When we talk to potential clients about maximizing their retail opportunities, the general perception is that we’re referring specifically to sales; to landing the product in online retailers, flash sales, catalogs, boutique stores, Home Shopping Network, etc. While finding buyers and retailers for our products is, of course, one of our chief objectives, it is only the visible culmination of a much broader effort. We believe that a product cannot be truly successful in retail without a significant amount of attention being paid to branding and messaging. Before a product can be successfully pitched to retailers, and sales generated, the audience must be targeted in the appropriate way, and educated about the product. Far too many great ideas fail to reach their peak sales potential because they aren’t presented clearly, or completely. We take a range of creative approaches toward building a product’s brand.
An area of brand building that may seem relatively obvious, but which most inventors neglect, is maintaining a solid social media page/website. An inventor might have an incredibly cool, unique product, but often they fail to communicate the benefits to their consumer base. A visitor to the website must immediately be able to learn what the product does, why it’s different than anything else on the market, what problem it solves, and why that problem needs solving. The same can be said of social media presence. Inventors need to update their product pages frequently, with fresh content. Regularly posting pictures, videos, and promotions is essential to generating more followers. If the product is being sold in retail—whether online or at a brick-and-mortar store—that sale should be posted directly on the page, so purchasing the product is quick and easy for consumers. Lightning Launch prides itself on providing useful website advice, and taking an active role in social media management, to ensure that these crucial elements of brand building are being handled expertly, and without wasted cost.
We’ve also been quite active in the world of blogging. Blogs are an excellent way to informally educate potential buyers about a product’s story, as well as open a dialogue between consumers. Writing blog entries to post on your website, or reaching out to established retail bloggers who might feature your product, is a great and under-utilized way to gain exposure. Our clients benefit from our in-house bloggers, as well as our relationships in the wider blogging community, to ensure their product is getting as much attention as possible.
There are, of course, many others methods for building a successful brand, and we experiment with new ones whenever we get the chance. It’s important to remember that in the pursuit of retail sales, pitching to web stores, catalogues, etc. is only a small part of the picture. For a sales resume to really take shape, consumers must fully understand the product, and recognize the need it satisfies. They need to start talking about it, recommending it to friends, and dialoguing about it online, because a product’s success rarely exceeds its popularity.