One product is enough. A product line makes it easier.
No one wants to hear from a retailer about vendor rationalization (in other words, limiting the number of vendors a retailer will work with). However, it’s a reality and one that us one product companies face.
Put yourself in the retailer’s shoes: they want to work with as few vendors as possible to get their job effectively done. The more vendors they have to deal with, the more time and resources they are spending. If they can minimize their resources by only working with companies with an expansive product line while achieving their financial goals, then that is how they are going to spend their time. So, how do you (and me) convince them they need to work with us? We offer them a product that is going to fill a need in their assortment, contribute to their top and/or bottom line margins, we are pleasant to work with, we do not cause problems (i.e. we are never late with fulfillment), and we go “un-noticed” for the most part (except when we are sharing our amazing press features). We need our retailers to like us, our story and our product. You can also play up the “women/minority-run” company card if the retailer is committed/has a mission to support such businesses.
Of course an expanded product line helps. But it is not a necessity.
Readers: What is your product(s)? What are your obstacles? Any success stories to share?