Navigating distribution tiers - Deepstash

Navigating distribution tiers

Be careful about timing when you go to the highest tier and eventually to the middle tier. Protect the pricing in the middle tier because the middle tier likes to do a lot of sales more so than the premium level. 

As long as you keep the integrity and that’s part of the arrangement you should be ok at being able to preserve the relationship at the premium level with the customer, the buyers, the accounts. Don’t compromise with the price.  

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MORE IDEAS FROM Entrepreneurship 101: Pricing, Build Awareness, Create Your Business

There’s a lot of types of filters you can think about when you’re figuring out what to post on your socials. I’m not talking about the usual filters, I’m talking about some questions that will help you shape your content, will it make people feel good? will it cause people to laugh or smile? will it make viewers learn something? will it help someone?

If the answer is no to just the first one, then that should be enough to keep you from posting it. You want people to associate your brand with positive thoughts.

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Spending time in the stores where your product lives not only will let you pull sneaky marketing maneuvers, it also will let you learn directly from customers about what’s missing in your market. 

If you do a sales day presentation, invite your friends to stop by and stand next to you and act interested. Because if you stand there by yourself all day next to your cardboard table and no one’s there, people are much more apt to pass you by. Instead, if there are two or three people looking like they are interested it draws attention.

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  • Clear goals. People know what they’re aiming for. So they feel purpose-driven in what they’re contributing.  
  • Trust. Trust your employees and they’ll trust you.  
  • Purpose. Beyond making money give your employees a reason to be at work.  
  • Employees need to feel empowered in their position to make mistakes, to do the job the way they think it should be done, and not be micro-managed.  
  • Fair compensation. For everybody. Show your employees that you value their time.  
  • Share wins. Consider treating your employees to some spoils when you hit a home run.  
  • Freedom to make mistakes and learn.

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Use your packaging to stand out. Every part of your packaging is an opportunity to make your customer smile. 

Think about what it feels like to open a beautifully wrapped gift: The paper, bow, and presentation can be as delightful as whatever is inside. That’s the note you want to hit with your packaging.

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Use humor and speak to the customer, not at the customer. Talk to the customer like you are at dinner with your friends, don’t give a marketing speak. 

Don’t feel like you have to try to act like the experts and put all sophisticated language and polish on things. Just say “here it’s what this is and here’s why it’s your best option.” You have to be super vulnerable.

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Consider sales as a strategic tool, not a default mechanism. A lot of brands and companies use sales to drive volume and to drive the business and it’s not healthy. 

Look up products similar to yours and record their prices. Divide those prices by five to determine how much it may have cost to manufacture those items. Do the math for all the products you looked up to give you a sense of the difference between your possible manufacturing costs and sales costs.

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  • Paid advertising could mean a couple of different things: Maybe you decide to pay a spokesperson or an influencer to talk about your product or service in a sponsored Instagram post. No matter what you choose, advertising probably isn’t going to be cheap.
  • Organic advertising is a slow process but it could be effective. Instead of paying someone to show off your product, send free samples or free trials to a few people. Another thing you can do is to flash out your product during public appearances or post on your own social media some pictures or make videos about your product or service.

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Hire people with a good sense of humor and don’t get offended too easily. Look for people who have a positive attitude and some experience, who care the most, who share values about the brand mission.

Look for: 

  • You will want people who are versatile in your team, someone who can speak frankly with manufacturers to wooing shop owners.  
  • Those people who play fast and loose with money probably aren’t a fit for you right now.
  • People who feel easily flattened by failure don’t do well at start-ups. You want your early hires to be able to bounce back after hearing “no.”   

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When you’re creating your brand, you have to be very clear on where you want to show up in the marketplace.

  • Do you want to be premium?
  • Do you want to be mid-tier?
  • Do you want to be a value-based brand?

You have to figure out:

  • Where you want to compete?
  • Where do you want to show up?

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When you’re just starting to build a business, the first people you hire are the face of the company almost as much as you are, so take care in choosing them. 

There are two types of people you have to fire: One will support your bench strength and your lanes, and the other will completely fill the voids. 

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It’s all about the four P’s: product, price, placement, positioning. You might have an amazing product, but it’s not going to sell if you don’t put it on the market for the right price. So the four P’s means that the product must be the right one, the price will depend on the product, placement it’s about the distribution of it, and positioning it’s all about naming and the packaging.

When you think about your own product, do you think of it as premium? Mid-tier? Value-based? Determining this will help you price it properly and position it on the market,

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The story of your brand is what you’re going to want to tell people when you’re making your product. The more open you’re willing to be about who you are and what you stand for, the more likely it that people will relate to you and therefore your product.

Ask yourself, where are you gonna get the most awareness in priority? Is there a podcast that is going to speak directly to your customers? Is there a tv show that you could aspire to be on? Is there a certain platform that you would want to be featured on? Make a list of it.

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Keep in mind that perceived value often has little to do with your product’s price, it really hinges on whether you can convince customers that your product can and will satisfy their personal needs. Some ways you can play with perceived value:

  • Play up the exclusivity of your product: consider the effect of phrases like “limited time only” or “special offer” on potential buyers.
  • Back up the excellence of your product: eliminate customer’s hesitance about whether or not your product work by offering a money-back guarantee. 

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RELATED IDEA

Good Pricing Strategy.

Pricing strategy helps you determine the price point at which you can maximize profits on sales of your products or services. Factors to be considered includes:

Costs: Overheads, production and distribution.

Competitors: Offerings and positioning strategies.

Customer: Target customer profile.

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Setting the right prices for your products

This is a balancing act. A low price isn’t always ideal, as the product might see a healthy stream of sales without turning any profit. Similarly, when a product has a high price, a retailer may see fewer sales and “price out” more budget-conscious customers, losing market positioning.

Ultimately, every small business will have to do its homework. Retailers have to consider factors like cost of production, consumer trends, revenue goals, and competitor pricing. Even then, setting a price for a product isn’t just pure math (numbers behave in a logical way; humans, not so much).

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Make sure your product is ready

Make sure that the item itself is ready to go to market. It’s no use approaching buyers if there are issues with durability or design which need fixing before production can begin in earnest.

Conduct testing which usually happens in various stages and typically involves:

  • Design testing and quality control checks to ensure that the product is fit for purpose and works as intended
  • Trials to see how well the target market responds to your idea
  • Customer surveys focus groups and blind testing
  • Production testing to make sure there are no issues with the manufacturing processes or supply line

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