You can find a few Watkins products on the shelf in certain grocery, drug and discount stores around the country.
While the numbers are small, this does create curiosity and lead to some questions that people ask.
Most network marketing and direct sales companies don’t do this, so what’s up?
Some of the questions that have come up include:
Are all the products on the store shelves?
Is Watkins planning on selling everything retail?
What does that mean for associates?
Are they going to get rid of us? If not, why are they doing this?
These are all valid questions and ones that most of the leaders in the opportunity initially questioned when this program began.
A few years ago, the company did a market study to find the percentage of people in North America who had access to the products. That study found that 99.6% of people in North America had never heard of Watkins or didn’t know where to find their favorite products. In an effort to remedy this issue, Watkins corporate started a “brand awareness program”.
The brand awareness program places a few of our products in selected retail stores in an effort to get the word out about them. In many areas, people remember the products from the old days when door to door sales were common, but aren’t aware that you can still get them. Word of mouth travels fast, which is exactly what Watkins wants to happen with this program. This program has boosted sales for associates overall and allowed the company to develop some new products that would not have been possible without it.
Here are some of the facts about this program:
Watkins, throughout it’s history, has always had some products in stores on retail shelves. This isn’t anything new.
There are a very limited number of products (often less than 10) in retail stores—like Walmart, Target, etc. The number of products will always be very limited and only available in selected stores. The types of products are picked strategically and placed with the goal to increase the overall sales of Watkins products and to increase sponsoring in that area. Since most sales and all sponsoring is done through associates that means we, the associates, gain the most from this program!
So why does the company bother with Walmart and other retail stores? Because the big chains have thousands of stores and there is potential for millions of people to see the brand even if they don’t buy any of the products in those stores. Seeing the Watkins brand name in stores or magazines makes people more receptive when YOU show them a catalog of ALL of our products. It’s about credibility.
You might know that in the 1950′s and 1960′s, Watkins was a household name. When people thought about buying vanilla, they automatically thought about Watkins. It was a “first to mind” brand name, which is a very profitable place to be in retail sales. This was due in part to an army of door to door sales reps who constantly kept the name and the brand out there.
The goal of brand awareness is to keep the Watkins name out there constantly, given that we live in a fast paced and hurried society, with thousands more competitive products than there were at one time. When someone needs to buy vanilla, they automatically, subconsciously think of Watkins Vanilla instead of a competitor like McCormick! This will be huge for all associates who position themselves to take advantage of this higher brand awareness!
Remember, too, that people don’t always buy products from the cheapest place they can purchase them. When you last bought Coke or Pepsi, did you buy it at the cheapest place in town or did you get it where and when it was most convenient for you? If price were the only consideration, then all convenience, grocery and drug stores wouldn’t carry Coke and Pepsi.
The bottom line is that having a few products in select retail stores has had a beneficial affect on associate’s sales. It helps build credibility and strengthen the network marketing opportunity that we have.
I spoke with a prospect about three months ago who brought up the fact that they saw Watkins on the shelf in Target and other places. I asked them what they thought of that. They said to them, it gave the products even more credibility, if they were good enough for these major stores (who watch sales very closely) to keep some on hand.
This is something that all associates can take advantage of. Leverage the exposure that the Watkins products are getting, and build your business around an ever more powerful and recognized brand!