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What does the best partnership with Target buyers look like when time is a limited resource?

November 15, 2019

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5 Things Not To Do During a Product Line Review with Target

The product line with review with Target - where you have a small amount of time to make a big impression which can mean a lot for your business. With multiple teams working on a very important meeting for your business at Target, we understand it gets tricky. The fact of the matter is that many vendors often focus efforts on the wrong things while ignoring what's important to the Target team. Want to put your best foot forward? Our team has been on both sides as a Target Buyer and representing the vendors in over 1,000 line reviews.  Here are some things that can spell disaster in these meetings:

 

1) Show up with a 30+ page PowerPoint deck

 

This is so common. Don’t do it. Your deck with speaking points should be no more than 10 pages MAX (appendix is ok). Nothing will catch an eye roll quicker than showing up with a novel.

 

 

2) Not understand the unique Target guest

A strong understanding of both your channel strategy, and Target’s role in it, is more crucial than ever with multiple

retailer threats to Target’s physical space. Have a point of view on what products are right for Target’s guest and why. Don't just enter the room saying "This is perfect for Target" without knowing the why? We like using The 5 Whys activity to prepare. The 5 Whys strategy is a simple, effective tool for uncovering the root of a problem. You can use it in troubleshooting, problem solving and quality improvement initiatives. Start with a problem and ask "why" it is occurring. Make sure that your answer is grounded in fact, then ask "why" again 5 times.

 

3) Talk about YOU

This is your chance to connect, ask questions, discuss. While your 20 year history may seem important to you, it doesn't help get your product in the store. Focus on what the Target guest cares about. The less you talk and the more Target talks, the better. This time is important so be a strong listener.

 

4) Ignore Buyer instructions or templates

Even if you think the template is useless, it was built for a reason. You’re starting out in the hole if you don’t follow instructions.

 

5) Ignore Problems

The team knows if performance is poor. Address it, and more specifically do the work to answer the question WHY performance was bad, as well as how you’ll address it. The elephant in the room becomes the topic of conversation

as soon as you leave if you don’t call it out.

So what makes a great line review?

The best line reviews include a clear recommendation and ask supported by:

  • Relevant financial performance in context of category, Target, and industry

  • Guest Insights that validate proposed direction

  • Curated product recommendation to address the needs of Target and Target’s guest

  • And Marketing plans to ensure success of the proposed brands/products, on or off the Target shelf

Your line review should validate “why” your assortment makes sense for Target. Sharing how insights led to the recommendation brings an emotional connection to the buyer and a story that can be retold. It’s the most powerful tool you’ll have for influence and yet the topic most commonly left out by the vendor community. If you need suggestions or more templates to use, contact your Jacobs Marketing Account Executive.

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