Whether you are an established brand looking to cultivate relationships with existing retailers and build relationships with new retailers, or a new brand looking to break into wholesale, telling your brand story in a compelling manner is key to your success. In this post we’ll discuss why storytelling is so important and provide a framework you can use to effectively tell your unique story to retail buyers.
The Importance of Storytelling in Wholesale
There are two key reasons why storytelling is so crucial to successful wholesale. First, in today’s competitive environment, brands cannot compete on product alone. They must differentiate themselves by creating a narrative that retailers can identify with and will want to present to their customers. As retailers become more selective in choosing the brands they sell, developing a brand identity that stands out is essential to attract a loyal following. Product trends come and go, but a brand’s character is everlasting.
The second reason why storytelling is so important is that by allowing retailers to sell your products, you are empowering them to represent your brand and giving them agency to tell your brand’s story on your behalf. They will talk directly to the consumer about your products, answer any questions that come their way, and market your brand through their own initiatives. For this reason, it is crucial your retailers have all of the insight and information they need to convey your brand’s message in a meaningful way to the consumer. They need to understand your brand’s story and promise, and be able to retell it in a compelling way.
The Key to Storytelling: Past, Present and Future
By reflecting on the past, present and future, you can create a narrative that will help your retail buyers understand and connect with your brand’s unique story.
Past: The History of Your Brand
To build a full-bodied story, you have to go back to the very beginning. What is the history of your brand and how does it tie into what your brand is today? Being able to clearly convey the roots of your brand and its initial goals is a great way to show retailers why your brand was developed in the first place. For example, while TOMS Shoes are designed with style and comfort in mind, the foundation of the company stems from its original concept to send a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of TOMS purchased. Now, eleven years since the company launched, they have donated over 60 million pairs of shoes to children in over 70 countries. Was your brand created to solve a specific problem in the marketplace? If so, what was the problem? Was your brand created to compete with an existing product? If so, how did your brand differentiate itself? Supplying a detailed background provides color to your brand’s story.
Present: The Brand You Are Today
The heart of your story lies in exactly who you are as a brand right now. What does your brand currently stand for? If your brand was a person walking down the street, try to describe who this person would be. What interests would this person have? Where would this person shop? How much would this person spend on your product? By building a persona out of your current brand, you are enabling retailers to understand your target audience. Furthermore, you are showing retailers the type of stores that you envision your brand partnering with. Just as retailers buy products that fill their needs, you also seek stores that reflect your brand. For example, as an iconic premium casual wear clothing line, Lacoste is more likely to partner with retailers who attract similar shopper personas. It’s important to be in stores where your target customers want to shop, making your brand more accessible and your product easier to find and purchase.
Future: The Long-Term Plan
The future of your brand is bright, and can be brighter with the help of your devoted retailers. When developing your goals for the year, don’t be afraid to share your vision with the team helping to drive your business’ success. Where do you see your brand fitting into the market this year? Which products are projected to be most favorable to your target audience? How are your objectives different than the year before? Keeping your retailers in the know not only helps them sell your product, but strengthens their relationship with your brand (and vice versa) for years to come.
Incorporating a storytelling strategy into your sales process will reinforce your brand identity, support your retailers’ sales strategy, and build consumer loyalty. Stop selling your products, and start selling who you are as a brand. Afterall, everyone loves a good story.
To learn more about how NuORDER enables brands to incorporate great storytelling into their wholesale sales process, read this blog post on our new homepage capabilities.