How To Use PR For Retail Sell-Through by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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As you plunge headfirst into 2019, it’s time to evaluate your growth. You might wonder, “How can I get my brand in more stores? How can I increase revenue?”  Use the new year as an excuse to reevaluate your retail strategy. And there’s one huge, beneficial strategy that many brands overlook: using PR efforts to drive retail sell-through.

Sell-through rate is a calculation that compares the amount of inventory a retail store receives from its supplier against what is actually sold to the customer. You may have stores in certain areas that just don’t seem to be moving product. Even if your product is in a big-box retail store, it’s still up to your company to drive foot traffic and gain exposure to get more customers to those stores.

You can align your PR plan to support in-store sales, especially in locations experiencing a sales slump. A buyer generally won’t take the risk if they test your product on a small scale and that product isn’t leaving the shelves. So, here are a few ways to use PR to drive retail sell-through success.

Regional PR

Let’s say your product is on the shelves of a store in Dallas, Texas. You did your homework and know it’s a great retail location. But for some reason, sales are slow. In this case, spend your time and resources targeting media local to Texas and Dallas in particular. Getting brand coverage in local newspapers, on TV and in magazines will result in more local exposure.

Get creative with tactics that will really wow local media outlets. Will you donate a percentage of sales to a local organization? Does your company have an executive who grew up in the area? Research past segments and stories to see what information they typically cover and provide some helpful talking points. Do your research to ensure you are pitching based on timeliness and what that media outlet is looking for.

Influencers

Savvy marketers call in influencers to rally the troops around their brands. Influencers are a key component for improving retail sell-through because of the power they wield online. They help improve your brand image not only to current customers but also to potential buyers.

For example, our firm partnered with influencers to go into a store and showcase themselves purchasing our client’s product. They then offered a special in-store discount to their audiences. We leveraged the natural alignment of having influencers in the area share their experiences buying and using the product, and then including a discount code to drive urgency.

Just be sure to identify influencers who fit with your mission, voice and style by checking out their online platforms before reaching out to make a connection.

Trade Shows

Although we live in a digital world, there is still nothing quite like real-world interaction. Believe it or not, trade shows are an essential part of any brand’s PR strategy. We often set up our clients with trade shows and invite the press to visit with them. It gives journalists a quick and easy story, thus increasing your chances of a great feature. 

Going back to the previous example, if your sales are slower in the Dallas area, target trade shows in this geographic location. Most trade shows provide a list of media attending, so send them your press kit in advance. Request meetings with the media to share your brand story firsthand. If these preparation tactics don’t yield results, never fear. When journalists stop by your booth, you have an opportunity to build a relationship and perhaps get an interview right on the spot.

Once you do get that coveted feature, amplify the coverage beyond the trade show by featuring it in your press book, presentations, and on social media channels and your company website.

Brand Ambassadors

It’s no secret that retailers love a high sell-through rate. It helps buyers determine whether or not to continue to sell your product in their store. 

With a strategic PR plan, you’ll be able to show that others are big fans of your product already. When buyers see consumers championing your product, they feel more secure in knowing that you have supporters to bring to their stores. This is why creating a community of brand ambassadors is so important.

To encourage ambassadors to share photos and reviews online, provide them with rewards for doing so. By setting up an affiliate program or offering free products, a strong relationship will begin to develop with those who consistently share your brand. Better yet, ask those influencers you used in your influencer campaign to come on board as brand ambassadors. Invite them to hand out referral codes at local events or share Instagram stories featuring your product.

Some of your best brand ambassadors are already out there sharing about your brand for free, and it’s up to you to find them. Use monitoring tools to find out who is speaking about your company and reach out to them. If they are already championing your product, it’s the perfect opportunity to get them set up with an affiliate program or another referral program to reward them for their loyalty.

The Bottom Line

2019 is your year. If you’re seeing slow sales and want to increase your presence, it’s high time to revisit your PR plan. Leverage a regional-focused PR strategy to get your brand in front of the right audience, thus attracting more customers to the right locations.

March 6, 2019 at 09:49AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2019/03/06/how-to-use-pr-for-retail-sell-through/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/
http://bit.ly/2CMy7Yu