6 March 2015
The Aussie Boys Troy and Drew share their advice for other small business owners hoping to see their product in the supermarket. Find the full article below.
How to Get Your Product On Supermarket Shelves
The founders of Nexba Beverages share the three biggest lessons they learnt from launching nationally in Coles.
It’s been four months since Nexba launched in one of Australia's biggest supermarket chains, and one thing is for certain, we have learnt a lot!
Yes, there have been big wins: we’ve seen continued sales growth, significant support from Coles and a fantastic increase in consumer awareness of our young brand. But, more importantly, there have been challenges and there have been lessons.
Here are three of the biggest things we learnt about taking a brand to the next level.
Lesson One: Play To Your Strengths
As a young startup, Nexba sat side by side on shelf with some of the biggest multinational brands who pour millions into promotions, so we had to ask ourselves ‘how can we compete in a smart way?’ The answer is to play to your strengths.
For us, this meant calling on the Nexba community to support the brand while it was on launch promotion. One of the biggest assets a small business has is the ability to speak directly to an audience and build a dedicated and authentic following, which bigger faceless brands often lack.
We launched a campaign called #DrinkColesDry, which called on Nexba fans to buy a 4-pack of Nexba from Coles and upload a selfie to Facebook or Instagram using that hashtag. We were overwhelmed with the response, as were our buyers at Coles.
It taught us never to compete on price, but rather to play to our strengths as a small business.
Lesson Two: Don’t Underestimate The Basics
Fact: If a customer can’t see your product or it’s price they’re much less likely to buy it. This sounds simple enough, but shelf positioning was one of the challenges we faced launching in grocery.
Whether it is on the bottom shelf, on the top shelf, or been unintentionally covered up by another product, there is an abundance of reasons why your product may be hard to spot.
A great way to combat this is to partner with a merchandising team who are able to go into outlets on your behalf and ensure the product is properly positioned on shelf and price ticketed correctly.
Even if your business doesn’t sell in big outlets, the take-home lesson is the same. It’s easy to focus on big-picture plans once you secure mass distribution but you should never underestimate the basics.
Lesson 3: Your Story Is Gold
Being the new guy against established brands is one of the harder challenges we have faced. But we have learnt that small businesses have something that well-known brands don’t: a new story.
Your story might be about you as an owner, or something much broader such as your cause. Regardless, your story is gold. The power of a genuine, inspiring, real story shouldn’t be underestimated. As the ‘new guy,’ it’s your greatest asset.
So, when we landed on shelf next to a tonne of household names, we chose to focus on engaging consumers with our story. We did this by showing our faces on the products, and dedicating the back of the packaging to explain how and why Nexba came about.
Australian consumers care about what they purchase, and we truly believe they want to support local brands and make smarter, healthier decisions. Forget about what your competitors are doing and focus on telling your own story to set yourself apart from the rest.
Nexba is available nationally in Coles supermarkets. Follow Nexba Beverages on Linkedin for more small business advice.