Brandvocates can promote your brand at retail

December 20, 2013By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing

Posted by Jen Johnston

What’s a brandvocate? Quite simply, it’s a brand advocate – a consumer who is passionate about your product’s efficacy and eager to share your brand message with others.

Savvy suppliers are relying on their brandvocates to share their brand messages with their peers. That’s a great idea, but if consumers can’t find their products in store, sharing with peers won’t make a bit of difference.Make it easy for your loyal product users to take a letter into their local retailer

I really like what certain smaller food and beverage manufacturers are doing to leverage their brandvocates in a complementary way. In addition to encouraging their brand message be shared with their friends, they also have their sights set on getting their products into retail via the advocacy of their loyal brand supporters.

Take the stevia-sweetened soda Zevia® for example. When I first started drinking this niche brand in 2010, I really could only find it at the local co-op and Whole Foods. Now, Zevia is beginning to pop up at mainstream grocers across the country, due in part to an aggressive integrated marketing campaign which includes encouraging their loyal soda drinkers to reach out to their favorite retailers directly with these retailer request letters.

Siggi’s Dairy is doing something similar. Their website states, “If there is no store near you then it is easy to ask your favorite local supermarket or grocery store to carry our Siggi's yogurts. Please just bring them this kind note (PDF) and help spread the word about low-sugar yogurt!”

There is no reason your small, niche health and wellness brand cannot do the same. Make it easy for your loyal product users to take a well-written form letter into their local independent, chain, or mass retailer to advocate on your behalf. Sure, buyer meetings will still be the crucial piece to gaining the distribution you seek. However, every consumer voice requesting your brand at shelf helps build a case that once shelved, people will buy your product.

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