Angela Jia Kim

Savor Beauty + Spa / Savor the Success - CEO + Founder
New York, NY

    Reader Q & A: How do I get discovered by the "Big Wigs"?

    November 11, 2011

    Every week, we receive a multitude of fantastic questions from Savor readers. We have decided to feature some of your questions, and I have also searched high and low to find some of the best experts to answer them.

    This week's question has to do with being discovered by the "big wigs". I have enlisted the help of Vanessa Ting, founder of Retail Path and a former buyer for Target. 

    If you have a question, please post it in the comments below, and you may get featured! Make sure to include your website link so we can always reference that and be in touch with you. 

    Q: Dear Angela, 

    I am sure you get this question all the time: How I can get my products/company seen by the big wigs, i.e. Ulta, Sephora, Target, Sally's? It seems like it takes an army just to get noticed by them. I know that they get bombarded with new products all the time, but we have something so unique.

    What makes our products unique is that we harness wheatgrass as our detoxifier. We do not use any harsh ingredients. Wheatgrass contains 90 different vitamins, minerals and amino acids to revitalize, nourish and clear the skin... naturally. We have received a ton of praise for our products, but still have yet to get into that "major brand recognition" genre.

    I look forward to hearing your suggestions!


    Shelly Floyd
    Vitale Skin

    A: Dear Shelly,

    You have met one of the key elements needed to get your brand recognized by key retailers - which is leveraging a unique ingredient story to create brand differentiation. However, there are other criteria retailers would like to see you satisfy including:

    • Are you building awareness of your brand effectively through marketing communications? Are you generating press mentions? This is important in establishing that your brand has the power to drive shoppers to their stores.

    • Is your target consumer additive to the type of shopper retailers are seeking? Retailers want new brands to either attract new shoppers or to add additional purchases during a given shopping trip. Often times, new brands cannibalize the sales of current brands already on shelves, which brings no financial benefit to retailers. Remember, your brand has to make good business sense for retailers.

    • Do you have a proven track record? Major retailers are risk averse and in most cases, do not want to be the first retailer to try a new brand out. Build sales history in smaller, regional stores first before approaching the big retailers. Many large retailers have minimum sales thresholds new products need to show they can meet before being awarded space at shelf.

    Lastly, you should be including the above information in your sales communications to retail buyers. A tight, polished and retailer-centric sales pitch will do more to get noticed by the big wigs than anything else.

    Good luck, 

    Vanessa Ting
    Retail Path

    About Vanessa Ting:
    Vanessa Ting is a 12+ year veteran of the consumer goods and retail industry. Her career has spanned retail buying, consumer marketing, new product development and brand strategy for companies such as Target Corporation and Johnson & Johnson. She is Founder of Retail Path, a retail strategy consulting firm that helps entrepreneurs get retail ready and develop their pitch to buyers.  

    Got a question for Vanessa? Post the comment below and she'll pop in to answer them! 

    Want one of your questions answered? Post below and you just may get featured in one of our blogs! 

    Read Angela Jia 's other blog entries >

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