When Brands And Resellers Don’t Stay In Sync – Everyone Loses

Ever watch a movie where the audio and the video are out of sync? It can be very annoying and unpleasant. How well is your brand being represented by your reseller channel? Are you getting all your messages across? In the most impactful way? At every digital touch point? When your brand is out of sync, it can be just as frustrating.

If you are like virtually every other company, your brand alignment with the channel is probably “suboptimal.” That’s the politically correct way to say it stinks.

Remember, the purpose of the reseller channel is to bring your message to local buyers so the shoppers buy more often and at a lower cost of acquisition. Yet, it is still a huge challenge to get manufacturer’s brand to look great on retailer websites.

Let’s look at this comparison:

retailerpresence

cpgcontent

Notice the CPG website is engaging, expressive and persuasive. Yet, the retail experience is poor. There’s virtually no information and the main brand points are missing.

Why does this happen?

There are several key reasons:

  1. Ecommerce websites are poorly designed to handle the new, rich-media merchandising content the brands want to use to promote their products online
  2. Moving that high quality HTML5-based content from manufacturers to retailers is a logistical nightmare. It is manual, time consuming and expensive and each retailer has to be handled differently. Each account is a custom workflow and process.
  3. The manufacturer’s brand managers are restricted in achieving their goals because the relationship between the manufacturer’s sales people, the rep firms and the category managers get in the way of efficient content distribution. Retailer logistics also hamper the flow.
  4. Ecommerce is still secondary for many manufacturers and they fail to recognize that webrooming (shopping online to buy in-store) is a huge part of the physical retail path to purchase. Plus, they often lack knowledge on ecommerce to make good decisions.

What’s the big deal?

How much does it matter that your brand looks bad at retail? Won’t the shoppers just select the product they already know anyway?

No. Actually, it is a big deal.

It costs a lot to create demand and get a shopper to visit a retailer’s site. Most resellers pay for traffic via product ads – so you want to engage consumers on every possible visit. Plus, the average new product launch costs $15 million (Source: Nielsen). You want to make sure that every time a shopper visits a reseller’s site, they get exposed to every possible persuasive message and convert at the highest possible rate.

Does a deeper, more persuasive message make a difference? Absolutely. Let’s take two examples: a B2B example and a B2C example.

In the B2B example, shoppers engage with more content when given the opportunity – by almost three minutes of additional brand engagement at the point of sale. This works in B2C, too. One Consumer Products Goods company in the condiments segment increased the conversion rate by 295% by delivering useful product content in their promotional coupon location.

How can you move forward?

There are pivotal actions a company can take to solve this brand problem.

  1. Lay it out. Sit with your teams and outline the benefits of keeping all your resellers in sync with your message. This is a good way to align your agenda and make it clear how important the problem is. Include in the analysis all the time you spend nagging resellers to keep their content up-to-date. If you are like most companies – that’s more than 10% of each rep’s time. This can be hundreds of thousands of dollars/year.
  2. Decide this is no longer acceptable. This is, believe it or not, the biggest step. You must recognize the problem of poor content synchronization is real and a problem you want to solve. The good news is the problem is solvable.
  3. Find a positive path forward. Seek out tools like SYNQY that automate the entire synchronization process and eliminate all the manual transactional costs in keeping the channel up to date.
  4. Start small. Find a good set of target partners to get up and running and act as a showcase to the other resellers.
  5. Go big. After you prove out the model, go big and never look back. After a short while, you will be amazed at how much time the sales team gets back, how much your brand synchronization improves and the kind of financial results you get once your resellers are promoting your products correctly online.

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