How to Research Your Retail Brand Extension for Sourcing
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In the fast-paced world of retail, brand owners need to continuously innovate and respond to changing consumer demand. This requires them to continually grow their business—and sometimes this may involve extending their brand into new categories or product lines. These tips will help you understand what a brand extension is, why it’s a viable strategy for your business, and how to source it successfully.
What is a brand extension?
A brand extension is a process by which a company extends its brand into a new product. The new product might be in the same product category as the original, or it might be a completely different product category altogether. There are three main types of brand extensions: Product line extensions, category extensions, and geographic extensions. Product line extensions involve extending a brand’s product line to include related products. For example, a company that makes shoes may decide to make socks as well. Category extensions involve taking a product that is already in existence and transforming it into a variation of the brand - a bag brand could create a new model that is specially designed for frequent travelers. Geographic extensions mean taking a product or service and expanding its availability to new markets. Like when a Canadian clothing chain might expand into the American market.
Why choose a retail brand extension?
Brand extensions are a great way to expand your business, diversify your product mix, and increase sales. They also have other important benefits: As a retail brand that manufactures its own products, you’ll be able to set your own price points, quality standards and lead times. Additionally, extending your brand gives you more ways to interact with your customers and strengthen your relationships with them.
4 tips for sourcing your retail brand-extension
If you’re ready to begin sourcing your retail brand extension, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Conduct extensive market research: Before you begin sourcing, you’ll want to conduct extensive market research. This way you’ll be able to understand how your new product fits into the market and find out if there’s demand for it. You’ll also want to look into the competition and see what their strengths and weaknesses are so you can make sure your product is able to compete.
2. Make sure you understand your core competencies: Before you start looking for potential vendors and partners, make sure you understand your core competencies. What does your company do best? What are your key strengths? This way, you’ll be able to find vendors and partners who will be able to help you leverage those competencies and amplify your strengths.
3. Find out if it makes sense to work with an existing brand: If you’re considering extending your retail brand into a new product, it’s worth asking yourself if it makes sense to work with an existing brand or to create a new one. Find out if there is a brand that already has the right image or target audience for your project. Alternatively, you can create a new brand if you think this might be better.
4. Find out if existing retail brands are sourcing their products from the same suppliers: If you are in the business of sourcing, you’ll want to find out if existing retail brands are sourcing their products from the same suppliers that you’d like to work with. This way, you’ll be able to position yourself as a more attractive partner for these brands.
3 places to find the right manufacturer
There are a number of places you can go to find the right manufacturer for your retail brand extension. Some of the most popular include:
1. Trade shows: If you are sourcing from a trade show, you’ll want to make sure you’re visiting the right trade show for your industry. These trade shows give manufacturers a place to showcase their latest products and technologies while also providing retailers with an opportunity to source products. Trade shows take place all year round and are a great way to meet manufacturers face-to-face and learn more about their capabilities and products.
One such trade show is the OFFPRICE Show where you can find the best prices (many times well below wholesale pricing) for your merchandise. In fact, the show specializes in high margin goods with immediate availability.(Many offer free shipping too) Our private label vendors can get product to buyers quickly with in-season inventory fillers and last-season goods. There are specials only available on a first-come/first-served basis at the show, deals that you don't want to miss out on.
2. Retailer showrooms: Another place to find the right manufacturer for your retail brand extension is at the showrooms of your favorite retailers. These showrooms are where retail buyers go to source products and meet with manufacturers. As a retailer, you may have special access to these showrooms, so you can get in touch with the manufacturers behind the products you buy.
3. Manufacturer directories: Apart from visiting trade shows and retailer showrooms, you can also look for manufacturers online. Manufacturer directories are websites that list the products and services offered by thousands of manufacturers. You can use these directories to find a manufacturer that is a good fit for your retail brand extension. Check out the list of OFFPRICE’s vendor manufacturers here.
Know your consumer and competition before you extend
Before you begin sourcing, you’ll want to make sure you understand your consumer’s behavior and the behavior of your competition. These insights will help you source products that will appeal to your customer base and that will also fit in with your competitors’ offerings. They’ll also give you a better understanding of the market opportunities available to you.
Make sure you know what works — and what doesn’t
It’s important to make sure you know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to retail branding even before you get to the sourcing part. This will help you source products that will appeal to your customer base and that will also fit in with your competitors’ audience. You’ll also want to make sure you have insights into your brand’s strengths and weaknesses. This way, you’ll be able to source products that will amplify your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
Don’t forget digital when researching physical behaviors
It may seem obvious, but you should remember to look at how your customers behave physically and not just digitally when sourcing your retail brand extension. This will help you source products that will appeal to your customer base and that will also fit in with your competitors’ offerings. It will also give you a better idea of the types of products that are available.
When you’re ready to source your retail brand extension, remember that this sort of sourcing is an investment in your business. It will help you take your retail brand to the next level and give you more ways to interact with your customers and strengthen your relationships with them. When you’re ready to begin sourcing, make sure you have the data you need, know what works and what doesn’t, and don’t forget to look at how your customers behave physically as well as digitally. That way, you’ll be able to source products that will appeal to your customer base and help you take your retail brand to the next level.