By Emily Suess

Whether you have invented a completely new product or improved on an existing product, your next goal should be to move that product into the marketplace and saturate the field so that it is widely available to a large number of consumers. It will take strategic planning on your part, but it can be done if you work with known retailers and key influencers in your industry.

Timing is Everything

Pitching your new product at the right time is important. There are specific seasons or cycles when retailers are more likely to promote new products. This is largely determined by the industry, so if you have a product with some overlap, decide which primary industry your product will serve. For many products, the best time for placement is around the holidays. This means you’ll have to submit placement requests well before the season hits. Retailers will need time to make decisions, as the competition can be fierce.

Take Action

Once your brand has gained some credibility with smaller retailers, it’s time to dig deeper. Research the details at bigger outlets that you want to sell your product. If you’re placing a newly formulated kitchen cleaner at a big box store, for example, you need to get your hands on demographic details for the store’s target audience.

Using these details you can write an elevator pitch for your product, identify the key advantages your products will bring to the retailer, and present facts about how your product has performed to date with smaller, independent stores. Once you have prepared your presentation, it’s time to contact store owners or managers for the face-to-face pitch.

Product Displays

Getting your product on the shelves is no guarantee that it will be purchased in high volumes. You have the opportunity to move more units by creating a marketing campaign to generate interest and buzz that is enticing to consumers. This can be fueled by advertising, direct mail, and email campaigns, but nothing can replace the power of a well-constructed in-store display.Follow these tips when creating your product display:

1. Pick a theme and make your display a focal point in the store.

Design your display with a creative theme that captures the attention of shoppers. (Think about how soft drink companies create huge themed displays from stacking different varieties of 12-pack cases or how cleaning products are sometimes displayed on end caps with a video of the product in action.)

2. Work with available lighting.

Where your product display lives in any given store will determine whether you have access to natural or artificial light. Natural light in a large open space is your best bet, but you can make impressive displays in smaller spaces with artificial light too. The trick is to understand and work within your limitations.

3. Keep your display current.

Rotate them for different promotions and seasons as appropriate; just don’t let them gather dust!

By working with retailers to get your product in the most relevant outlets and building eye-catching product displays, you can keep your items flying off the shelves.