Prepping Your Business for Overnight Success in a World of Kardashian Endorsements
After spending months — or in many cases, years — toiling over the many aspects of bringing a product to life, it’s every retailer’s dream for that product to be adopted by consumers with hefty enthusiasm for their business. In the past, this excitement was likely to build gradually over time through word-of-mouth endorsements or planned placements in new brick-and-mortar locations. Today, however, it’s possible for retailers to be rocked overnight by unplanned or unexpected jolts in order volume — and many aren’t prepared for the aftermath of simply having too much demand for their product.
Many retailers have experienced this phenomenon after an appearance on ABC’s popular show "Shark Tank," which allows entrepreneurs to pitch their products or ideas to investors. Others meet unanticipated fame after a celebrity discovers their product and posts about it to hundreds of thousands of social media followers. Sometimes, a marketing campaign put out by the retailer itself simply reaches a far greater audience than expected.
In today’s world of celebrity endorsements and viral campaigns, overnight success can quickly crumble business plans, inventory counts and a customer’s buying experience. Karl Stark, chief executive of Avondale Strategic Partners, a strategic advisory firm focused on building and growing companies, said, “we talk about catastrophic failure. Catastrophic success is equally an issue.” Catastrophic success occurs when retailers are unprepared for a surge in orders that results from unplanned or unanticipated promotional activity. So, what can retailers do to ensure their own rapid success doesn’t lead to disgruntled customers or, even worse, their demise?