18 July 2016

Make Your Product Stand Out!

By Jackie McAskill | jackie@bevproconsulting.com

With a sea of tasty beverage alcohol products lining the shelves of Canadian retailers, it is no surprise that our team is often asked the question “How do we make our product stand out from the others?”  Let us help with that – as former Wine and Spirits Buyers / Category Managers for Canada’s largest beverage alcohol retailers (LCBO/SAQ/ NSLC) we have some insights that can help you. 

Let’s assume you have a product that is new to the market or an existing product showing signs of plateauing or decline.  Here are a few tactics to consider when developing a strategy to increase your success

  • Value Adds - Value adds definitely catch the eye of customers when they are staring at an overwhelming shelf full of products.  Uplifts with products featuring value adds range significantly and can offer strong sell through results.   The key with this is to ensure there is a strong focus on innovation, brand relevance and quality.  Solution based options such as rimmers, cocktail ingredients and glasses are popular with customers.  Value adds are a great way to increase brand awareness beyond the purchase due to their retention rates.  They offer a strong point of difference at retail without discounting your product.  It’s definitely worth your time and energy to strategically plan your value adds based on seasonality, occasions and the message you want to send to your customer about your brand.
  • Loyalty Programs - Loyalty programs can be fickle.  The positive news -  they are normally approved easily by the retailer, they can provide uplifts, and they do offer a shelf sign identifying the offer.  The other news -  they are costly as they are often profit generators for the retailer and your heavy investment is only applicable to customers who are members (and remembered their card that day!).
  • Packaging Enhancements - Customers love these and so do we.  Gift tins, boxes and bags offer a strong point of difference on shelves and in displays.  They can provide a solution to the customer for occasions such as gift boxes at father’s day, or mesh gift bags at Christmas or a box with a chalkboard area for back to school.  They can also position a product as “Special”, giving it a higher perceived value.   These packaging enhancements offer complete creative control to the supplier ensuring the packaging is on brand.  Products with these enhanced packages almost always fly off the shelves first and are a great investments provided that they are:  Relevant to the brand, quality made and offer all of the key purchasing information (e.g. Alc. %, varietal, brand cues) to the customer.
  •  Neck tags / Stickers -  Neck tags and bottle stickers can provide a visual prompt that allows your product to stand out on the shelf from those around it.  They are a great element to an integrated campaign, to communicate contests, awards, accolades and of course product education.   However, the rule of thumb for a solid return is to ensure you only use these when you have something significant to say and that you keep the message simple, very very simple.   Remember, what is significant to you as the producer / agent might not be important to the customer so make sure you do your homework!   

Hope this is helpful.  I know we can be.

Jackie McAskill
Founder - BevPro Canada Inc.
(416) 258-8019

Our Experience is your Advantage.

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