What's in Store
They spend millions of dollars so their logos pop, their brands are household names and their companies garner worldwide loyalty. Within the retail world, consumer brands have been etched upon our collective unconsciousness. With just a sideways glimpse, we can easily recognize the infamous Golden Arches of McDonald's, that little blue Tiffany bag, the Nike swoosh or the King-of-Beers Budweiser logo. All that effort in creating a brand is not done solely with an annual Superbowl ad. It is done with ever-present logo visibility via billboards, T-shirts, shopping bags, napkins, stadium cups, ear buds and other promotional items. After talking to suppliers who are experts within the retail market, it's clear this is one niche that can be tough to break into but with large-scale marketing budgets set aside solely for promotion and branded packaging, it is also one that can be very lucrative.
Making the Connection
Arsi Seradarian, vice president and CFO of Pacobond Inc., Sun Valley, Calif., explained the two distinct opportunities within retail markets: individually owned boutiques and chain stores and franchises. "Usually, when small boutiques open, they turn to local distributors through personal connections or through the phone book/internet for their packaging design and supplies," Seradarian explained. "Boutiques do not change their packaging design often and more emphasis is given to quality than price. With enough persistence, [a new distributor] will be given an opportunity to quote when the inventory runs low, and the store is ready to order their next packaging," she said.
The second opportunity, chain stores and franchises, is an arena where the going is a little tougher. "Chain stores and franchises are very tough to penetrate," said Seradarian. "Everything is based on connection, connection, connection and price, price, price. First you have to find the correct buyer for your product. Every buyer in the chain store has already worked with a supplier before and over the years, befriends and favors that distributor/supplier over a new one," she continued.