An effective distribution strategy is the essential path to growing sustainable sales. If consumers can’t find your product, they can’t buy it. Getting your product into the hands of more shoppers begins with consumers finding it on retailers shelves.

Today, I want to talk to you about the most important aspect of your business. It’s not how much money you have in the bank. It’s not how many investors you have. It’s not your marketing program. It’s distribution. If consumers can’t find your product, they can’t buy it. Sounds pretty straightforward, but you would be amazed at how many brands fail to get this right. Even the big brands. In fact, you’d be surprised to know that a lot of the big brands struggle with this as much as the small brands, so here’s what I’m talking about.

If consumers can’t find your product, then you’re giving them an opportunity, or if you will, inviting them to try your competition. That’s the last thing in the world you want. The cost of customer acquisition is high. After you go to all the trouble to earn that customer’s loyalty, the last thing you want is to give that customer away by not having the product on the shelf. This gives your customer an opportunity to try your competitor’s product, which could ultimately lead to you losing a loyal customer. Remember, I’ve said it a million times, you never get a second chance to disappoint a customer.

This is what this episode is about. It’s about helping you create a loyal customer by making sure that they can find your product wherever they shop. This is about you being able to help the retailer drive sales within their market, by leveraging the unique strengths of your product. This is how you stand out on a crowded shelf, and again, this is how you build real customer loyalty. Big brands have deep pockets and they can pay to get their product on the shelf almost anywhere. Small brands can’t.

Paying to get your product on the shelf is what I would call a push strategy where you push the retailer to get your product on the shelf and you pay for distribution. You pay for customers to choose your product over the other guy’s.

I believe that there’s a much better strategy. It’s the pull strategy. It’s where you develop a loyal shopper beyond the four corners of your package.

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