Nothing irks a buyer more than a brand that goes into a meeting unprepared. In fact, the most common advice I hear from buyers with regards to supplier meeting prep is, “Do your homework.” You should have an idea about the buyer’s organization, the markets it serves, and – whenever possible – actual boots-on-the-ground experience at its locations. Then, present accordingly.

Some brands take it a step further. They do all of those items recommended above, and then tailor both their pitch and their offerings to that particular buyer. When that happens, it’s gold. 

2×4 Nutrition is a great example of this, and has reaped the benefits with broad placement of its products at national retail chains. In this post, we’re going to show you how they did it for a recent Walmart Open Call.

About 2×4 Nutrition

Michael Lebhar

2×4 was founded on the idea of making nutrition accessible to everyone, everywhere. It offers a line of supplements based on liposomal technology that provides fast absorption into the body. The brand started with the basics such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc and magnesium, then added multivitamins and now offer supplements that address specific need states.

Having already seen success at an ECRM Cough/Cold, Analgesics & Allergy Session – where they landed a deal with CVS to have four products in a thousand stores – the company applied for Walmart’s Open Call through a RangeMe submission. Soon after, they received their acceptance for a meeting with the Walmart buyer.

However, there was a challenge, according to Michael Lebhar, Chief Marketing Officer of 2×4 Nutrition (see full video interview with Lebhar below). “The product Walmart accepted us to pitch was typically a higher priced product and not the best form factor for them,” he says. “If we went into the meeting with that product, it probably wouldn’t get in, or if it did, we would get Limited distribution.”

Tailoring its offerings to each retailer

2×4 Nutrition approaches each retailer differently, pitching the best products that meet the retailer’s needs as regards to price, packaging, and offerings that will work best for the retailer’s shoppers. As an example, for a CVS, they pitched cold and flu products with wide boxes that would stand out on the shelf. For its direct to consumer business, they showcase bundles, which work best for ecommerce. They needed to do something unique just for Walmart.

“For Walmart’s consumers, we needed aggressive price points,” says Lebhar. “Its shoppers are not buying us because of the liposomal technology; they want good value. And we couldn’t take up too much shelf space so that we could possibly get more items onto that shelf. so we needed to determine the best form factor and need states to address.”

Boots-on-the-ground shopper research

So the 2×4 Nutrition team hit the road. They visited Walmart and Sam’s Club stores and talked to actual shoppers, seeking to learn what they look for in supplement products, what kind of assortment would work best with them, where the assortment would fit in the Walmart planogram, and what price points would be ideal.

Based on this research, they formulated 17 new products for its Better line, which they selected because it was easy to understand, as the names of the products address different need states, such as Better Sleep, Better Energy, Better Neuro etc. The line also has a convenient form factor, is all natural and has a good flavor. 

All of the legwork paid off; they went into their Open Call meeting armed with the shopper insights and resulting line of products, and were invited to a line review which led to 2×4 Nutrition getting four items into 1,100 stores. 

Getting buyer interest on RangeMe

With ECRM Sessions, brands are matched up with buyers based on the alignment of their products and capabilities with the buyer’s needs and objectives and the meetings are scheduled for you. On RangeMe, subscribers drive buyer interest on the strength of their profile and – for Starter, Premium and Pro subscribers – via direct submissions and participating in immediate opportunity buyer campaigns. 

Lebhar offers this advice for brands looking to get the most from RangeMe:

  • Have a clear and concise header that grabs attention
  • List all of your key items in your profile, at least one for each of your major collections of products. 
  • Focus on how you are different from competitors in your space.
  • Participate in every buyer review or summits in your category (this is available to Starter, Premium and Pro subscribers)
  • Submit products directly to retailers when you can 
  • Pay attention to your profile insights regularly to see which retailers are checking out your profile, and which products they are viewing. This information can help you determine how to pursue particular retailers.

(Editor’s note: Now Premium and Pro subscribers also have access to NielsenIQ category-level data, as well as competitive insights that show the fastest growing brands and top-selling products on RangeMe, based on the NIQ data).

Final thoughts on the value of due diligence

As 2×4 Nutrition shows, a little time invested on early due diligence certainly seems to pay off down the road. Based on his experience, Lebhar leaves us with two pieces of advice. 

First, it’s important to determine if a particular retailer is the right fit for your brand before even getting started. This is a time-saver in the long run. “If the retailer isn’t a fit, don’t try and squeeze yourself in; it will be a waste of time and resources that could be better spent on those that are.”

And for those that are a fit, get the meeting, then craft products and offerings that align with the needs of that retailer’s shoppers. “Sometimes this will require that you make small iterations in pricing or packaging,” he says. “But this can make all of the difference as to whether or not they put you on the shelf.”

It certainly did for 2×4 Nutrition!

Is RangeMe worth it? Check out our RangeMe Customer Success Stories page and you’ll see from the wins from our buyers and brands that the answer is a resounding YES!

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