Anyone can suggest some effective distributor/retailer incentive programs that are a must for a decent beverage launch marketing strategy? The beverage would fall in the new age category (non carbonated). Im looking for a decent bang for the buck here.
retailers nowadays will seemingly take on a new age product, fuze is everywhere here, for example, but they've got cube racks and maybe their own little cooler. they are not getting regular shelf space. be prepared to be relegated to a cube rack and not your own slots on the shelf. make sure you've got POS. try and get on a stores monthly ad.
there's regional offices that handle product slotting. like, i work for a miller distributor that services six meijers. we have a guy that works closely with the chains and, for example, submits ideas on which of our products to discount that week or month. sometimes, things are national. sometimes, it's local. you'll have to do some investigating, and every chain is run differently, but i'd start with a store director or grocery manager and see if you can't get a phone number that way. godspeed mr indie!
I'm trying to avoid paying slotting fees in the beginning. I'd rather use my scare $ resources towards actually promoting the product. I'm looking more at a PoS displays (my beverage is shelf stable) and tastings.
So, about retailer/distributor incentives. What works? Giving a free case to new accounts? Volume allowance? Other ideas?
What's the best way to really motivate a distributor and a retailer to sell your product? What's the best investment a startup can make for distributor/retailer incentives?
(probably a cooler name than Startup Dude)
ok here my ideas from years and years of experience.
Retailers are shy about new items unless they know the item or its from a well known company.
(aspen edge, mich ultra for instance)
Same with distributors. The rep is leary on selling something that they are gonna catch slack from the retailers on.
Soooooo, my suggestion is take that fear away from them both.
Yes tasting are the best way to move product. It gets it in the consumers mouth and they typically buy it if they like it or pass the word around.
Now just dont book a sample to just any ole retailer, do the most exposure/largest/most volume retailers. Give them an incentive to do a large buy-in with maybe free goods on bought goods.
Now incentives to the dist reps will motivate them to push your product and your incentives. Money always does the trick, i.e. $$ per case sold or $$ per event. Make sure that you have "ride withs" with these reps, the more they see you or you company (and like you) the more they remember you and your company in turn the more they sell your product.
Again the key is to after the product is out there ..you have to continue to promo it. Ive seen brands have a great launch, then just die after 6 months due to lack of promotions.
Hope this gives you some ideas Mr Indie.
Good luck, and my consulting fee starts on the next response....lol.