Your Retail Ready Checklist

By: Becky Nelson Dahl

We understand this could potentially be rudimentary for a lot of people reading this, but sometimes it’s good to review the basics. So whether you’re a small startup launching, a mid-sized company moving into retail or a large corporation, use this as a quick reference to be sure you’re hitting your objectives.

Is your brand easily visible?

This sounds obvious, but it can be overlooked and can be difficult if your brand is only represented typographically with a standard font. Make sure your logo has either the size or negative space around it to ensure people can ask for it. Let’s also consider that this doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be extremely legible (i.e. the new KIA logo) — if it’s recognizable and repeatable (meaning you can describe it to a friend), you’re in good shape.

Hand holding groceries in food market, cheese, bars, granola bars, hot sauce

Is there a design element that makes it easily recognizable on shelf?

Okay, now that we can see your logo, are there other design elements that can help consumers identify your products? Is there a strong use of color? Is there a pattern? An icon? Again, we want to make sure your customer can find you and encourage others to find you. If your customer can say “Get the one with the ______ on it,” you can check this box.

hand holding food and beauty products in grocery store, pasta, coffee, cold brew, soap, shampoo

Does it satisfy the basic need of the consumer?

If it’s a food, does it look tasty? If it’s a beverage, does it look refreshing? If it’s beauty, does it look beautiful (through the eyes of your consumer)? Honestly, this can be missed sometimes. It’s easy to focus on doing something unique (see next point) that we can forget that it needs to satisfy the most basic need for the shopper.

hand holding food products in grocery store, oatmeal, baby food, bread

Does your packaging communicate what makes it unique?

So here’s the flipside to the previous checkpoint. Once you’ve got your food looking tasty or your drink looking refreshing, it’s time to tackle your unique reason for existing. What makes your product better than your competitor? Most times this exists in a tangible, logical way. In instances where this does not exist in a left-brained way, it can come to life in an emotive way. Does the personality of the brand connect with consumers in a way that hasn’t been done before? Are the values of the brand aligned with its target consumer?

hand holding food products in grocery store, beans, kidney beans, forks, world, chips, tortilla, grain free, dairy free, ranch

If there are multiple SKUs within a category, are they easily distinguishable for the shopper?

If your brand is innovating into other categories, can the shopper distinguish between them? This can be tough, and it’s really important to think about your innovation pipeline. A lot of times brands will use color to distinguish between SKUs, but then you can run into issues when you innovate so much you run out of colors. We have used color and layered a few other distinguishable design elements in the past & it’s worked well for us.

hand holding food products in grocery store, chocolate bar, dressing, salad, coffee beans

Does it evoke the emotions you want the consumer to feel?

We talk a lot about this one at Bex. Your right brain will grab the product, your left brain will read and put it in the cart. Consider what feeling your brand makes people feel & lean into it. Cultivating emotions for your consumers helps with memorability & eventually loyalty — the ultimate win for a brand.

Have you checked all your boxes? Need help with checking a few? We’re here to help!

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