The momentum of your brand is important, especially for large retailers. Brand awareness does not build overnight, not even with an aggressive marketing budget. Awareness takes time to build. And without it, your product is less likely to sell at shelf. In most cases, a brand less than 2 years old lacks enough brand awareness to support sales at shelf. Therefore, building brand awareness should begin before your product is available in market.
Get comfy. This is a long post. Really, it should be called Marketing 101.
Where to begin: Start marketing before you launch
Brand awareness building should begin as soon as you lock down your brand name and website domain name. Start building your email list. A free and quick way to set up a landing page to collect emails is http://kickofflabs.com. Building your social media following can also begin early - even without a product ready to sell. Instagram is a great way to showcase your brand personality and begin building brand awareness. These are great ways to start nurturing relationships with your target consumers without spending much money or exposing your IP. Over time these assets will build a following for you. From there, you will have a solid foundation for which to execute a formal marketing strategy.
Of course! Any exposure on national media is always welcomed by buyers. It drives foot traffic to stores, which converts to sales. Plus those reruns are known to drive additional sales lifts when they re-air.
Here’s a handy dandy checklist.
- Announce to your current retail accounts your air date.
- Ask past Shark Tank entrepreneurs what their average store sales lifts were.
- Give them ship dates (hopefully you heeded Romy’s advice and stock-piled your inventory levels) and order lead times.
- After your appearance airs, measure the sales lift...
In every pitch that came my way, I always posed the question, “Where’s your marketing calendar?”
Why did it matter to me so much? Because I would coordinate my buying timeline and in-store promotional activities to piggy-back off the brand’s marketing and media activities. If you don’t give me a marketing calendar, I don’t have an incentive or deadline to buy that product line. It would just languish on my desk indefinitely...
There is one question I see buyers pose often in the Buyerly Product Feedback system: “What kind of PR is your brand doing?”
And I can relate. As a buyer, I always requested to see brands’ marketing calendar, which is a schedule of marketing, media and PR activities intended to promote brand awareness and support sales in stores...
It’s not just PR exposure that retailers care about, but your overall ability to build brand awareness and create demand for your product.
- Use that customer list you have built over time.
- Leverage social media.
- Strike strategic partnership deals
- Focus on driving impulse purchases
- Show your sales history.
- Get creative with solutions.
As long as brands use social media as one prong of a larger integrated marketing campaign and tie it to a clear marketing objective (e.g., brand building, drive trial or repeat, etc.), then yes it matters. But if a brand is doing social media without clear objectives which is true of most small companies, it doesn’t impress buyers and they won’t care you are active on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. Above all, be able to show results – site traffic, sales lifts, something measurable!
As long as brands use social media as one prong of a larger integrated marketing campaign and tie it to a clear marketing objective (e.g., brand building, drive trial or repeat, etc.), then yes it matters. But if a brand is doing social media without clear objectives, it matters less to a buyer that you are active on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest...