How to Sell to Retail: Section 1: LOOK BIG, Part 1, Identity #selltoretail

In my recent blog – How to Sell to Retail – Overview of Section 1 – LOOK BIG I gave a brief introduction to the 3-part plan to “looking big”. In this blog I’m going to dig a little deeper into the first part of the section on LOOK BIG and talk about the importance of your business IDENTITY.

Why your business identity is so important if you want to look big

Your business identity includes all the ingredients that make the vital first impression on all those who come across it – of course this includes your ideal customers, retail buyers.

Within your identity you need to focus on:

  • Having a mission statement that clearly articulates exactly what your business is about
  • Using that mission statement to really engage your team, suppliers, customers and wider stakeholder network AND to validate decisions
  • Leveraging the “softer” aspects of the business’ “personality” and culture to demonstrate to potential clients that you have the right approach and attitude towards the sensitive issues of ethics, environment and sourcing
  • Defining your positioning, and understanding the effect positioning can have on the expectations of those who deal with you

These are the foundations of your business identity and through these you will project an impression on all those who notice your business, so the key is to make sure it is good, credible and you can “look big”, or at least look sufficiently credible to work with the big players!

Why your brand and visual identity needs to make the right impact

As I mentioned in the summary blog “Dress for the job you want” – if you think about all the words that articulate the business as it’s personality then your brand and visual identity expresses that with it’s “style”. It’s all about the “presentation” aspect of positioning, so, looking at your visual identity and brand image in detail. You need to consider:

  • The importance of having the right presentation
  • How “Brand” is a key contributor to the ability to “hit above your weight”
  • Why all outward representation of your brand, both physical materials and also online content, can make a difference to how you are perceived.

How to make sure you’re giving the RIGHT impression and making impact with your business identity

If you want to make sure you’re giving out all the right messages you need to spend a bit of time thinking about how you express and share such things as

  • Your mission statement
  • Your culture, values  and ethics
  • Your positioning

When you are selling to bigger companies these things matter.

Then, building from these foundations, you should also now appreciate the importance of the creation and deployment of your visual identity, considering how perception of your brand is influenced by your brand image. You now have the ability to review your branding and be asking yourself:

  • Is your brand identity congruent with your mission, positioning and values?
  • Does your brand make you “look big”?
  • Is your branding appropriately and consistently deployed?

The branding elements link tightly to the next part in this section, presence. So in my next blog in this series I’ll explore how aspects of your business presence are closely connected to the deployment of your visual identity.

Thanks for reading and in the meantime if you’d like to learn more around the topic you can sign up for 52 FREE weekly tips on selling to retailers via or you can pre-order my book, “How to Sell to Retail: Secrets of Getting your Product to Market” via which will be published and available from 3rd February 2013.


About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
This entry was posted in how to sell, selling to retailers, The Retail Champion. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to How to Sell to Retail: Section 1: LOOK BIG, Part 1, Identity #selltoretail

  1. Pingback: How to Sell to Retail: Section 1: LOOK BIG, Part 2, Presence #selltoretail | Clare Rayner: The Retail Champion

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