Consulting Specialties

While our careers have allowed us to touch almost all areas of Sales, Marketing and General Business, the following areas are the areas that Rhody Consulting focuses.  This experience allows us to help both manufacturers and retailers in these critical areas.  If you have any other needs, please use the contact us button to inquire about our capabilities.

Trade Marketing/ Promotions

While Brand Marketing is focused on the end consumer, Trade Marketing is dedicated to the partners who take the product or service from the "manufacturer" to the end consumer.  I can tell you first hand that just "building a better mousetrap" is not going to bring you sales.  Please ask me about my experience selling mousetraps, you might be surprised what you hear.

 

The major areas that Trade Marketing includes:

 

  • Consumer Promotions

  • Trade Promotions

  • Leveraging Co-op Advertising Funds

  • Integrated Business Planning

  • Product Assortments

Local Advertising

​For success, consumers have to shop the retailer for the specific product you are selling.  All too often the manufacturer, the retailer or both asume that name recognition is going to lead them to success.

 

Letting the consumer know what the retailer has to offer is often the difference between success and failure.  Manufacturers and retailers are willing to spend money on advertising and promoting products, but all too often this task does not get the attention it deserves.

 

What I learned at Scotts is the importance of manufacturers providing tools and retailers leveraging these tools.  Neither side has the resources to make advertising work and waste money on poor programs.  My services will make the investment return with increased shipments for the manufacturer and improved foot traffic and inventory turns for the retailer.

Merchandising

Real Estate matters!  Not every inch of the store has the same ability to sell product so understanding how to make of the space the retailer has is essential.  

 

I am not talking about renovating the store but about how to display product to make it easiest for the consumer to pick up and put in their cart.  Far too many salespeople and retailers during the Spring think that one plan works.  For many reasons, it is important to change up the plan from time to time.

 

Space planning is just one aspect of merchandising that we must explore.  If the manufacturer wants more space and more sales, they need to step up their game.  Whether this is Display Ready Units, Endcap Kits or Specialty Racks, it is important to have tools to use with the retailer.  Every store and every owner has their own personality.  What I will do is help you develop ideas that you can prepare in advance and activate when the salesperson and retailer need it.  No matter the size of the budget, there are ideas that we can develop to drive impulse sales of your products.

Pricing and Programs

The central connection between a manufacturer and their retail partners is their Pricing and Programs.  These define the relationship in which products and services are transferred to the retailer as well as the funding for the retailer to advertise and promote to their customer......THE CONSUMER!  The balance between each component is key to the success of the Manufacturer and their Retail Partner.

 

It is important that Standard Programs exist to allow for ease of communication and consistency among all retailers.  The key principle is to create "programs" for each channel that are modeled around the specific needs of the channel.  Properly administered and updated, these will be the base for the success of the relationship for years to come.

 

Being able to adjust programs for "key customers" while maintaining profitability is key to the success of any manufacturer.  The changes do not need to be drastic or cost a lot of money to work.  I will work with you and your customers to determine what they need and devise program options that work for both parties.

 

 

Trade Shows

Get a buch of product and some salespeople and you have what it takes to do a trade show.  Every year companies spend millions of dollars on trade shows and most cannot tell you if they were successful or not.

 

Success at trade shows starts with a strategic plan of what it is you want to accomplish followed by a specific list of actions that must be executed in order to reach the goal.

 

By asking questions, we will have an in-depth discussion of why you attend trade shows and what you hope to obtain.  This information will then be used to decide what shows to attend, how much real estate to rent as well as what products, equipment and personnel to bring to the show.  We might not save any money, but we will improve focus and make the dollars we do spend bring us a better return.

 

For the retailer, maybe we spend some time discussing why you go to shows and some ideas on how to make more effective purchase decisions.

 

 

 

 

Regulatory

I had to create a sales friendly regulatory system to meet the needs of my team and our retail partners.  What I learned is preparation is the key to success.  All retailers are looking for in any category is someone to help explain the rules of the road as well as what products you are selling me have some kind of government restrictions.  I was amazed how much time was spent by retailers that could have been avoided by pre-season meetings to understand what information they needed.

 

 

 

 

Too many manufacturers and retailers do not fully understand the importance of customer service and how to use it to grow their business. This goes back to the loss of customer service and other common courtesies over the past thirty years.

 

I will bring ideas on how to improve customer service to the Manufacturer and the Retailer.  The costs are minimal but the potential upsides are huge.

 

 

 

 

Customer Service