Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) marketers often miss the opportunity of educating retailers on their brands, specifically for new brands. Recall a moment in your life: when faced with a new brand in the shelf space, you might have often asked the retailer about what he/she thinks about the product, and how other customers might have reacted to this brand. We know deep inside our mind that retailers might not be knowledgeable enough to answer all our queries, however, we often assume that since he/she has been selling this for some time, the retailer might have “little more knowledge” than “no knowledge” of us. Finding this knowledge gap as an opportunity, a new brand must think otherwise.
How about pushing the knowledge bar a little higher by providing a mix of information that we want our retailers to convey to potential customers? How about we educate our retailers about the new brand so that he/she seems knowledgeable to potential customers? It can easily be done at a very low cost (as compared with advertising). Provide a handbill with a few minutes of in-store training on answering FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about your new brand. May be a video disk (for more sophisticated retailers) would help, that they can watch at home on how the product is being made and how quality assurance has been taken care of. This would prepare them to answer queries of customers in actual store scenario. This might also act as a way of developing opinion leaders who could spread the word-of-mouth among customers.