you go to the store and you can’t find the exact product you’re
looking for, what do you do? Do you just go home empty-handed?
Or do you ask a manager?
Most of the time, I ask a store or
assistant manager if they carry the product, or if they can
order it. And, most of the time retailers want to work with
customers, so they’ll find a way to get what you want. After
all, if they can service your needs, hopefully you’ll keep
Whether you know it or not, when you ask for something special,
you are participating in a phenomenon one of my clients called,
Your request triggers a call to a
manufacturer or distributor, specifically to get that product
for you. On the other end, there is a business that is now going
to fill an order they would not have received, had it not been
for you asking for that specific product.
Now, reverse the roles. YOU’RE the business getting the
unexpected order. That order is golden, because it’s gravy. It’s
like finding money you didn’t know you had. Now wouldn’t it be
great if you could get more customers asking retailers for what
You can actually make that happen. Public relations campaigns
are frequently the spark that fires up reverse distribution,
because effective media exposure educates consumers about your
product, which motivates them to go into the store and ask for
it by name.
To explain how this works, I love sharing this story from one of
our clients, Stephen Grubb, President of SoyNut Butter Company.
It really illustrates this concept extremely well. He said:
“The media exposure you got for us resulted in kind of a reverse
distribution process. In other words, instead of waiting for
stores to carry our product, this publicity campaign created
such demand that stores are calling us to order our products –
just to satisfy their customers!”
I loved getting this feedback!
But, another reason to consider a publicity campaign for your
products is because it can help open doors with store buyers.
Retailers will be far more likely to order your products if they
know you’re planning a publicity campaign that will drive
consumers into their stores.
Marsha Friedman, CEO of
Relations, is a 20-year
veteran of the public relations industry, who provides PR
strategy and publicity services to corporations, entertainers,
authors and professional firms.
She is also the author of the book, Celebritize Yourself.
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