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Walmart Called. Now What?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Brands strive to make it big, play with the big boys, and have continued success. And many brands start out small, working on individual orders, hoping to one day be the supplier for a bigger brand. Once a smaller brand can get one of the big guys to latch on, success can come soon after. However, many brands don’t know how to go from being a smaller business to one that can turn around product — a lot of product — and become that success. But when Walmart calls, brands answer.

It’s known as the Walmart Effect; the point in time when a smaller brand is recognized by Walmart because it wants to offer the product in its locations. Seems like the BEST DAY EVER for smaller brands, and it is, but it also comes with a lot of change and a whole lot more stress. But when brands follow some simple suggestions, going from a local brand to a national one can be all positive.

Be on Time. This is Walmart, after all. The mammoth brand isn’t going to accept late deliveries and will move on to another brand if the first one isn’t time sensitive. It’s important for the smaller brand to understand the delivery date and work backwards to make it. If a brand misses a delivery to Walmart, it can be sure that it isn’t going to place another order, and many other brands are going to hear about the late delivery.

It’s Okay to Ask for Help. Most brands can’t go from 1 to 100 all by themselves, so it’s okay to call in the experts. Maybe it’s logistics help, maybe it's trucks, or maybe it’s a storage system. Whatever it is, ask for it, and at the end of the day, just get it done.

Change is Good. It’s almost inevitable that the current business model a small brand has will need to be updated once it makes it big. And the brand has to be open to this change; without it, Walmart may not place another order.

Look Past Dollar Signs. Walmart has a lot of options, so newer small brands can’t exactly play hardball. It’s not always about making a profit with this type of order, but instead about gaining exposure and recognition. Because if Walmart calls, there are surely other brands watching.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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