06 Mar HOW TO SELL YOUR BRAND TO FASHION RETAILERS
Selling your collection to fashion retailers can be compared to performing a ritual dance in front of people who are bored and not interested in watching your show.
Sometimes, this dancing may take weeks or months, depending on your experience.
What do you do if you have just stepped onto your path of cold-calling? Follow these tips that I have discovered while both pitching to buyers and working with them.
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT RETAILER FOR YOUR BRAND
Selling to retailers requires a careful strategy for selecting the right stores that match the image of your brand and provide the correct exposure to your target audience.
If you want to come up with a strong distribution plan, answer the following questions:
- Where does my Target Audience go for shopping?
- What stores can carry my merchandise?
- What competitors are listed at these stores?
- What margins are they looking for?
Make a list of desirable retailers and decide which one you should focus on.
Not every store is the right place to sell your collection. Strategize and choose carefully, especially during the launching phase.
2. DO A MARKET RESEARCH
If you want to sell to a certain store, first, you should go there and study the following things:
- Review the merchandise, brands and pricing.
- Look at the layout of the store and the visual display. Decide in advance where your collection could be placed.
- Observe the customers and traffic.
- Research your competitors there and how they are presented. Identify the gaps that you can use as an advantage.
- Talk to sales people, as they are a great source of information about what sells well in the store.
Preparation before the meeting with a buyer is a critical success factor if you want to get attention and a certain respect in the eyes of the buyer. Demonstrate your knowledge about the store and your serious intentions about selling your collection to this store!
3. START WITH LOCAL STORES AND BOUTIQUES
Don’t go after the big fish until you have a small one in your pocket.
What you can get out of this strategy:
- a lot of experience
- test your production quality & capacity
- payment processes
- set up your delivery process
In other words, practice with smll stores and then go for deeper waters. As they say, practice makes perfect. So, what do you do next?
Make a list of all local stores that fit your brand image and start reaching out to them. EVERY day, make at least 1 call. Do it consistently, and with follow ups, and I am sure you will get results.
4. PREPARE A PITCHING PRESENTATION
Before landing an appointment with a buyer, you need to send your lookbook and a short but sweet selling presentation about your brand.
Guy Kawasaki, the chief evangelist of Canva, says that you need 10 slides to pitch someone your business idea.
The presentation should include:
- your brand story and brand proposition
- a description of your target audience
- current social and fashion trends that are represented in your collection
- your marketing strategy
- commercial offer
- production, delivery and shipping terms
5. TRAIN YOURSELF BEFORE THE MEETING WITH BUYERS.
Your goal is to be prepared for the following questions:
– What makes your brand unique?
It’s tricky, though, as they want it to be in demand and within current trends, but to stand on its own and be different. Try to formulate it in just 1 sentence.
– Why should customers relate to it?
Meaning, how your brand’s proposition fits current social and fashion trends.
– What are you doing to bring customers to the store? Explain your marketing strategy and plan of activities.
Sometimes you will have only 5 minutes to explain why a buyer should put your collection in their store. Be short and to the point.
I made a pitching presentation template for you. It’s free and you can download it right now. All you need to do is just put your content there. Good luck with your appointments and reaching agreements!Download
Also, watch my video “HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT RETAILER FOR YOUR BRAND”