Hardware to Retail: Interview with SmashToast

In our efforts to educate up-and-coming hardware startups to the ever-changing retail environment, we looked inward and conducted an interview with a Retailbound client – Smashtoast – getting direct insights from their Founder, Barnabas Helmy. As a hardware startup founded in early 2014 based in Springfield, IL – Smashtoast created a compact universal remote for…

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Being a Consumer Product Startup in Today’s Retail Ecosystem

This blog post was inspired by yet another example of a promising consumer product startup (especially in tech) that’s closing its doors. In this case it happens to be Doppler Labs. While hindsight is 20/20, there’s more than enough history of failed hardware/consumer product startups to avoid the fundamental pitfalls. In fact, I’ve talked about…

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Working with US retailers As a Foreign Product Brand

Because the majority of product brands & startups we speak with are headquartered outside the US, we thought it made sense to share some tips that are all-too-often overlooked. Typical Major Obstacles Being a product startup already has some major challenges. Being a “foreign” startup or product brand has some unique hurdles: Consumers typically don’t…

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Hardware Startups: It’s Always Been About the Consumer

This post was inspired in part by a recent article titled “Why Do So Many Hardware Startups Fail” which pointed at a “lack of consumer demand” as the main cause for successful crowdfunded products never surviving into retail. Many of these hardware startups raised millions of dollars through crowdfunding, VCs, angel investors, and other sources…

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Achieving Scaleable Growth in Retail

Let’s Set the Stage You’ve built a unique product, can financially handle POs, have a well-defined retail strategy to minimize risk, and have established interest from some key retail partners. You’ve made it further than most product entrepreneurs and it’s time to start executing your way towards scaleable channel revenue. And here’s where this article…

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Where Are All the Retail Buyer Jobs Going?

If you’re involved in the retail industry it’s hard to escape the news about retail cut-backs, layoffs, and the shrinking brick-and-mortar scene. This article discusses the changing job environment for category managers and retail buyers who now find their skill-set underutilized (i.e. unemployed) and where their skills will likely be utilized in this new retail…

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A New Retail Growth Model for Product Startups

This blog post talks about the explosion of product startups and why the retail growth model at Retailbound is an answer to complete this “ecosystem” of turning these startups into stable companies. Today’s Scenario: There’s never been a better time to be a consumer product entrepreneur. Manufacturing has improved for small scale companies. Crowdfunding provides…

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Let’s Save Your Hardware Startup from Retail

This article is inspired by conversations I have on a regular basis with startup CEOs, CMOs, or VP of Sales regarding their product businesses trying to expand business in the US retail market. Many startup executives are very intelligent and motivated people; however, mistakes are made not for a lack of available advice or strategy…

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Retail Growth: Chicken or Egg Scenario

As always, my LinkedIn articles are meant to be solution-oriented based on my conversations with smaller consumer product manufacturers. Today’s article deals with a challenge that many young product brands face when it becomes time to start investing more into retail growth. It’s commonly referred to as the “chicken or the egg” challenge…. let me…

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5 Top Reasons to Use Crowdfunding to Launch a New Product

If you are not using crowdfunding to launch at least one product per year, you are missing out on billions of dollars of risk-free revenue and millions of new customers. This is true whether you are an established company used to traditional product launches or a funded startup looking to come out with a bang.…

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