More than 70% of operators are going to be buying products online by the end of this year, according Cleveland Research Company. This means whatever your product information looks like in the distributor’s system is what they see. As a supplier, you have to ask yourself… what do my products look like? Am I providing the right information? Are my images helping or hurting my sales?
For the last 10 years, suppliers have been haphazardly collecting images and marketing content to satisfy the demands of distributors, who often send out the infamous ‘Dear valued vendor…’ letter, accompanied by a less-than-friendly ‘do it or else’ message. I know this because I’ve been sending them for 10 years.
Simply providing something may have satisfied the compliance of yester-year’s needs, but it’s time to put our best foot forward. Here’s a couple of things to think about….
You are not selling to the average consumer!
As a brand owner, you may feel inclined to take a fancy shot of your product being placed in front of a family at a dining room table, smiling foolishly with a twinkle in little johnny’s eye. You may also feel compelled to tell use that it’s unicorn-free, puppy friendly, or kissed by a rainbow. That’s fine if you are selling to the broader home-shopper, but in foodservice, a Chef and Distributor Sales Rep (DSR) have specific things that they need to know.
- What are the features?
- What does your product do?
- How does it save me time or money?
- Why is it different than the other guy?
- What can I do with it?
Here’s an example for a pre-made egg product that’s popular in foodservice:
One image is not enough!
In foodservice, Chef’s and distributor reps need to know what’s going to show up at the back door, how am I going to store it, and what can I do with it? If I search for croutons and this is the only thing I see, then you are definitely doing it wrong. I think we all know what a crouton looks like.
You need to answer these four questions:
- What does it look like in the box?
- What does it look like out of the box?
- What does it look like raw out of the packaging?
- What does it look like in use?
Still have questions?