Say you have a great, unique product you've managed to make and maybe have available for sale online and in a handful of retailers. Then what? Making the jump to the big retailers is never easy, but entrepreneurs can learn a lot from these three case studies to help guide the way to success.IntelliGender
IntelliGender was started in 2006 by two moms, Rebecca Griffin and Teresa Garland, who over lunch one day came up with the idea for a home gender prediction test for expecting mothers -- a fun and affordable way to bridge the gap between conception and sonogram.
- Choose trade shows that showcase brands of comparable quality to yours, which attract the kind of buyers you want to meet.
- Select who will represent your brand at the show very carefully. Only the best will do -- and unless you have a dedicated marketing staff, it's probably you.
- Decide how to display your product to maximum effect. Plan a demo if your product works best as a hands-on tool.
- Think realistically about the cost of attending a trade show. They can be expensive, but you can offset certain costs by doing such things as sharing a booth with another product. Also, remember that the exposure a trade show can provide can lead to a vendor relationship that could last a very long time.
Launched in London, Urban Therapy Twisted Sista is a multi-ethnic range of hair treatment products formulated to guard against the stresses of modern city living with UV filters, plant proteins, antioxidants and shine enhancers. Urban Therapy's American manufacturer and distributor, Potter & Moore, presented the brand to Duane Reade, a New York-based drugstore chain with more than 250 locations. The firm felt Duane Reade had the same target demographic as Twisted Sista -- multicultural and urban -- and was a good fit. A presence at Duane Reade has been huge for Urban Therapy. It has since added Target and Rite Aid to its sales locations, and will launch in 8,000 Walgreens stores next spring, truly a dream come true for the brand. Lesson Learned: Working with a distributor is a proven way of getting national your product out there. There will be a fee involved -- probably a monthly retainer plus a percentage of sales -- so for certain businesses this option will be cost-prohibitive.