7 Tips to Make Your Merchandise Stand Out
4. Take a field trip to inspire creativity. Get out of the office by taking field trips to become your own customer, Harris suggested. Shop your competitors as well. Taking such trips for product development doesn’t have to be expensive, she said, because you can visit local parks and coffee shops, among other places, to inspire creativity.
5. Protect your brand. It’s critical to keep rights over your proprietary products and information, Schmotzer advised. Techniques for doing this include the following (listed from easiest and least expensive to most difficult and expensive):
* confidentiality agreements with vendors;
* copyrights for your text and artwork;
* trademarks to protect themes and category groupings; and
* protecting product designs with patents.
6. Don’t fall in love. “If a product isn’t working, don’t fall in love with it if your customer hasn’t,” van Sonsbeeck said. Measure every product in your catalog to see if it warrants the space it’s occupying. This may lead to the elimination of some of your “favorite” products, he cautioned.
7. Consider co-branding. This tactic allows you to align yourself with another strong, recognizable brand, Harris said, citing her own company’s recent partnership with Massage Warehouse as a prime example. But before entering into a co-branding agreement, do your due diligence, Harris stressed. “Learn their businesses,” she said. “Are the customers really the same? Are they going to honor your prices?”