This is Part 2 of a four-part series on this topic about how manufacturers can create a win-win situation between themselves and their reps by providing them with helpful tools. We would love to hear your thoughts, feedback or stories in the comments below.
In Part 1 of this series we talked about the importance of Brand Story Training for your rep force — a way to help reps learn about your brand so they can convey your story and get retailers excited to stock your products.
Once you’ve “prepped your reps” don’t leave them guessing when it comes to merchandising your products at retail.
HELPFUL ITEM 2: Merchandising Presentation Guidelines
Merchandise presentation guidelines are very simple documents (could be as small as one page, depending on the size of your line) that illustrate how to arrange your products for retail display. These guidelines are not full-on planograms, but they do contain diagrams highlighting which of your products should be folded or hung and suggestions for organizing by type, style and/or color. Merchandise presentation guidelines can also show placement of branded signage.
Depending on the territory they’re covering, many reps have limited time to spend visiting their accounts. Merchandising guidelines help them maximize their time by providing a display recipe to convey to retailers. Eliminating the need to reinvent the wheel for each store’s display leaves reps more time to talk about your brand and product line. An added bonus is that reps can leave the guidelines with their retailers so that staff can easily do floor sets and restock displays.
Merchandise presentation plays a huge part in how well your brand is represented at retail. The goal is to provide the consumer with a seamless brand experience, from seeing your ad and website to finding your product in the store. Remember, we’re trying to make reps’ jobs easier to ensure your success, so having clear guidelines for how your products are arranged and your signage is placed will do that. Your brand likely has one chance to convey its desired presentation to retailers — when the rep is making their visit. Seize that opportunity!
The bottom line? Don’t leave room for guesswork. Prepare your reps (and retailers) with this simple tool that makes displaying your merchandise foolproof.