How HEX Performance Used SPINS Data to Build Their Winning Retail Pitch

September 2, 2020
by David


For most shoppers, buying laundry detergent is part of a routine. Whether they’re buying the same brand over and over or grabbing whatever is on sale, shoppers know what to expect in the detergent aisle. The team at Hex Performance is changing that thanks to an innovative product and a strategic use of data. 

Finding A Solution for a Common Problem

The laundry detergent category is $9 billion market, with an overwhelming majority of sales coming from 5 big brands. So breaking through to gain attention from customers and retailers alike has been a huge undertaking for this growing brand. Recently, Brian Allen, head of sales at HEX Performance, chatted with SPINS head of marketing, Erin Raese, about the detergent brand’s journey from an incidental discovery to using data to connect with retailers. (Watch the full interview here)

HEX Performance began when Drew Westervelt, a former professional lacrosse player, created a cleaner to keep the lacrosse field turf safe and free of harmful bacteria. He realized that turf and the synthetic fabrics in workout clothing share a similar composition and decided to turn his cleaner into a detergent. The bacteria he set out to kill was the same bacteria that clings workout apparel and causes odor—and often causes shoppers to discard their gear after a few months. This meant shoppers could keep their workout clothes for longer. 

HEX Performance was uniquely poised to solve this common problem, but Allen and team needed retailers and customers to realize they were bringing a new, valuable solution to the market. 

You Have to Tell a Story That Benefits the Retailer

As a growing company, HEX Performance didn’t have an endless marketing budget. Every dollar needed to be spent strategically and have a clear payoff. With 60% of laundry detergent purchases happening in larger outlets, Allen knew that HEX needed to be on more shelves—and the only way to get there was with a compelling brand story. Allen turned to SPINS to start crafting their story.

“We needed to uncover some nuggets of information that allowed us to stand apart. We have to be able to create an incrementality story with the retailer, so they view us as meaningful for their business.”

Brian Allen
Head of Sales, Hex Performance

“We needed to uncover some nuggets of information that allowed us to stand apart. We have to be able to create an incrementality story with the retailer, so they view us as meaningful for their business.” Allen explains that incrementality was crucial because it proved their product was an added benefit to the retailer’s business—not just sliding dollars around from one brand to another that would leave their sales total flat. The retailer needed to see long-term potential for a bump in sales. SPINS had the perfect data solution. 

Building a Winning Retail Pitch Together

HEX bought SPINS JumpStart program, which includes dedicated hours with our growth solutions team. Together, they used this time to identify the type of story they needed to tell in order to catch a retailer’s attention. The story, they realized, needed to focus on incremental sales, showcasing how shoppers would use a unique, specialized product like HEX in addition to their existing detergents. Retailers don’t want to see the same dollars moving from one brand to another; they need proof that a new product will drive shoppers to spend more.  

Armed with this SPINS data, HEX put together a presentation that gave retailers a detailed view of their revenue potential. Allen and his team were able to show what incremental sales HEX could bring with just 6 feet of shelf space and translate that to new dollars for the retailer. Their brand story wasn’t just about the origin of the detergent; it was now about the consumer problem it was solving. Now they had the facts to prove it, and the story is resonating. 

Allen says that since the HEX team began focusing on incrementality in their conversations, retailers have thanked them for taking this approach. Unlike other brands who are merely asking for more space and more distribution, HEX Performance is showing retailers how they will benefit in real dollars. 

For all brands, building relationships with retailers is an important first step to earning their spot on the shelves and reaching an audience. Find out how SPINS can help you get the data and sales planning support you need to tell your winning retail story. 

Photo courtesy of HEX Performance