DISTRIBUTORS: PLAYING ROLES BEYOND RESPONSIBILITIES

DISTRIBUTORS: PLAYING ROLES BEYOND RESPONSIBILITIES

February 18, 2019

By Nafisa Nawal Khan

Distributors, by definition, are the ones who stock your product, wait for orders and deliver it. But in reality, there is more than what meets the eye. 

POWER OF DISTRIBUTORS

Distributors have much control over a large part of customer outlook on a brand. They play big roles in major parts of businesses like sales, marketing, building brand values and so on. Although most of their work goes unnoticed, it cannot be denied that they are the gems hiding in the sea.

If the power of distributors is properly harnessed, they can add great value to a brand. Brands can benefit from the advertising and sales staff of distributors more than their competition if they play their cards right. Significant attention will be given to the sales of your product and results will be better. Again, this same attention will decrease drastically if brands start minimizing the distributors’ income opportunity resulting in a glaring decrease in sales. To perform better than their competitors, brands should utilize this opportunity lest their competitors will.

Every brand should remember that being an asset to its distributor is an investment that benefits both parties. People see the responsibilities of distributors but they overlook the roles they have beyond it. Decisions in distribution strategies have significant implications for product margins and profits, marketing budgets, fine retail pricing and sales management practices.

ROLE OF DISTRIBUTORS IN MARKETING

Even in marketing efforts, the power of a distributor helps a great deal. When selling a product, it is crucial that it reaches to the target audience. Distributors can ensure the products reach the stores that are perfect for the target customers and make more products available in more markets. This can be done easily since distributors have contacts and business relationships with a large variety of sellers. They know where the products can flourish and act accordingly. Moving over to promotions, advertising of a specific product at retail level is sometimes more efficiently handled by distributors through in-store promotions, coupons and so on. Strong distributors can also make financing easier for customers. They can provide advantageous rates to increase sales. This helps both the distributor and the brand. On the other hand, distributors have always been a good source of customer service. They usually have their own personnel and communication facilities to provide excellent customer service. Providing such service benefits the brand image as well as sales. So, it should be noted that enough incentive should be provided to those distributors who are capable of doing so. Above all, distributors have all the information any brand needs for market research. Be it trends, customer feedback or the updates on competitors, a distributor knows it all. The market is his backyard so such information is like an everyday-gossip. Such information is vital for brands in a highly competitive environment. They not only can find out flaws of the brand’s products but also move towards getting the features the customer wants in them. Thus, it can be stated that a smart distribution strategy is key to successful marketing. 

DISTRIBUTORS’ INFLUENCE IN BRANDING

Brand values are influenced by distributors as well. It should be kept in mind that distributors are the ones engaging with a large portion of customers. They have the potential to form good customer impressions on any brand. If they focus on just selling the product of a brand, customer relationship and brand value will be null. In the competitive market, it is now necessary to have better relationships with customers. Customers do not want to be pushed around, rather pampered. If they have a good experience with a brand, they will come back for more. The better the connection remains with customers, the better the brand value they hold. To get a grip on this advantage, brands should focus on distributors as their asset.

ROLES DISTRIBUTORS SHOULD LOOK INTO FOR SELF-DEVELOPMENT

Observing all the fields where a distributor can contribute for a brand, it can be said that distributors are not just representatives but custodians of the brands. For profit of both parties, brands should not be the only ones contributing to their relationship. Distributors, themselves, should prove that they are worth the effort brands take. To get brands investing in their capabilities, they should also step up their game.

To upgrade, distributors need to take the change of time into consideration. In this era of technology, more and more buyers are appearing online. More and more numbers of industrial buyers now start their query on Google or other research engines, order online, receive shipments and get the job done. To capture this market, the first step distributors should take is creating a simple yet well designed website. Any confusing concept can lead to decrease in buyers; so every aspect of the website should be well thought out. The product pages in the websites should be backed up by contents and helpful guidance. Blogs are ideal for such purposes. Google’s algorithm is more likely to show a helpful page than a product one. Learning is key to an effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and the advantage of it should be taken.  Basically, online visitors look for specific answers to their questions. Apart from websites, distributors can use tactful emails, promote digital customer service, gather and use data effectively.

COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS CAN GO BEYOND PROFITS

At the end of the day, it is evident that for both brands and distributors to succeed, a symbiotic relationship is required where one benefits the other. It is always a win-win situation of manufacturers going out of their way and help distributors improve their game. Investing in technology to enhance the effectiveness of distributors and helping them develop their processes will ultimately bring greater results.

Ultimately, it can be understood that it is highly profitable to optimize the role of a distributor that lies beyond the responsibilities. Forming a strong relationship among the two can result in a lifelong partnership. When a lifelong partnership like this is formed, it will be undoubtedly adorned with profitability and prosperity. 

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