Fashion & Retail Marketing · Sales Strategy

How best to grab the attention of retail buyers and independent golf reps?

Marcus Snyder

February 22nd, 2016

We are launching a luxury golf company this year. I need some help on how best to get the attention of the luxury retail buyers, (Nordstrom, Saks, Neimans, etc.) I'm certain the buyers are bombarded with calls and emails. Should I be exploring an unconventional route? Maybe a kick-starter type video or short commercial? Any help or thoughts are appreciated.

Additionally; anybody have success with independent golf reps?

Rob G

February 22nd, 2016

Marcus, just to play devils advocate here:  if luxury retail buyers are your customers how can you be launching this year without having already spoken to them?  

Michael Dowden Director at COTNow, Biz-Guru, Human Destiny, Heliski.ski and EMvision

February 23rd, 2016

Hello Marcus, challenging market your looking to tap into, this can be an expensive process and even if you do manage to get ranging (product in store) if it doesn't move they will drop your lines and potentially send you back the stock demanding credit.

Using an outsourced sales and marketing team has its benifits, however you loose a lot of control and you put the future of your business in the hands of someone else who is managing multiple other brands what are already in demand and creating revenue for them, there are ways to make this work but it is complex.

It is absolutely critical that you have the following...

1) clear engagement plan with each retail partner.
2) clear pricing, rebate and payment terms with each different retail partner.
3) clear merchandising, ranging, sell though strategy with each retail partner.
4) clear branding and product positioning place for both retail and the consumer base.
5) clear distribution and logistics and stock management plans (you may not want to be in all stores, in all regions)
6) the right story to sell to each retail partner (effective pitch that will give the results you want)

In essence it sounds like you need a comprehensive sales and marketing plan, that take into account the goals of you business, cash flow / budgets, and brand development.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss the above in more detail.

Peter Bray CEO at Bray & Co

February 22nd, 2016

Having helped quite a few startups with this, primarily what gets attention is proof of consumer demand. There are various ways to do this, you need to show outside your friends and family circle. Also you need to focus on the rights stores and be aware of their needs. Feel free to reach out directly to talk about the pathway. Cheers, Peter

Marcus Snyder

February 26th, 2016

Team:

Thank you for the invaluable feedback. 

Lindi mentioned invitations into the "club" which has opened my eyes to why are we not looking exclusively at the "clubs"? Your feedback has caused me to rethink the sales strategy.

Luxury exclusivity is definitely the brand vision.  In order to create the exclusivity value strategy we will target 18 domestic and 18 international golf clubs that will have exclusive retail rights, (FYI - 32,000 golf courses in the world).  

Thank you all for offering feedback and for the opportunity to discuss specifics in private.  I may take you up on it! 

Lindi Horton Keep it Simple, and Move! Coaching, Chief Transformation Officer

February 22nd, 2016

Luxury retail markets are rife with the air of exclusivity. To get their attention consider inviting them to an event and creating a luxury event, sponsoring a hole in a golf tournament, and/or creating a scarcity/value strategy. High quality videos with luxury exclusivity sounds like a great place to look. Consider mimicking the Million Dollar Listing sites or shows to see how they market luxury goods and services. You want to invite them into the club.

Rob G

February 26th, 2016

You need to very clearly understand your customer before you build anything, including a go to market strategy.  Before you can understand your customer you need to know who they are.  If you are clear that your customer is luxury retailers like Nordstroms, Saks, Neiman, etc. - and you can't be clear until you really know them inside and out, then you need to actually meet with them.  If you don't have contacts with their buyers then find contacts who do know these buyers and who know the culture.  Nordsroms is based in Seattle (where i am) and though i have had them as an IT customer in the past i have also known a few Sr. buyers, and a few key vendors as friends and business acquaintances.  What i have learned is that luxury retail is a different animal.  I'd start with getting to know a few of their key vendors to be sure I'm even in the right ball park and if so then build connections with a few of their buyers, but if you have not yet built relationships with these prospective customers it is premature to be building any go to market strategy. 

Richard Bexon Chief Operating Officer at Namu Travel Group

February 24th, 2016

Marcus,

Can I suggest you piggy back on some other brands using PR.  If you can hire a PR company (you could do this for $2-3K a month) and get them to place you into sports magazines and other luxury brand websites or print ads, then you can highlight the fact your product is featured in these outlets, thus people will associate your brand with these brands.

I agree with Michael, do not let an external rep control the message of your brand to the customer.  You personally should control this message as they will never be as passionate as you.

Hope this helps.

Johanna Mateo Filmmaker & Storyteller

May 11th, 2016

Hi Marcus, I'm not sure how far along you are in the process since this post is from back in February, but I do strongly suggest you consider video, but not just any video, one that can tell the story to your target audience and given the breadth of buyers, I would create a video for each one to really show that not only do you want to do business with them, but you've taken the time to figure out what the trigger point/selling point for each one is. I own a video production company, so if you need help in conceptualizing and developing a video content series, feel free to reach out. Traditional media these days, may not get you the results you are after, as strongly as video can, done the right way of course. Anyway, best of luck, and reach out if you still need assistance.