CPG & Foodservice Supplier Success, Delivered by ECRM 3/8/2022
For CPG brands, success is all about getting in front of the right buyers at the right time and crushing it during the meeting by being well-prepared and having the best presentation tools possible.
ECRM’s process, platforms and people are geared toward driving this success, by connecting brands with the right buyers and giving them the tools and resources that will help them best showcase their offerings. We accomplish this through ECRM’s category-specific sessions and its Global Market Buying Days.
ECRM's sessions feature a high-touch process in which our Client Success Manager (CSM) team members carefully evaluate a supplier’s products and capabilities, and then curate a schedule of relevant appointments with buyers whose needs and objectives for the category are a perfect match. Our CSM’s are there to provide personal assistance at any point along your journey.
ECRM’s Global Markets are its self-service platform; buyers browse and find relevant products within their respective categories on RangeMe, and with the click of a button, book a 15-minute face-to-face virtual meeting with the suppliers of their choice based on the supplier’s availability during Global Market week.
The result in each case is that suppliers are provided face-to-face appointments with buyers who are looking for products like theirs, at a time when they are gearing up to plan their categories.
What's more, ECRM provides a wealth of best practices content for brands covering all aspects of the meeting process, from meeting preparation to presentation delivery all the way through the follow up.
In short, we put brands in a position to succeed!
Following are a few examples of suppliers that have leveraged ECRM to get their products onto retail shelves.
Click & Carry: Six Retail Deals at One Session
Kimberly Meckwood, owner and CEO of Click & Carry, Inc., landed six retail deals from her meetings at ECRM’s Diversity and Minority Owned General Merchandise Program (Click & Carry is a Women’s Business Enterprise National Council certified company).
“I had a total of 19 meetings, and buyers from 16 of them requested samples,” says Meckwood. “So far six retailers said yes, including Kroger.com, Meijer, Zulily and Buy Buy Baby, which I met via my meeting with Bed, Bath & Beyond. And we’re still in the process of following up with the others.”
Aside from having a stellar product, Meckwood attributes her success at the ECRM Program to the intensive prep work she had done beforehand, taking full advantage of resources that ECRM provides on its session preparation site, which includes information about each buyer’s needs and objectives in the category, as well as a wide range of content on best practices around meeting prep and delivery.
“The best practices content is dynamic and informative,” says Meckwood. “It actually made it fun to prep for the meetings, and I learned a lot. I also had an ECRM Client Success Manager available whenever I needed her, and she helped provide guidance on using the platform. The entire process was smooth and easy.”
Neo G: Success on Both Sides of the Pond
While sales of health and wellness-related products have been growing steadily over the past few years, the pandemic has raised everyone’s awareness of the benefits of getting our bodies moving.
Needless to say, this increased activity is generating more demand for wellness-related products across all customer demographics.
Neo G, which offers a dynamic range of medical grade orthopedic and sports supports for all ages and body types, has seen this firsthand. The brand’s strong focus on product development, messaging, customer service and tight distribution has led to several successes with buyers from the half-dozen ECRM and ECRM Europe Programs in which it has participated, including Walgreens and Rite-Aid in the U.S., and the Netherlands-based Etos pharmacy chain
For Neo-G, the benefit of ECRM’s programs is that it brings the buyers from around the world to meet with them easily via in-person sessions or the ECRM Connect virtual meeting platform. “You have the opportunity to speak to exactly the right buyer that you need,” he says. “And with the virtual sessions, you are still getting face-to-face with them. You guys just have it down. It’s like an orchestra playing; everything goes by the book.
Zot Organic’s Global Market Wins
Todd Kite is a big believer in building and nurturing long-term relationships with buyers. As VP of Sales for Zot Organic, a fast-growing provider of organic, gluten-free, sugar-free licorice products that are vegan and allergen-friendly, he views himself as more of a retail consultant than a CPG salesperson. He always keeps the buyer’s needs in mind during his meetings and will go out of his way to provide outstanding service to his customers.
So, it wasn’t much of a surprise to learn about Zot Organic’s retail wins at ECRM’s recent Global Market: Fall Experience. “For us it was quite the experience," says Kite. "We have deals already with two smaller retailers and are in discussions with a larger chain.”
The meetings at Global Market were 15 minutes in duration, and Kite used that time to provide buyers with an overview of the healthy candy segment, how consumers are looking for products with less sugar and fewer calories, and how Zot Organic fills that void with its products. He supported this with a walk through of his products’ clean ingredients, and then discussed pricing and how they could help drive impulse sales.
What Kite likes most about ECRM’s process and format is the efficiency it delivers for both Zot Organic and the buyers who participate, which is why, based on their success at Global Market, they will be participating in ECRM’s upcoming Candy sessions. ECRM sessions, whether virtual or in-person, can provide Kite with more meetings for his time invested, and every one of them will be with the right buyer.
“You have to get in there and swing the bat often to have a better chance of hitting a home run,” says Kite. “If I can do that and talk to 100 people during a session versus maybe meeting 20 people at a convention or a trade show, I have a better chance of winning. After all, second place is only the first loser, my friend.”
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