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3 Ways To Make Boutique Retailers Fall In Love With Your Brand

September 12, 2017
Boutiques, lifestyle shops, and concept stores alike get pitched on a daily basis from brands seeking representation with their spaces. With the competition being fierce, what does it really take for a brand to stand out?

As more brands adopt responsible practices surrounding where they source their materials and how they treat their workers, the novelty of products being ethically made and/or sustainably produced is no longer enough to stand out.

But wait, this is a good sign, right?

It is and it shows amazing progress and proof that it is no longer an option but rather a responsibility for brands to maintain certain ethical principles throughout their supply chains.

Retailers are slower to change their sourcing practices, some choose to only allot a small space in their stores to responsible brands while others simply seek out products that match their store persona.

Given the uniqueness and individual curation each store embodies, it is important to recognize that just because a retailer doesn’t advertise that they offer a responsible selection does not mean they cannot stock parts of their store with ethical and sustainable alternatives.

At Kanekta, our aim is to make ethical sourcing easy for buyers everywhere so they can stock their store with responsible brands that look, feel and do good.

So the question still remains, what does it take for an emerging ethical brand to catch the eye of a retail buyer?

Here are our top three tips:  

1. Simplicity is Key

Cost is a real hurdle for brands, especially when promoting fairness throughout their supply chains. From production to delivery, expenses can quickly add up, leaving little left for marketing.

When in doubt, turn to simple, clean brand design paired with clear and concise messaging. This is key if you want your brand to not only resonate with retailers but also their clientele.

If graphic design and content creation isn’t your forte, creative agencies make these services not only affordable and accessible but also cater to businesses with a social focus. Wild Spring Creative is one that comes to mind.

2. Build a Brand Based on Purpose, but Driven on Value

It is no surprise that a product’s quality is the deciding factor on whether or not a retailer chooses to stock a brand’s collection. This is not unique to a certain category of goods but spans across everything from fashion to home goods to beauty and skin care.

Design is subjective and tastes differ depending on a stores consumer base; however, quality equals value and that translates to the reputation a brand builds with their stockist stores. A purposeful brand story coupled with a quality product is a winning combination because a good story will not always equate to high sales. In the end, consumer loyalty is based on a brand that captivates both the heart and mind.

3. Be Transparent

A retailer has two main priorities when choosing what brands to fill their store with. First is to curate based on a unique store persona that is consistent and second is to curate based on the constantly changing wants and preferences of their clientele. They stock what their customers demand, and with the conscious consumer movement rising, transparency is what is demanded.

Knowing the origin and life of a product has become more and more important to consumers when choosing what brands to support – making it even more important for retailers to find products that satisfy that need.

Through retailers, a brand has the opportunity to really reach and connect with a wide range of consumers by using their packaging to convey the meaning behind their brand mission. A brand’s ability to be transparent about their ethical practices, sustainability initiatives, and social responsibility is what creates that organic connection and loyalty between brands and consumers.

At the end of the day, retailers look for one thing, a quality product that is able to stand its ground and not hide behind its social “goodness” factor.

Ultimately, purchases are made because they satisfy a desire, one that is unique to each individual. Retailers exist to provide consumers access to goods that fulfill these desires, as a brand, acknowledging this is the first step to uncovering which outlets best match with your unique image.

Beyond retailers, your end consumers likely feel the same way. If you're curious to see things from their perspective, this article is a good place to start.

Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash