studies show the brain is activated in a similar fashion whether you experience an event or just hear a story about the same event.
For example, neuroscientists measuring brain activity found that the word ‘cinnamon’ triggered the olfactory cortex, the part of the brain associated with smell. 
Or just reading the word yawn, is likely to make you want to yawn. Give it a minute or two, you’ll probably find yourself yawning (and that’s not because you’ve lost interest in this article!)
The more descriptive adjectives you use in your product presentation, the more it will stimulate brain activity associated with emotion and resonate with the retailer. This means they're more likely to remember it and choose your product over a competitor’s.
While trade marketing may be perceived by some as less creative than consumer marketing, there are still plenty of opportunities to use emotional language, hooks and creativity to dazzle retailers.

Explain What’s In It For Them


tell them what's in it for them

People are egocentric.
In fact, studies have shown that we like to talk about ourselves 60% of the time.
So you'd better provide the retailer ample opportunity.
Even better, talk about them within your presentation and explain what’s in it for them. 
Engross them in the emotional storytelling first, then hit them later with data designed to make them feel part of the story.

Make the product presentation about the retailer as well as the consumer.

Ensure you tell them everything they'll need to hear:
  • What profit margins can they expect to make?
  • What are your sales projections? 
  • Can you show case studies to prove your ROS (Rate Of Sales)?
  • Are you going to offer large order discount incentives to the retailer?
  • Who are your competitors and what are their weaknesses?
  • Do you hold patents for your product?
  • Minimum order requirements?
  • How do you ship?

Also, include a line sheet to be passed out at the end of your sell-in presentation, including prices, delivery dates, minimum order, contact information and all other relevant information they can refer to after the meeting.

And don't forget your order form or digital order system, should the retailer be keen to buy there and then.

Make It Real

Take it one step further by painting your retailer into the picture.
What will the product look like in their stores?
Increase sell-in success in your product presentation by creating mock-ups of the marketing campaign, a product video, POS displays and packaging that incorporate the retailer's logo to help them visualise the product's marketing.
Here's an example that we put together for an experiential campaign for Mixx Tail Mojitos from Stella Artois…
product offering
Bringing the product to life and tailoring it towards the retailer will significantly increase the chances of them ranging it.
Show them how it could be packaged too.

Bonus Tip: Packaging that's too big will impact on retail space, which could lead to lower profit margins for the retailer and impact the chances of you getting the product ranged.

Demonstrate Value And Justify The Price

product offering pricing
Your pricing needs to reflect your product positioning.
There’s a whole art and science to product pricing, which we won’t delve too far into here.
Luxury products don’t reflect the cost of manufacture, rather they reflect the value they offer to the consumer. Factors such as scarcity and brand cachet play their part in pushing up the price.
Mass market products need to have their prices costed precisely, taking into account the R&D, manufacture, shipping and marketing costs.
However you choose to price your product, make sure your presentation demonstrates its value, so your buyer can see where it sits alongside competitors’ offerings.

Explain Why It’s Different

be different!
Your retailer may well have seen five other products that day, so it’s essential to clearly communicate your product proposition.
You should have already developed your product USP. Why is it different? 
When pitching your product, be sure to quote your USP and explain what differentiates your product, while capitalising on your competitors’ weaknesses.
Also, explain how your product is clearly targeted at your buyer persona.

Keep It Simple

pyrex product offering
Flooding the retailer with facts, figures and features will only serve to overwhelm them.
In fact, an overabundance of information results in what is known as cognitive overload, where saying too much is as good as saying nothing at all.
The brain can easily remember three pieces of information. When communicating your product positioning during your sales presentation, keep key messages to three concise points.


Next Steps

You have your product offering and a solid understanding of how to communicate it to the retailer.
Now it’s time to actually create your presentation.
Check out how to create 'The Perfect Product Presentation To Boost Sales' for tips on awe-inspiring presentation structure and design.

Want More?

Why not download The Ultimate Guide To Trade Marketing? It includes everything you need, including:
  • How to create a detailed product offering and brand
  • How to create winning presentations to get your product ranged
  • Exclusive merchandising tips to ensure your product sells 
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Topics: retail marketing, product offering, product presentation, product proposition

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