A tale of two products: part two

January 22, 2015By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing

by Dave Wendland

You may recall that in my last blog I reviewed two new product entries into the independent pharmacy space. And, I compared the pros and cons of their packaging, messaging and their market-readiness. Here’s part two. This post grades readiness in the areas of assortment planning and marketing. I think you’ll soon agree that not all paths to market are created equal.

Dave Wendland
Dave Wendland

Assortment and Placement

It may come as no surprise that Manufacturer One was insistent that retailers would simply add their product to the over-crowded shelf because it belonged there. The problem is that without sound rationale and strategy, no retailer (or wholesaler) will add an item to their inventory. A product must achieve at least one of three things: 1) increase sales and/or incremental profit; 2) attract new shoppers to the category; or 3) fill an unfilled need. Unfortunately this item did none of those.


Manufacturer Two had done some homework in this area. However, they still had more to do to truly present a solid story to retailers and wholesalers, including creating a believable placement rationale that demonstrates how/why their item would bring new value to the category (a planogram visual can be worth a thousand words!).


Marketing and Promotion

“What will drive shoppers to try your product?” I asked of Manufacturer One. The answer was consistent with others I have heard, “Isn’t that the retailer’s job?” Wrong!


Manufacturer Two had already engaged social media and bloggers to help build demand for their product. They also earmarked monies to spend with each retailer. My advice was to double their budget, but they were on the right track.

A tale of two well-intended products. It’s my assessment that one has a much better probability of success than the other. If you’d like some advice from the HRG pros on product ideas you are considering, don’t wait until it’s too late. If you’re not ready for market, I’d much rather you find out before you invest good money after bad.

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