tba-11-23-16OND is not an old Norse term for the mystical Odic force as Google suggests – especially if you are a physical consumer product brand builder. It stands for the three most important months of the retail selling year: October, November, and December. The highest volume of sales in most of the categories takes place during OND. In some categories it’s SOND, to include September.

Retailers plan for OND all year. This means that savvy brand builders who want to get OND displays present their proposals as early as possible. They also need to take into account that in most cases, retailers will not entertain any new brands during these three prized months. OND planning is locked up many months in advance.

If, over the past year, your branded consumer product has gained the reputation as a “hot mover” in a particular store, that may qualify you to make a presentation of your product as a multiple unit floor stack during OND. Your presentation must incorporate some kind of holiday trade dress or decoration in the display.  But first you must earn these privileges with shelf sales!

We were successful with multiple-cases OND displays because we offered holiday merchandising materials, adding to the store’s décor for each holiday. We had “Boo Foot for Hallowine” – a giant pumpkin with a foot carved out of it. Then we swapped it out for a googly-eyed turkey that said, “I’ll go quietly if you serve Barefoot!” We swapped that out for “Merlot Ho Ho!” for Christmas, followed by “Kick off the New Year with Barefoot!”

But it wasn’t the cute catch phrases that got us the displays. It was the empathy we demonstrated for the retailer who did not want to get stuck with unsold inventory at the end of OND. By breaking the OND selling period down into 4 separate display motifs for the same three to four-month display, the retailers knew that we appreciated their predicament and would watch the volume like a hawk.

Every week we would monitor the displays to make sure what ever did not sell at Halloween was rebranded to Thanksgiving, and so on. We made sure our product was replenished and our marketing materials were updated in a timely manner, keeping the store looking festive. Retailers gave us the displays because we put ourselves in their shoes. Ultimately, demonstrating empathy for the retailer‘s fear of being stuck with overstock is the most compelling selling point to achieve this coveted display space.

And why is it so coveted? Because the easiest way to build your physical product brand is in a big display. Shoppers can hardly miss seeing your labels multiplied in the display. They become a virtual billboard for you brand. And all this happens when the store has the most traffic. And now this traffic is “tripping” over your brand! Think your brand will get noticed? You bet! But winning an OND display requires a multifaceted approach including advance timing, clever planning, added value and strict inventory control.

It also takes a comprehensive strategy in each and every store where you focus on improving your off-the-shelf sales during the year so your retail buyer can justify taking a chance on your brand. We advise our clients who are building brands to take this long-term view with the end game win of an OND display!

Happy Holidays to all you Brand Builders! See you on the floor next year in OND!

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) & Shelf Smarts courses to help consumer product brand builders achieve success. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular business site at www.thebarefootspirit.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.