22 Feb, 2024
18-19 March 2024
10 April 2024
4 March 2024
As you are planning your next meeting with your distributors, be sure to go over your checklist and do a thorough review of your accounts. Every meeting counts and making the most of them means knowing what they are looking for. Do everything you can to make your beverage as desirable as possible and project confidence in your product's ability to succeed (or continue to succeed) in your target markets. Here are a few 'must-know' tips to help get your products into the portfolios that matter most:
When contacting distributors for the first time--if you can't get a referral, use a success story - distributors love to bet on "winners!"
While the brand owner may think you have the greatest opportunity for success, the distributor may not see the strategic fit. Try to find a niche that is not covered by the distributor's current portfolio.
Distributors will work harder and do a better job if they "want you," rather than you "wanting them."
If you are the 3rd Argentine Wine or the 4th Vodka, your chance of success in that house is far less than being first.
Selecting a beerhouse (A-B or M-C) for new wine & spirits and/or selecting a wine & spirits house for new craft beers (Wirtz or Glazers) can lead to better results due to FOCUS, time, energy and share-of-mind.
If you can't find a distributor who will work your brand, then consider doing it yourself.
Just shipping the brand into the warehouse does not guarantee success. With so many brands in any given house, you need to work every market with the sales force--once per quarter is a minimum visit. In core markets, once per month is a good visit schedule. Make sure you get to retail--don't spend your entire time in the oﬀice--sales are generated on the street.
Optimising the business opportunity requires a good understanding of the market dynamics at play and the pressures sellers are under. See different characteristics of UK multiple sectors for the potential supplier?
If your product quality is inconsistent, the consumer will tell you and your hard work of gaining distribution will be for nought. Get it right the first time, especially with the number of new craft brewers, wineries and craft spirits companies coming out with new products.
Develop marketing and sales promotion programs that directly impact the product and assist the sales force in gaining distribution. These can be price discounts, refunds/IRC's, display enhancers, advertising/social media, on-package promotions, continuity programs, sales/trip incentives and consumer value-added promotions (where legal).
Email is good, but a phone call can be better because it's more personal. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and websites are all vehicles that should be considered for communications.
It is your #1 asset besides your time. If you run into a roadblock with your current distributor, you need to review your options. It's always good to be friendly with your competitor on the street; you never know when you have to interview them for your brand.
It protects both the brand owner and the distributor in the event there are irreconcilable diﬀerences.
This is a good starting point for both you and the distributor. It outlines both of your annual commitment to any given brand--it also can be reviewed and updated quarterly or semi-annually.
Most good ideas come from distributor sales personnel, retailers, consumers and brand champions--persons who act as your brand ambassadors when you're not in that market.
They work hard for your brand all year--don't just thank them at Christmas time--do it regularly. Hand-written notes are read and posted in the salesroom. Try to make a sales meeting and personally thank the guys/gals on the front line.
International and Domestic Submission deadline is February 22. If you are looking to grow your brand in 2024, looking for product feedback, or looking to get in front of real trade buyers. It's time to enter your wines in the London Competitions. Here's how to enter.