In the consumer-packaged goods world, there isn’t exactly a straight-line process from conception to finished product. There are a few reasons for that. First and foremost, products are rarely conceived in a straightforward fashion. Sometimes they are born from an entrepreneur noticing a gap in the market somewhere. Sometimes they are stumbled upon accidentally and the inventor seizes the opportunity. How the product gets its beginning rarely matters when it’s time to consider selling in stores, though. So, I figured I would talk about how to know when your product is ready for the store shelves.  

For the purposes of this conversation let’s use the buckets analogy. Just like any business, a consumer-packaged goods item has a lot of different areas to satisfy before being ‘ready’ for shelves. You have the packaging bucket, the sales meeting bucket, the online marketing bucket, and so on. All of these various buckets need to be satisfied on some level before considering a push for store shelves.  

Let’s start with the packaging bucket. When you think of a brand like POPCORNERS or Doritos an image pops into your mind. Same with countless other brands you see in stores. Have you thought of your product’s packaging in those same terms? What will a customer see when they are walking down the aisle? How are you manufacturing it for them to remember you once they leave? Have you satisfied all of the requirements for your product’s technical needs (like UPC codes, sell by dates, etc.)? If you believe you have, then great. That’s one bucket.  

Another is the sales meeting bucket. Have you calculated how much each unit must sell for to cover the cost of making and getting your product to the stores? Have you factored in each store’s fees? What about budgeting for when the store puts items on sale? Lots to consider when you are working in this bucket.  

The post-launch selling bucket is often the most overlooked by a lot of brands. I have talked about it a lot before but getting on the shelves should be viewed more like the midway point than the finish line. So, how are you going to entice shoppers to buy your product? What are you going to do to make stores want to keep you in stock?  

These are a few of the more pressing things that absolutely have to be considered prior to getting on store shelves. But — shameless plug here — having a consumer-packaged goods consultant like me on your team might just be the best way to know when your product is ready for the store shelves. I can help you monitor and fill all of the buckets so that nothing is overlooked.  

Reach out today to schedule your free introductory meeting to learn more.  

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