Things that May be Missing from Your Luxury Retailer Introduction Deck
There are so many parts to a retailer introduction deck but if you are a small business entrepreneur who came from a non-business background, its important to know what might be missing that's keeping the Sephora’s and Net-a-Porters of the world from moving your brand from the “future partner” column to the “fuck-yes-right-now” column.
If you are a Brand who does not yet have a team of account managers and sales reps, you might be doing a lot of cold-emailing brands on your own OR maybe you’re lucky and a big box stumbled across your booth at a trade-show. Your intro deck may be lacking key marketing content that differentiates a brand ready for big-box partnership from a “mom-and-pop” appearance. If you'v been gearing up to start pitching, this post is for you!
Showing you have acknowledged your competition is an important part of being taken seriously as a potential wholesale account. Even buyers who love indie beauty and can recognize the differences in brand need insight into who your competitors are. As the founder, you have a unique POD (point of differentiation) and should take the time to clearly articulate what that is. However, keep in mind- the eyes of a retailer introduction deck are lower down the chain and might not be as versed in beauty and need a little help or they might be VERY keen on the industry and thus require brands that can really make their retail shelves connect with a wide variety of consumers and fill gaps.
If you can identify between 2-4 direct competitors for your brand then you can give the retailer a better understanding of which submarket your product will target and the potential profitability of your partnership together.
1. WHO IS MY CUSTOMER?
2. WHAT DO THEY PAY FOR ITEMS LIKE MINE?
For example, If your brand is a competitor to a few brands sold at Whole Foods, then Net a Porter or Barneys most likely isn’t going to be the best fit for you or them.
When searching for direct competitors, we always begin by asking the brand two questions, 1. "Who is your customer?" and 2. "What are they used to paying for items like yours?”.
Direct competitors aren’t just brands who also retail skincare- you need to be MUCH MORE THOROUGH if you want to impress a big-box with your analysis. A direct competitor must retail items of a similar nature with the same target market and price point in a similar way.
DISPLAY, PACKAGING, AND COLLATERAL
Display is about more than branding- it's also about logistics and retail style. If the retailers you want to partner with typically have beautifully Branded counters with physical display units and lots of handouts and takeaways- if you are expecting to partner with them- there’s a good chance you’ll need to pony up and have these designed.
If you do have these assets already, make sure to articulate the availability of these to them and overall aesthetic in your introduction deck. A one-page, professionally-designed mockup of your display unit should be found inside your deck.
Don’t forget to add what you offer in terms of collateral and samples. Beautiful marketing materials like brochures and postcards or sample sets can really increase a retailers consideration for partnership and might even get your brand preference in a future for gift-with-purchase, events, and branded collaborations.
Lastly- if you offer new account packages- this is a great place to include those.
These have come a long way from the cartoon style infographics of customers that brands used to have in their pitches. Now you can articulate a specific consumer in an understated yet obvious way just by simply providing photos that tell a story with an implied or typed question! This will show how much you understand your customer and will appeal much more to a luxury brand who markets in a similar fashion.
Try something like this:
Picture a photo of a woman in a beautiful hotel bathroom with fluffy towels and a gorgeous and tranquil rain-shower with a few minimalist-branded and well-packaged beauty products with the words “Traveling luxurious and light.” Without articulating pain points, buyers likes and dislikes, etc. in an obvious and corny way. We’ve articulated that this product is for women who are also luxury travelers desiring a lighter way to travel without sacrificing luxury.
Clever and well-thought out marketing is essential if you want to appear professional and ready for the big leagues.
You may be new on the scene but to these people, it doesn’t matter. If you are making waves, you are on the up and these stores will want you. PR and Publicity are worth the money. It also isn’t cheap to get so adding a tasteful page of press is an amazing way to convey your success and also how well you alight with a certain target market. Press like Bustle, Brit+Co, Refinery29, etc. are meccas of millennials with luxury purchasing power.
Remember this core principle of marketing- social proof is one of the highest converting forms of marketing. This can be press, influencer, likes, and even customer reviews.
Lastly, if you’re in the initial phase and still cold-emailing, live and interactive PDF decks can be your best friend. They will allow potential buyers the ability to interact with buttons to lower funnel content like videos, direct press pieces, influencer collaborations.
Most importantly, they allow a clearer call to actions like a direct link to email an account representative or get in touch with the brand without ever leaving the deck, an important factor in increasing retailer conversions.
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