Now That You’ve Got Your Products Onto Store Shelves, How Do You Get Them Off? With Velocity.

There are always plenty of cheers and high fives to go around when a company gets their product listed with a retail chain. But what many don’t realize is getting listed is only the beginning. Why?

  • Strategy
by Braden Douglas
April 27, 2017

Because that retail buyer they just listed with is taking a huge risk betting the new product will be more profitable – per square foot of retail space – than what they’re achieving with the current product mix.

In other words, that new product must outperform everyone else’s. It must gain traction with shoppers in that chain of retail stores as soon as possible.

No pressure, right?

To help companies gauge how well a product is adopted at the shelf level, Crew focuses on SPPD (Sales Per Point of Distribution), a fundamental metric every marketing department should be measured by.

The question is, how do you drive SPPD?  To answer this for our clients, we’ve developed a strategy called “Velocity.”

The foundation of a Velocity strategy is cost effective awareness and trial activity.

  • Awareness is the number of consumers who are aware of your brand and product offering.
  • Trial is the number of consumers who become aware of your product, try it, and purchase it for the first time; a metric also referred to as “household penetration.”

If your product meets or exceeds a need the consumer has, they will repeat that purchase in future shopping trips. This is why a great product is truly the most important ingredient in a sustainable and successful marketing strategy.

A Velocity strategy starts with awareness at store level, and can be achieved through displays, shelf-talkers, staff education, and product packaging, to name a few. Once in-store awareness activity is underway, out-of-store support can start with digital tactics like social media and mobile ads using localized geo-targeting.

If there is enough distribution (for example: All-Channel Volume (ACV) exceeds 60 percent in a specific region), you are now able to use mass media channels with a greater confidence that it will drive incremental sales.

The trial portion of a Velocity strategy occurs through temporary price discounts, deals and promotions, as well as demo programs. Demos are a popular choice because they create awareness and trial on their own, considering a key benefit of most food brands is taste. Coupon programs are also used at this level, and can be traced back to specific campaigns, regions and stores.

A couple of things to keep in mind about a Velocity strategy:

  • Determining the messaging, timing, integration and costs for related activities can be challenging which is why execution and alignment between sales, operations and marketing is imperative.
  • The final budget for any strategy must take into consideration the expected ROI. You can’t invest more money than your expected reasonable rate of return, especially if profit margins are thin and your product doesn’t have a frequent repurchasing cycle.

At Crew, our mission is to help companies succeed. If you’d like to know more about Crew’s Velocity strategy and how to grow your SPPD, give us a call or send us an email at and we’ll walk you through it. 

Our team would be happy to chat with you, and work to find the right strategy to help you succeed.

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