It’s a long, hard road to even get the chance to pitch your brand to a category manager or buyer at your dream retailer. A large quantity of information must be conveyed in a short amount of time, while remaining engaging and digestible. A successful pitch conveys key aspects of your brand, product, market strategy, and operations. The best presentations, however, go further – they describe how you and your brand will be useful partners. Below we’ve listed some important aspects of successful pitch decks, so you can make the most of the the opportunity when it comes:
- Company Overview and Brand Story: Briefly explain who you are, the mission and vision of your brand, your values, and what sets your company (not product) apart from others. Why and how you started the company, the inspiration behind your products, or your commitment to certain values are all good story points to touch on.
- Problem and Solution: Identify a problem or opportunity in the market that your product addresses. Show, as quantitatively as possible, how your product provides a solution or leverages that opportunity.
- Target Market: Who are your ideal customers? Share demographic information, buyer personas, purchasing behaviors, and why your product resonates with them. Use credible sources to demonstrate the potential for growth of your market, or manner in which it’s underserved by the incumbents.
- Product Description: Detail the specifics of your product. Discuss its features, benefits, packaging, and why it appeals to your target market. Make sure to highlight what makes it unique and why it would be a valuable addition to the retailer’s offerings.
- Competition: Outline who your main competitors are, what they offer, their strengths and weaknesses, and how your product stands out in comparison. Remember that retail space is finite – if you want space, a competitor has to lose some itself.
- Marketing, Sales and Price Strategy: Explain how you’ll promote your product and support the store in driving sales. This could include social media advertising, trade show participation, co-branded advertising, viral marketing, etc.
Also include your pricing strategy, which can be a differentiator itself.
- Partnerships and Collaborations: Partnerships with other brands or influencers make your brand more visible to give a unique edge. If you’re working with a brand that’s already in your target retailer or collaborating with an influencer that can drive foot traffic in search of your product, be sure to highlight this.
- Success Stories and Key Metrics: If your product is already on the market, whether in another retailer or online, share some success stories and metrics like sales figures, growth rates, and customer testimonials. If you’re a new brand, you might share data from test markets, or relevant success stories from similar products.
- Operations and Logistics: Retailers want to know that you can keep up with demand and ensure your product is always available to their customers. Repeated issues with stock-outs are an easy way to damage your standing with the retailer.
- Financial Projections: Show projected sales, profit margins, and other key financial metrics. Make sure to be transparent about what your calculations are based on, and be prepared to defend your assumptions to an inquisitive category manager.
- Your Asks: Whether you are asking for a five-location pilot, full launch, or prime endcap display, clearly state the tangible outcomes you are looking for.
- Contact Information: Finally, make sure your contact information is easy to find so interested parties can reach out to you.
Our final suggestion is to do everything in your power to understand what the retailer is looking for in a new brand today (not generically). Category managers and buyers are usually looking to grow specific categories or sub-categories, whether these excite them personally or come as directives from above. Is your target grocer looking to offer more diet snacks? Pitch your organic paleo cookie as a diet cookie (that’s also organic and paleo). If you can frame your presentation to meet the retailer’s needs and desires, you can ride their internal wave to increase your chances of success.