The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

How do you distinguish yourself from others in the rat-race?  More specifically, how do you create a unique and professional Personal Brand*(PB)

One significant way to differentiate your PB, is to launch new products into the market – it can create such a buzz!  But the key is to work strategically with your vendors and push them to be creative and submit product concepts regularly.  In my experience do not discount smaller vendors – they are aggressive and entrepreneurial and want to grow market share.

And when something exciting is submitted, it is now where you utter: I want EXCLUSIVITY!” (refer to Blog Feb 17th before launching nationally).  

Tips to securing Exclusivity

–          Remember WIN/WIN philosophy always prevails!  The vendor needs to profit (at least in long run)

–          Create a promotion schedule with the vendor – how much will be invested? (ie you can advertise in-store  promotions  and/or distributed flyers).   Show a willingness to set the product ‘up for success’

–          Inform Vendor they will get merchandising space/planogram and that you will give promotional space in advertisements

Exclusivity will do the following for a Merchant:

–          Create brand loyalty to your category and the Company – you are the only show in town!

–          Differentiate you from colleagues and the business in general: The BUZZ factor!

–          Demonstrate your business acumen and vendor relations

Below, I include an item where Exclusivity was secured – The Smart Spud Potato (still on shelves today).  I mention it because you never know when/what category will get a unique product ideal for exclusivity – ie the Potato category was considered a boring “commodity” category and an area where creativity was looooooooong gone.

But this was launched just when the Atkinson diet was popular (low carb diets);  the vendor had exclusivity for the potato seed and in order to get exclusive rights for the Company, I negotiated to do the design and select the packaging type and support promoting it. 

Stay tuned next week – we will discuss how Merchants/Brand Managers can build equity in their products by successful product design.  I will discuss the design and methodology of this unique product. Packaging Design is key… and below is a good example we will expound upon next week.  Some vendors want to own design….but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them feedback if it is going on your shelves!


More about Author:

*Personal Brand  – consider it as your IMAGE (online or other) – this includes but is not limited to the body, clothing, appearance, online presence, etc, leading to an indelible impression that is uniquely distinguishable.


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