The importance of value propositions and quality consultancy
As we know, the travel retail market is one of the most competitive ones in the world; you need to shove aside many competitors to conquer the right to showcase your products in the world airport retail spaces.
Playing a game on a game board as large as the entire world, and competing against leading world brands, is no easy task.
I will now unveil my strategy (don’t tell the rest of the world) to gain the attention of the world top buyers, who are reached every day by innumerable business propositions, maybe a little too similar to yours.
DO YOU AND YOUR PRODUCTS STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?
If you want to be successful in this business, you must define a unique “value proposition”. Do you know what “value proposition” means?
OK, let’s take a step back; this term refers to the distinctive value characteristics (of your brand or products) perceived by your customers, which differentiate you from your competitors.
In practice, it means telling your clients -‐ especially prospective ones -‐ the reason for which they should work with you and purchase your products, rather than someone else’s. As an instance, in case of Food & Beverage, your products’ shelf life could be longer than the average, with long-‐lasting quality standards, or they could be an innovation in the sector.
In any case, the value proposition does not refer solely to your products; it also concerns the brand and the seller figure. There are many companies in the world that focus on the personal branding of their sellers, so much that they become stars.
Thus, focus your business and marketing strategy on a clear value proposition, capable of making you stand out from the competitors’ crowd. If you did not figure out your peculiarity yet, call your team right away and talk about it; you could discover the reason why the latest trade shows you attended did not provide you any competitive advantage.
STOP BEING A SIMPLE RETAILER, BECOME THE PROFESSIONAL EVERYONE WANTS TO WORK WITH
Apart from structuring a unique Made-‐in-‐Italy Food & Beverage product range, my personal value proposition (don’t steal it from me!) is based on the offer of complementary added-‐value professional services.
Here is a list of almost all (I’m entitled to keep some secrets, no?) the services I offer to my customers, which are helping me conquer important trade agreements. The key concept of my activity lies on the fact that I want to offer myself as a partner for my customer, rather than a simple retailer.
If one of my customers wishes to purchase a very large quantity of a product that I am certain he will not be able to resell in a certain market, I refuse to conclude the negotiation; I’d rather side with my customer, serving his interests and focusing our relationship on a long-‐term perspective.
Custom selection of specific products for specific markets
A good retailer must be able to deliver the best products to each customer in a specific market. This means knowing the market trends of each country in which we wish to establish our business relationships.
For example, you should be aware that you can offer alcoholic beverages only in certain Islamic countries (there is no reason you can’t offer them in Lebanon). Or, you cannot ignore the fact that, although pasta is one of the most widespread Italian food items, in some countries (like Ireland) the overall pro capita consumption makes this a daft sales move.
Do not focus only on your profit
Remember what I told you? You must become a partner for your customers.
Study cultural and business trends, laws and logistic dynamics related to each country and customer. In this way, you will be able to anticipate and recommend only the products that guarantee a good profit to your customers.
Explain the best way to showcase your products
You visited, studied and set-‐up stores all over the world, and no one knows your products better than you. Good! Then tell your customers what is the best way to showcase your products in their stores. This will guarantee an highest probability of selling your products rapidly, and an higher visibility to the brands you represent.
Help your products communicate through all 5 senses
Give your customers the possibility of benefiting from your Food & Beverage tasting team, or train their employees so that they are able to better convey the quality of your products.
Help identifying ideal customers
Supply accurate sociological/demographic statistics on the end customers of each product in your catalog. In this way, you will help you customers recommending the right products to the right targets.
I work every day to become the partner that all my prospective customers want (even if some of them don’t know it yet).
Remember, “if you don’t take care of your customer, your competitor will” (Bob Hooey).