Staying current in any market is challenging, especially when you consider an industry like ours, where consumers’ tastes are so quickly evolving and responding to cultural shifts in society, such as the body-positivity movement. However,this industry is also special in that there are a multitude of different creative approaches a manufacturer can take when producing a product line.
Future adult product lines must have far fewer redundant products taking up shelf space. Redundant product spread purchases out, making it nearly impossible to have a true top-seller.
When consumers are faced with too many options for a single SKU, it makes it harder to determine how successful a SKU launch really is. Sales start spreading out over different variables, manipulating important data you need to evaluate product performance. Keeping a focused product collection makes it easier to present your product on multiple platforms. As online sales continue to grow, it’s important to ensure that your brand consistency translates accordingly. The more consistency a brand can establish, the more relatable they are and easier to identify among competitors.
Filler products sabotage top sellers. A strong brand doesn’t need to come out with hundreds of new options, multiple times a year to prove its worth. Having the ability to focus a brand’s product line makes it much easier to sell to the customer, but also for the customer to be happy with it.
A manufacturer never knows what resources their retailers have to sell their product, or what resource challenges they face. It is possible for manufacturers to become ingrained in their own processes and procedures, and work without a true glimpse of what the retailer’s day-to-day business looks like. Retail space is finite and valuable! Producing mass product releases is no longer a viable strategy for the current retail landscape.
Lastly, there is innovation: a trend and challenge in and of itself. So many brands cripple themselves in the quest of finding the next “holy grail” product. For some brands, this is the core of their business. They have focused on a single item and put the majority of their resources behind making it a success. Every industry needs these innovators, and as much as the innovator is needed, so is the tried-and-true producer of classics.
Finding the balance is key, and a consistent challenge. Don’t sacrifice the tried-and-true products you are known for in the search for the next “Big Thing.” Innovation also comes with additional costs that may not come into consideration in the initial stages of conception. New product development takes a lot of exposure and education to become established. We all know both of these things take time and money, on both the manufacturing level and the store level as well. Staying current and identifying new trends will always be a challenge for manufacturers and retailers. It’s a fun and exciting opportunity for a brand to identify itself, and for retailers to create the store experience of their choice.