Selling products into retail industry is tough. Competing head to head with the big brands is almost impossible. They have established partnerships in distribution and access to seemingly unlimited marketing budgets. In fact, ten companies control the majority of consumer brands on the shelf at your local retailer. Fortunately, for consumer product entrepreneurs, these large companies are more likely to buy an entrepreneur’s innovative product than create one on their own.
1. Entrepreneurs see a problem that current products don't solve.
The large product companies are more likely to create new brands with the same ingredients that have been on the shelf for decades. But product entrepreneurs are looking for ways to solve a problem, not repackage existing solutions. This is one of the requirements for getting in front of retail buyers for new consumer product companies.
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2. Entrepreneurs create unique, patentable products.
Product entrepreneurs create new and unique products. Their goal is to patent them which prevents the large companies from copying their idea. This allows the entrepreneur to grow sales unimpeded by direct competition and eventually sell their patents to the big brands.
Related: Jessica Alba's Honest Company Is Reportedly a $1.7 Billion
3. Entrepreneurs are usually first on new macro economic trends.
Historically, large consumer product companies take longer to respond to trends. The natural and organic market growth has been substantial over the last ten years. However, big brands were late to the party. This is why the natural and organic market was initially was filled with startups which now have grown into larger companies serving the masses. Startups will always be the ones to pioneer new product trends as they are willing to take more risks to achieve their dreams.
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4. Entrepreneurs want the product for themselves.
Jessica Alba founded Honest because she wanted to buy products that didn’t pose toxic risks for her kids. Large consumer product companies are less likely to create products out of necessity. Their corporate structures intrinsically impede this kind of innovation.
So for those of you that have a product ideas that are unique, patentable and solves problems that exists in the market – be encouraged. There will always be a place in retail for you to test and grow your ideas. And who knows, maybe one of the big consumer brand companies will buy your product next.