I recently attended the CPG Innovators Conference in northwest Arkansas, hosted by The Supplier Community and wanted to share the inspiration I found listening to the mix of founders from successful companies as well as those from start-ups who presented their new products to attendees. Here are just a few of the main take-aways.
The day kicked off with John James, an entrepreneur with an impressive track record. James was founder and CEO of Country Outfitter, an online seller of cowboy boots. Through this venture, James developed a content-driven online destination for all things country, and raised over $100 million in venture capital. In the last 18 months, he has started 12 companies through his venture production studio, Hayseed Ventures in Fayetteville, Ark.
1. Utilize content marketing to its fullest potential
James drove this point home with the Dollar Shave Club.com example, illustrating how content can drive a connection and have a lasting impact. The original DollarShaveClub.com YouTube video has about 24 million views to date and organic views are continuing to rise.
Other notable speakers included, Rick West, co-founder and CEO of Field Agent, who advised:
2. Pay attention to the importance of online reviews
West showed how positive reviews can boost sales of a product. Whether they ultimately purchase online or in store, as shoppers research and explore products online, reviews can sway that purchase decision.
I decided to test that theory and conducted an informal poll with my friends and family. “Do you read online reviews of products that you are contemplating purchasing?” I asked. “Yes!” was the overwhelming response. Not only do they want quality in the reviews, they want quantity of reviews.
One friend shared her recent online shopping experience for a hairdryer. She knew the features and the general price range she was looking for and searched several retailers, many brands and tons of models. Once she narrowed the selection down to three products at two online retailers, she actually eliminated one retailer/product simply because there were no online reviews.
Product innovators presented their innovations and talked about their successes and challenges in launching a new CPG product. A few products to be on the lookout for include:
Each of these innovators was looking to make a connection with their consumer and establish a relationship and experts talked about ways to do this through content and reviews. I look forward to checking in with these sites over the next few months to watch the innovations grow and hopefully take off in the market place. Have any recent innovations caught your attention? Please share them in the comments below or tweet me @SheSpeaksUp.