Resolution: Gain a foothold in a new retail channel

February 25, 2019By Behind the Shelf Blog, Industry Intuition, Resolutions

By Julie Bonnell, vice president operations, for the Resolutions blog series

What problem does your product solve? Ok, you know the answer to that question, you are passionate about your product, and you spend every day thinking about it. And guess what? That may be limiting your ability to gain a foothold in a new channel.

Time to think outside of the box and try another point of view. You can tackle this in a couple of ways:

  • Ask people outside your regular work relationships how they would solve the problem you think your product solves.
  • Ask other people outside of your work relationships to tell you what problem they think your product is solving.
    • Ask people who are completely outside of your industry.
    • Ask people who are not of your generation, both older and younger.retail shelves

To get this feedback, look to companies who specialize in consumer research. You can also tap universities who are looking for opportunities for their students to gain “real world” experience. What you’re looking for are comments that make you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” and which you can use as a springboard for next steps.

Of course you can try to gain these insights yourself and bring them back to your team. Sometimes just being present in the moment can help you see an opportunity to explore. Just this week I was working with a colleague and we were talking germ-free zones. He started talking about cars and how many hours people spend in them, while I was thinking about kitchens!

Once you have a picture of how people see your product then you can start the journey to determine which new retail channels might make sense for your item. Perhaps it should be in hardware, or maybe it’s something that would be ideal in pet supply because of “whose” problem it’s solving.

Don’t forget to have fun! Your passion for growth will feed both yourself and those around you as you work to get into this new channel for your business.