Here’s the thing very few brokers or growth consultants will tell you: Scaling your distribution too fast can quickly ruin your entire brand.
While the opportunity for growth is exciting, if you can’t advocate for good placement or stocking full product lines, your brand runs a high risk of being overlooked on shelves. And going into a new market with little guaranteed success can hurt your perception with consumers and reputation with retailers in ways that are hard to come back from.
In our experience, brands see the most significant growth when they only choose retailers who service their best-fit audience of consumers, the die-hard fans who will reliably reach for your products in stores—what we call “winning your own backyard.”
So, how do you begin to win your own backyard?
- Say no when opportunities don’t overlap with your existing and successful audiences, or when placement won’t favor new product discovery or long-term product growth (this is especially common with large retailers).
- Invest your marketing efforts in hyper-focused, condensed markets that match your audience psychographics to create buzz for your products and then develop relationships with the retailers in that space.
- Ensure that your product has tight positioning, clear messaging, and strong packaging design to get your message across to new audiences—grab their attention so they’ll grab your product!
There’s definitely a time to pursue exponential growth and geographic expansion via big box retail—it’s just likely further into the future than you think.
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