ENTREPRENEURSHIP / MAR. 03, 2015
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How to Establish Your Brand on the UK Supermarket Shelves

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Supermarket shelves are precious selling spots for all sorts of products, given the high number of potential customers who walk between them each day. If you, therefore, have a product which you’ve worked on for years and you want to roll it out, you must be thinking of supermarket shelves as one of the grand entry points into the market. This may, however, be more difficult than it seems, since the stores have limited shelf space besides piles of requests from companies and individuals with the same enterprising spirit. Here is where innovation saves your boat from the ocean floor in your bid to establish your brand in the UK supermarkets.

Grow Your Brand the Supermarket Way

Look for a local supermarket that’s probably owned and operated by its owner. Note that sole proprietors are quick decision-makers, especially if you can certify that your product meets quality standards as dictated by law. Negotiate for reasonable shelf space if you want to sell numerous products. Bigger space also provides sufficient room for promotional materials such as trendy banners and advertisements or information boards. Talk about your promotional plans in detail during the negotiations to convince the supermarket operator. Elaborate, for example, how you intend to bring in a supermarket line attendant to help clients understand how the product works; inform them about available discounts and its varieties.

Spread Your Wings

Use the sales numbers from the local supermarket to approach similar stores in other neighborhoods. Target a specific rate of stock turnover and pay attention to some of the fastest moving goods from your competitors. Keep a tab on your overall distribution expenses by dealing with supermarkets near your production house, especially if the goods are bulky or fragile. This gives you a competitive edge by enabling you to offer lower prices. Take challenges which you may experience at the start as stepping stones to the bigger supermarket chains which prefer experienced suppliers with quality products, decent profit margins and top-notch promotional stunts.

Sail the High Seas

Use the reputation you’ve built with the local and mid-level supermarkets to reach out to retailers with a national, regional or global presence. Remember that their shelves are your ultimate goal since your brand name is likely to cross boarders and sell nationally or internationally. You can also benefit from promotional activities offered by big-name retailers to boost less established brands. This catapults your sales and brand recognition, and entrenches your customers’ confidence in a way that bolsters brand loyalty.

Learn How to Handle Supermarket Policies

Maintain cordial professional relations with all supermarkets which you may capture as your sales affiliates. Ensure that your shelf space is always well stocked and well arranged. Learn how to deal with their policies since when the big stores offer, say 20 percent discount on every item sold under their roof, you’re expected to agree. This may affect your profit margin temporarily but boost your brand’s popularity in the long run.

Note that you’ve got to start from somewhere. So, don’t pay much attention to the size of your company or the number of products you churn out, provided you can constantly supply 10 to 20 percent of a specific big supermarket chain without shortages.

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