Three Tips for Brands: How to Stand Out at Expo East

Nearly 30,000 attendees will flock to the Baltimore Convention Center to see the latest in natural products innovation with more than 1,500 brands vying for the attention of retailers, distributors, investors, and press. So how do you stand out?

Follow these three key tips to make the most of your time at Expo:

1. Do your homework

Prepare a sellable story in advance of the show. Busy retailers roaming the show floor are looking for facts that cut through the noise – give them a compelling reason why they should pay attention to your brand. Arm yourself with data points that support these fundamental aspects of your business:

  • Know your brand performance – Highlight your sales, share, velocity performance, and growth. Showing momentum in the past 52 or even 12 weeks can underscore your brand’s earning potential.
  • Know your retailer – Understand the assortment at target retailers. Review their mix of natural vs conventional products and how they position themselves compared to their competitors.
  • Know your competitor – Which brands are hot within your competitive set, and what unique features may be contributing to their growth? How do your brand’s attributes stack up?
  • Know your consumers – Who are your brand’s core consumers? How are they desirable to retailers? Use demographics and purchase-behavior data to support this.

2. Build a 30-second pitch

A trade show is rarely the best environment for an in-depth conversation. Be opportunistic and expect to have less than a minute to pique a buyer’s interest. Be sure your team is well versed on a concise 30-second pitch that hits briefly on these key points:

  • Showcase wins – Highlight successes and proof points that set you apart. You don’t have to be leading your category to do this. Maybe you’re the top-selling brand in the Southwest region or the fastest-growing Paleo-certified pizza dough.
  • Differentiate – Call out clear advantages your product offers vs other competitors. This could be a dietary trend, such as plant-based or Paleo; it could be product transparency or your corporate social responsibility platform, such as fair-trade or B-Corp standards.
  • Underscore the opportunity – Spell out the role your product will play in the retailer’s assortment and the opportunity it represents. For example, if you’re a fresh-snacking brand and the retailer is under-represented in this category, show them how you fill this gap and help them capitalize on this high-growth area.

3. Sum it up

Walking endless aisles of booths can all start to blend together. Leave visitors with something simply and memorable that relates back to your sell story – a thoughtful one-line takeaway.

For example: “We’re a better-for-you version of [nostalgic, conventional snack brand], and we’re capitalizing on grain-free, dairy-free, and on-the-go snacking trends.”

If you can’t sum it up into one sentence, it’s too complicated. If you can get people to remember just this one line of your pitch, chances are you’re going to win.


Share your pitch for a chance to have your brand featured by SPINS!

We’re on the hunt for brands with The Natural Edge:

  • Stop by SPINS booth #340
  • Snap a shot of your product in the SPINS CAM
  • Tell us why you've got The Natural Edge (what differentiates your product)

Entries will be streamed on SPINS social, with "best-of" products featured in SPINS' Expo recap, seen by retailers and press across the industry – plus, get a copy of your photo for use in your own marketing.

Submit your entry now to fast track your product photo at the show!

And find out more about SPINS' presence at Expo HERE.