We have gotten so excited about digital products that we now have to use the moniker “physical” to identify non-digital, and non-personal branded products. Certainly, digital and personal brands are more glitzy. You can create and sell them right from your phone. You don’t have to worry too much about delivery because they are downloadable. And there’s a mountain of course work, webinars and thought leaders who will gladly sell you email marketing and personal branding courses. You don’t have to deal with trucks, warehouses, retail stores, or the varied challenges of the distribution system.
But what if you have a better mouse trap, a new cup of tea, or and revolutionary tool? Sure, you can sell them on line. But you must be at the lowest price, sell one at a time, and stay vigilant on your price to be sure you don’t get in trouble with any potential retailer who sees it online for one cent less than they can sell it for.
So, maybe you want to sell it in stores. Brokers will say they will sell it for you. When their sales are in the dumps, they ask you to lower your price and send more advertising materials. Lawyers will gladly sell you the licensing papers you need – if you could find a buyer. You may sell a license to your idea, but without retails sales upfront you are in less of a bargaining position. And you could spend lots of money getting patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Notice, everyone is selling you services. Nobody’s making the sales – but you!
Or, you could learn how to get your physical product on the shelf and keep it there. You could learn how to build your branded physical product in a way that you can afford, and establishes your brand as a must-have retail item. Yes, it takes longer than you think. No, there are no quick fixes. But it’s doable! With the right know-how you have a much better chance.
Instead of building a big list and email-campaigning it down to the precious few who buy, you can take advantage of the stores’ following which, if aimed right, will build your brand bigger and faster than online sales. Instead of hundreds of small-dollar receipts, you can learn how to get a big check from a company with a massive following for a large order of your physical product. This is exactly what you need to build your business up and achieve a positive cash flow! But you cannot do it without the know-how.
Today you can raise money on any crowd funding site for a new physical product without understanding retail or the physical distribution process – the very knowledge you need to assure your investors that you know what you are doing. Most crowd-funded ideas for physical products fail because they don’t achieve positive cash flow before their funding runs out. They simply don’t know how to cashflow growth on the physical market.
Do you or someone you know have a physical product? Do you want to know how to be successful in the retail world? We have spent the last 6 months developing a course that just focuses on physical product brand building in retail stores. It used to be called merchandising, and it was the hardest lesson we learned building the famous Barefoot Wine brand.
We boiled down our 20 plus years of real world experience into to 5, one-hour lessons. We think this is an overlooked, by-passed, and certainly unglamorous business. But for those who are serious about physical products, we are here to help!
Who Are We.
Having built and sold a bestselling national brand, we appreciate the value of brands and everything it takes to make them successful. Companies are valued by their brand equity. Achieving and maximizing brand equity requires tremendous respect for all your customers, from your wholesaler to your end user.
Starting in our laundry room with no money and no knowledge of the industry, we built the famous Barefoot Wine brand. We learned a lot they don’t teach in school and much of it the hard way. Although our success was in consumer products, our real world experience will be helpful to anyone looking for information and advice about brands.
We have written the New York Times Bestselling Business Book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, which chronicles the history of the famous brand from its inception through its acquisition. Our book is now required reading in schools of entrepreneurship across the country. We hope this book will provide inspiration and encouragement for all those contemplating starting a brand or wanting to improve their existing brand.
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey
-Barefoot Wine Founders