Every month, HSN receives more than 700 product submissions from entrepreneurs across America, vying to share their stories and get their products in front of HSN’s 90 million households. In an effort to elevate small businesses and entrepreneurs, HSN introduced its American Dreams initiative – a program designed to find and support innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs, and give them the HSN platform to share their product and their story. Here the team highlights a few best practices to follow to get your product on the leading entertainment and lifestyle retailer.
1. Share your story
An entrepreneur who shares the experiences on how they came up with their product and the challenges they experienced along the way, is going to resonate not only with the HSN team, but also with the customers that will ultimately buy their product. “We’re constantly looking for compelling new inventors with great products,” according to Bill Brand, HSN president. “The recipe to a successful launch on HSN is: a great product, great story and a great storyteller.”
2. Know your product and its worth
You are the inventor behind your product and know that the HSN team reviews a number of product submissions, so having a direct pitch that speaks to what your product does, the solutions it solves and how you came up with the idea will help the team in determining if it’s a fit for HSN. “Research is your key to success,” shared Dara Trujillo, VP, New Business Development, HSN. “Who is selling something similar in your space? Or why is your product so uniquely different from anything on the market and what should be the retail price,” adding that claims are also very important. “If you make a claim saying that your product ‘cleans out every type of dirt,’ you need to substantiate those claims by an independent lab and testing facility.”
3. Be open to feedback
Share your products with family, friends and better yet, total strangers! Strangers will give you their gut perspective on any improvements or adjustments that can be made before pitching it to potential retail buyers. HSN is looking for products that solve a problem, and putting your product in the hands of prospective users for feedback can help you work out any kinks before introducing it to a larger market.
4. Understand the product development process
Before any product launches on HSN, it has to be reviewed by HSN’s internal quality assurance, marketing and manufacturing teams. Each product has to be reviewed for functionality, have its packaged tested and approved and be able to be easily positioned to customers. Coming into HSN with a strong brand look, data to support its features, benefits and inventory will streamline the process of eventually launching on-air. That being said, HSN is also open and collaborative to initiating relationships with manufacturers and brand experts!
5. Know Your Target Audience
It is okay and encouraged to have a niche target market for your product. You can’t always be all things to all people, and being able to communicate who this product is best suited for and why, will help you in identifying the best marketplace for your brand and streamline its expansion moving forward.
It’s also important to be open to evolving your brand as you grow. As new technologies emerge and your customer changes, it’s vital to be nimble in adapting to the market as well.