How Natural Brands and Retailers Can Gain an Edge in a Pandemic

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Brands and retailers are still struggling to gain their footing in our new normal. Natural brands and retailers are at a significant competitive disadvantage compared to their mainstream counterparts despite providing the healthy products consumers are demanding. But there is a simple way to level the playing field and give us the edge.

The strength of our industry is your loyal community of shoppers. They know and appreciate the difference between generic tactics used in mainstream and authentic, transparent product innovation.

You’ve been taught to rely on canned topline reports, push-button generic insights, and commoditized shopper insights that overlook how your customers shop. Using the canned strategies that sell motor oil will not differentiate your organic baby food. Shouldn’t the strategies be as innovative as the ingredients we sell? Natural shoppers will gladly pay a premium for products that deliver exceptional value.

I liken the natural channel to a ripple in the pond. It’s where key health trends form before they become a tsunami and end up in the mainstream. Let’s use this to our advantage!

There is a tremendous opportunity for natural brands to give their retail partners a significant and sustainable competitive advantage. It requires that they provide actionable insights others overlook.

Retailers cannot possibly be experts on every customer and on every item they sell. They need your help and guidance! Start from your shoppers market basket at checkout and retrace their journey in reverse. How does your brand influence their choices? Help the retailer appreciate the true value of the unique shopper your brand drives into their store, what they spend on each visit.

Help your retail partners maximize sales and profits by recommending innovative merchandising, product assortment, pricing and promotion strategies that make it easy for your ideal customer to find and buy your products along with everything else on their list.

Retailers need three things:

  • More shoppers in their stores.
  • A competitive advantage in their market.
  • A reasonable profit.

Natural retailers should expect support from the brands they sell to help them achieve these three basics. This collaborative partnership will help future-proof our industry and give our brands and retailers the edge they deserve.

This was the key takeaway from a collaboration I did with WholeFoods Magazine, the first company to partner with me on my webinar series. I launched the free weekly webinar series after Expo West was cancelled to help natural brands and retailers impacted by the pandemic. Every week you can learn from leading experts answering your most pressing questions.

The thing that makes natural natural is our community and how we band together in trying times. We are stronger together! Help us raise the bar in our industry by sharing this invaluable resource. Let us know what keeps you up and night and how we can help. See the complete series schedule and get links to future webinars and replays at https://cms4cpg.com/Events.

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Daniel Lohman, CPSA
Dan Lohman is a CPG and Natural and Organic Industry Strategic Advisor. His company Brand Secrets and Strategies provides innovative ideas, actionable insights and strategic solutions to the challenges that brands and retailers face. Dan assists retailers and brands in expanding their distribution, growing sales and getting their products on more store shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. His extensive knowledge reaches beyond traditional category management and has earned him recognition throughout the industry as an influencer, expert, speaker, trainer and thought leader. Dan is passionate about empowering brands and raising the bar. His Brand Secrets and Strategies podcast is a popular natural and organic products accelerator for food startups, healthy brands and retailers. In addition to sharing his 25 years of experience, Dan talks with well-known thought leaders, CEOs and founders of successful industry companies who candidly share insider secrets. As a top contributor to the leading trade publications, he has published over 300 articles. A trusted and respected member of the natural and organic community, Dan’s weekly newsletter, podcast, free resources and online mini courses have become an invaluable resource for brands and retailers seeking to grow sales and gain a sustainable competitive advantage. To learn more please visit: www.BrandSecretsAndStrategies.com

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