#1 thing you should do before pitching to retail stores…

retail recipes
Hey there!
Did you know that over 2 billion people around the world are using the internet and spend approximately 32.7 hours per week online? They are connecting with people, browsing for information and going shopping. Do you want to be part of this phenomenon?If you are launching a new business or have a product to sell, the first thing you need to do is create a website.If you don’t have a website yet, you need to go and create one now. It will become your most powerful tool for reaching customers, stores and build community.Unlike other forms of publicity, which can be good or bad, you have complete control over the tone and look of your website. You control what content gets added, how often it gets added and how that content is displayed. You can share your story get your name out to people all over the world. It’s also a great way for potential buyers and media to check you out! As a retail buyer, the first thing I do when I get pitched or see a new brand is go check out their website. It usually takes about 10 seconds to grab my attention. If it impresses me, I will dig further and proceed to next steps. More on this in next week’s post :)Here are three examples of businesses who are rockin’ their brand and have utilized their website to their advantage… and surely got my attention!


Five key elements that make these websites really SHINE:

1. Know your customer well – If an artist or designer knows their ideal customer well, they can create a website that really resonates with them on a personal level.

2. Take gorgeous photographs – Make sure you have absolutely gorgeous photographs of your brand. Invest in hiring a good photographer to not only take beautiful shots of your products, but also of lifestyle shots as well. You want to create a great first impression, while maintaining that quality throughout the site. Since a customer or buyer isn’t with you in person, your photographs have to just as impressive.

3. Be consistent with your branding – Your branding should be consistent throughout not only your website, but also your packaging and any promotional materials. Your logo, color, voice, everything should speak to all that your brand represents. If you stay consistent, customers and potential retailers will begin to recognize your brand no matter where they look for it.

4. Be user-friendly – Your website must be user-friendly. I understand that many people are very tech-savvy today. While it is fun and impressive to have a lot going on, it can also alienate those who don’t know how to navigate your website.  Simplicity will go a long way and will also better show off your branding and products. Make all of the product information clear and easily accessible.

5. Be easy on the eye – The last and possibly most important is that your website must be easy on the eyes.  You want people to want to keep clicking, and stay on your website for more than just a few seconds. You want them to want to keep coming back for more. A simply beautiful website will be your most powerful tool in striving for success.

Are you ready to create your website or have one for your business? Please comment here and tell me about your brand. Next Wednesday, I will announce one lucky winner who will receive a FREE website critique session with me.

9/21/11 – And the winner is…..
Last week, I wrote about the #1 thing you should do before pitching to retail stores. Thanks for all your comments and tweets. The winner is Dana from patternedpeacock.com. Please email hello@retailrecipes.comto schedule your free website critique with me!



Grace Kang
Your Retail Product Mentor
p.s. A BIG, warm welcome to all of the new readers who joined our community! You are going to love the resources you will find here to help you make your product retail-ready… Enjoy!
* internet usage date as of March 30, 2011 by Nielsen Online and podcastingnews.com

photo image by: Design Garden



Let’s Rock Your Brand with OMHG!

Have you ever noticed that the people in your life who are the most inspiring are also truly genuine in what they do?  Not only do they spout words that inspire, but they actually LIVE like that too! As the saying goes, “Actions (and visuals) speak louder than words.” But living it is another story. The same goes for branding.

You are your own brand. Your brand needs to be seamlessly woven into both your personal and professional life. Don’t try and pretend to be something you’re not, and don’t try and hide who you really are. There is only one of you and showcasing your unique ability is crucial in building your brand.

Join me and the gals over at OMHG! for another twitter chat on Thursday, September 15th at 1-2pm EST to discuss how we can rock your brand! Stop by, join the conversation and speak your mind! :) I look forward to “meeting” you online!


  1. Hi Grace!

    I’m working on my brand, but not quite getting it right. Would love to win a critique!


  2. Wonderful post as usual, Grace! Thank you for including examples sites that grab a buyer’s attention. My company, The Patterned Peacock, offers a line of art prints on archival canvas. I take my inspiration from the world of surface design and I love to play with color and pattern. I developed my website a couple of months ago and photography has been my biggest challenge. Since my subject matter can be somewhat unconventional, I think that more/better lifestyle photos might help people put it into context and imagine my work in their own homes. Would love to have your feedback on my site!

  3. Yes – a great website can do wonders for a business, and a poorly designed one can break it! I don’t operate a product-based business (yet), but if I qualify, I’d love to get your feedback on my site. In any case, those are also great examples of well-done, well-branded and intuitively designed websites. Dropped by to say I think your website is great and so useful. I’ve been recommending it as a resource to some of my clients. Thank you!

    • hi ann,
      thanks for your lovely note… and for referring others :) i really appreciate it! i’m looking forward to checking out your website! xoxo

  4. Hey, thanks for these tips. I’m planning to make an online store and this post came across my search, really helpful. This time I’ll focus on presenting high quality photos for my customers…Thanks!

    • absolutely… people really respond well to images! right down 5 to 10 things that you want your brand to make people feel. then, make sure that your photographs exude those feelings and thoughts. trust me when i say that it will be worth the investment to work with a professional photographer… for you, for your potential retail stores and for the media.

  5. Hi Grace,
    Thank you so much for all your advice via Retail Recipes – it’s worth its weight in gold!
    I’m a fledgling company just starting out in the UK, (do I still qualify?) working on a shoestring and trying to do all the whizzy techy things like building my own website/ taking photographs as well as making the products and gradually developing a Juju and Bubba ‘brand’.
    Bringing ‘handmade’ firmly back into the arena, I create quirky, functional and unique textile home accessories; perfect for complementing your individual interior style and adding a little funkiness, personality and character to the home. Each item is designed and made exclusively by me in my little studio at the bottom of the garden – no two are the same.
    Evoking memories of days gone by when the pace of life was slower, handmade and ‘make do and mend’ were the order of the day and the word up-cycling had never been heard, all this is revived and celebrated at Juju and Bubba. Incorporating precious vintage fabrics, buttons and haberdashery I create characterful creatures that don’t mind being used as doorstops or even bookends, though they prefer being just a decorative item! I’m also on a mission to resurrect the traditional ‘afternoon tea’ complete with quirky handcrafted tea cosies – amongst other little creations, too many to mention! A critique from you would go a long way in advancing the development of my brand and truly reaching my niche market. Fall in LOVE with handmade♥

    • hi jules,
      thanks for your lovely note! look forward to checking out your website :)
      stay tuned for next week…

  6. We’re a greetings & stationery company based in the UK. Having only been trading for 2 months, and without the resources to do any trade shows yet, getting our website right is extremely important. Would very much value your opinion on ours. :-)

  7. Looks to me your blog possess a great quality. Informative and helpful to a lot of people. Thumbs up and keep up the good work!! :)

  8. I will recommend not to hold off until you get enough amount of money to order all you need!

  9. Thank you Grace for the tips! I am always working on improving my site and love any help I can get :)

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