When it comes to making lemonade out of life’s lemons, Toyin Odulate got the recipe down. Thanks to an unfortunate accident with her hair, she was able to turn that mishap into gold through her mama’s secret recipe (yes mama knows best), which led to the birth of Olori Cosmetics.

However, if you have been in the entrepreneurship game, it does not take you long to realize that just because you have a magic product that works, people will automatically want to buy.

Let’s face it, ladies, if your product was a dude who wants to take you out on a date, won’t you want him to some serious swag before he can get your digits?

As the Country MD of Danone Nutricia and over a decade of managing international brands like Loreal, Toyin was able to get her kitchen start-up cosmetic brand to become a renown brand revolutionizing the cosmetic industry across key Sub-Saharan markets.

Here are her top 7 to-dos to get customers to notice your products and fall in love (by choice or by force lol).

Be Bodacious

You can only have what you can imagine, so dream big. Make an ideal list of things you want your product or service to offer; the names of people you want using it and where you want your products sold.

Harrods anyone???

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

If your goal is to go to the emerald city, you need a plan to get you there. This is where parts of your business plan or ideal list start to come to life.

A strategy forms the basis for a product roadmap and it also helps you focus on a specific target market instead of being everything to everyone.

Innovate, Innovate, Innovate

If you want them coming back for more, you have to keep things interesting. The content of the product can remain the same but you can experiment with different packaging.

A perfect example is Body Shop; they are constantly updating their packaging making it more attractive and dynamic.

Become a Conqueror

You need to plan to dominate the shelf space at the stores you product is stocked. A strong shelf visibility ensures your product is seen and boosts buyer’s confidence.

You may not have the liquid to execute a separate gondola for your brand like Coca-Cola but you can be creative with colors that will instantly attract the customer’s eye.

Strive to get your products placed on eye-level and horizontally. Category captainship is your ultimate goal.

Label Me

Make sure you create a label that centers on your core information which include the name, what it does/purpose and what’s in it. You have to make sure that your products are positioned with the labels facing the consumer.

This makes it easier for customers to decide within a second to pick your product. So ensure you conduct routine visits to shops that stock your products.  

Play the Incentive Game and Stay in the Game:

When you do business, you have to always keep in mind that people want to know what’s in it for them. Stores hardly stock your products based on the brilliance of it, they want to make money at the end of the day.

So how much of your margins are you willing to give in order to make sure your products are visible. Make margins work for you. The same goes for customers, reward their purchase with incentives. However, avoid being too generous so you don’t ruin the market.  

LinkedIn isn’t for show:

Networks are meant to be leveraged, they are not meant to sit in your LinkedIn contacts list. The worst thing that can happen is that they say no but then again what if they say yes.

So go for it, pitch your product/business, arrange a meet up, send free samples and basically do all you can to make your business succeed.

Don’t be afraid to dream big, let is scare you then get over it and get to work.


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