Claire Nuttall, founder of The Brand Incubator, gives advice on making contact with buyers, what they look for in a supplier, and how to develop a win-win relationship.When making an initial approach to a buyer, do your homework and ensure you have a view on what their strategy for the category is compared with other retailers’ strategies for the same category. A catch-all perspective might not be enough, so be specific to them and show you want to be taken seriously.Send an email and follow up with samples presented in a way that really reflects what you want your brand to convey. Just bagging up a few samples and sending them through the post is not going to get you noticed or taken seriously.It is important that any initial email or communication should not be long-winded and self-indulgent about you or your brand. It needs to be attention-grabbing and crisp in its detail and emphasis, otherwise it will not cut through and may not even get read.Persistence, without hassling, is also key. Do not expect miracles to happen within moments of you sending things through.Buyers look for genuine passion and a desire from the supplier to work together in a win-win relationship. They want to see a real strategy and what you would be replacing or bringing to the category – help them understand your role and how you can help them grow their business.For example: What will make you unique in that category and differentiate vs the current offer? How will you deliver clear incremental growth to the category? Do you have a clear understanding and justification of the recommended retail price? Can you demonstrate a clear, deep understanding of who is and will be your target consumer?Underpin this with data/research that shows the value of your brand as perceived by your target audience in a way that is relevant to their strategy and brand, not just any other retailer. The more specific to them you can be, the better.Once a listing is secured, build your relationship with a buyer by understanding their objectives and try to address those aspirations.Think about your brand, but also be conscious that buyers are growing a category, not just your brand in isolation. Be clever when promoting – any ways that break the norms and deliver improved results would be advantageous.Also, anticipate challenges and be open about them before they become a problem. Don’t just land a problem; buyers need solutions, so as much support as you can give is always appreciated.
Published on January 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm LOUISVILLE, Ky. — To beat No. 1 Louisville on the road, Syracuse would certainly have to put together one of its best performances of the season.The Orange players knew they couldn’t come out flat and expect to win as they did against South Florida. They knew they couldn’t do just enough to get by as they did against Providence.They needed to play great to beat the Cardinals. Anything less was sure to end in a loss.“We just wanted to come out here and play one of our best games,” SU guard Brandon Triche said, “which we didn’t.”And yet, Syracuse still left the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday with its biggest win of the season, a 70-68 comeback victory over the favored Cardinals, effectively ending UofL’s reign atop the AP Poll after one week while thrusting itself back into the discussion with the nation’s elite.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs Triche said, SU’s performance was far from perfect.Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams, an All-American candidate, looked lost at times against Louisville’s unforgiving defense and finished with eight turnovers compared to seven assists. The Orange’s frontcourt trio of Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman and Baye Moussa Keita were virtually nonexistent offensively, scoring a combined nine points. And don’t forget, the absence of James Southerland, the team’s second-leading scorer, also meant the absence of its best 3-point shooter – leaving all the weight on Triche’s shoulders in this big-time showdown between the Big East’s best.To beat No. 1 Louisville on the road, Syracuse would certainly have to be better than that.But the Orange overcame every obstacle, making the imperfect victory all the more impressive. SU made a statement with this win, announcing itself as one of the teams in the national title hunt to anyone who wasn’t quite sure.No. 6 Syracuse proved that it belongs alongside Indiana, Duke, Kansas, Michigan and Louisville – the top-5 teams in the country that all received votes for the top spot last Monday.Just ask Louisville head coach Rick Pitino.His club was on a roll, ripping off 11 straight wins since its lone previous loss to Duke. Behind their smothering defense and balanced lineup, Louisville was never tied and never trailed an opponent in the final 10 minutes of its previous 10 games.“It’s not easy to beat our basketball team and they did it so they deserve a lot of credit,” Pitino said.Credit goes to Triche for pouring in 18 of his team-high 23 points in the first half to keep Syracuse in the game; and for taking over at point guard – becoming the team’s primary ball handler while Carter-Williams moved off the ball – where he calmly got the offense started against the Cardinals pressure.Credit goes to Carter-Williams for overcoming the rough first half, in which he turned it over six times, to spearhead Syracuse’s late comeback. The sophomore scored 11 of his team’s final 13 points, assisted on the other and came up with two game-clinching steals to shock Louisville in the final minute.Credit goes to Jerami Grant for playing a solid all-around game in a career-high 35 minutes as he replaces Southerland in the rotation. The freshman played poised and in control, hitting his share of big shots to finish with 10 points.And credit goes to C.J. Fair for quietly logging 40 minutes in yet another steady performance. The lefty forward gave Syracuse an experienced presence in the lane on both ends of the floor and chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds.In the words of Triche, “it’s all about team” for Syracuse.“If one person’s struggling, someone else is going to do it,” the senior guard said. “That’s what we did tonight.”They also proved, despite their flaws, that they’re one of the best teams in the nation.There’s still plenty of basketball to be played, but this victory meant a little more than any other so far this year.That much was clear as the buzzer sounded and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim gave a rare display of excitement, giving a sweeping fist pump before walking toward the Louisville bench to shake Pitino’s hand.But Boeheim was quick to dismiss any significance of the win over the No. 1 team and conference favorite at the podium after the game.“I think they’ll be the team to beat in the country when it all comes down in the end,” Boeheim said of Louisville.By season’s end, Syracuse could be the team to beat. Whether Boeheim likes it or not, after Saturday, his team’s in the discussion.Ryne Gery is a staff writer at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at [email protected] Comments Related Stories WINGS CLIPPED: No. 6 Syracuse beats No. 1 Louisville 70-68 on road behind Carter-Williams’ clutch 2nd-half playFreshman Grant continues stellar play, finishes with 10 points in win over LouisvilleTriche holds off Louisville early, earns praise from Pitino in upset of No. 1 LouisvilleDefensive struggle, late heroics mirror 2012 Syracuse win at LouisvillePoll: After upsetting No. 1 Louisville, where should Syracuse be ranked? Facebook Twitter Google+