ALL Brand Relationships Affect the Bottom Line

When we think of brand relationships, we most often think about Marketing and Sales.

Marketing manages the relationship between the brand and the consumer, and the Sales team is responsible for the relationship between the brand and the retailer.  These two relationships really drive bookings, sell-through and even re-orders.

Every department should focus on the relationships that they are building and how they interact with each other. Brand Relationships

  1. Field Service Reps (FSR) – I am cheating here a little bit, because an FSR most often falls under the umbrella of Marketing.  These tech reps are on the road daily, and are the friendly face of a brand or business. They manage relationships with retail staff as well as the end consumer at events. This truly drives sell-through and repeat orders.
  2. Customer Service Reps (CSR) – CSRs manage the retailer relationship from bookings to shipment release to repeat orders. A good CSR is able to do suggestive selling when there are back orders or holes in inventory. Plus, they manage the sales rep relationship to increase sales on the back end.
    We had worked with a company that spent a lot of marketing dollars, but yet had the worst CSR team I have ever met.  They were considered the lowest on the org chart, and it showed. Their morale was low, and they treated customers on the other end of the phone line with disrespect.  As a ‘marketing supplier’ I was frustrated, because it didn’t matter how much in marketing dollars were spent, if the brand experience for the end customer was going to be a terrible experience. One negated the other.
  3. Credit – How a customer/retailer feels during the process of setting up an account, fixing warranty issues, or collecting payments sets the tone for the long-term relationship.  If a credit clerk makes it difficult or treats the customer like a number there is a bad brand experience. This is an opportunity to find out their circumstances, make it personal and make the relationship sustainable.
  4. Finance – This is more about internal relationships. How an accounting department manages efficiencies in all departments can increase the ROI. When every person feels like they are making a difference in how a business is run and can see the benefits, they will work together towards a common goal.
  5. Operations – This is the most forgotten relationship. Proper management of product shipments and inventory keeps everyone happy, from CSRs, to sales reps to retailers and  to the end consumer. How suppliers are treated has a trickle-down effect throughout an organization making everyone feel valuable.

It is about making it easy to do business with your company no matter who is on the receiving end of the relationship.  Even a bad situation can be made better by a cheerful attitude and by being a solution based organization.  When word gets out that you are a business that respects relationships, you will not only have your pick of the talent pool, but you will have created the recipe for success. Don’t forget – it starts at the top!

Make it easy to do business!

Download the PDF: Brand Relationships Affect the Bottom Line

 

What Creates The Total Brand Experience?

Build relationships with retailers and consumers through multiple touch-points to create the TOTAL brand experience.

The Brand Experience Diagram

In-Store
Displays: Floor, wall or table-top displays have been proven to increase sales by upwards of 45% or more. Having a section that stands out from the clutter will have people looking at your product before the competitors.
Promotions: In-store contests or a Gift with Purchase (GWP) is a great way to introduce your brand or product to new customers as well as build brand loyalty.

Sales Tools and PKs
Kits and product knowledge sessions for the floor staff give the tools and education they need to sell your product with confidence. Creating sales incentives will keep your brand and product top of mind with the sales team.

Seeding
Seeding your product to the right influencers will drive word of mouth business, build product reviews online and create photography for social feeds.
For example, if your product is for a specific industry such as Kayaking, develop relationships with Kayak instructors and organizations/clubs.If the instructors love the product and wear it on the job, they will recommend your product to each of their students.

PR and Media
Building relationships with media will help tell the right story and will build trust with retailers and your potential fans.
Co-op/MDF: Local advertising helps drive traffic into the retailer to find your product. Brands and retailers usually split the cost of a MDF program 50-50 up to 5% of their total bookings (orders). This is a great way to support your retailer and help drive sell-through plus ensure an increased booking the following season.

Digital Storytelling
Create a digital asset kit for your retailers so that they can post your brand’s stories on their website and social accounts, as well as be used for in-store screens.
Social Currency:
Create innovative storytelling that allows fans to engage with your brand in a different way and allows new fans a sense of discovery.

Events
Creating brand activations at a local event in a community or at one of your retailers helps build brand awareness and brand loyalty.

Future blog posts will expand on each of these touch-points to give you ideas of what you can do create your TOTAL brand experience.

(Original Post : October 2012 / Revised December 2016)