If you have read my blogs before, or if you have ever spoken with me about what it takes to get a product to market, then you have heard me use the term industry standard.
https://definitions.uslegal.com defines industry standards as:
“Industry standards are a set of criteria within an industry relating to the standard functioning and carrying out of operations in their respective fields of production. In other words it is the generally accepted requirements followed by the members of an industry.”
Industry standards may change over time, but going against certain standards especially involving sales criteria will most certainly do more harm than good to your brands sales process over the long run.
We recently explained to one manufacturer that in order to have the best possible shot at getting placements on store shelves, that we would need to offer the buyers an opening order discount. The reason we explained was that it is standard practice to do so. Many lines are competing for a limited amount of shelf space and:
1. The buyers expect it
2. The majority of brands looking to obtain shelf space offer it.
3. Coupled with the fact that it has been done this way for a very long time … This is an industry standard.
Her answer was that her product was so unique that it would not be necessary in her case. Uh … no. Unless you can get Dr. Oz to mention your product in his show and you a time machine to take you back to the days when that scenario was akin to hitting the Natpreneur lottery, nothing is so special that the majority of buyers will be willing to suspend logic and margin when giving you their real estate on which to place your brand.
This is especially true in the hottest US markets and yes, their are exceptions to every rule.
A charismatic entrepreneur may get a few local stores to give their line a chance without the normal deals. Every rep has a store or two or three that are less discount conscious than most, and while it’s great to get those placements, in order to get into the number of doors that are needed to sustain a growing brand, one needs to do what will work for the majority, in other words adhere to the industry standard.
For more on opening deals and other promotions please see my article entitled
Other industry standards include points as diverse as acceptable ingredients for the natural industry, shelf life by category, compensation and expectations for sales representation, when to give terms, professional packaging and packing, professional printing of sales sheets, POP materials and other collateral, and many other points that we cover in our articles and in coaching sessions for deeper more personalized understanding as they may apply to your product line.
Please feel free to reach out to us from our contact page if you would like to schedule an intro or consultation call.