Retailer-Friend or Foe

November 21, 2006

In today’s environment if you distribute your product(s) through retailers should you consider them friends or foes?   I would submit to you that they are neither.  Rather they should be your partner.  Without either of you your products would not get sold.  You need to market and manufacture the product and these partners need to market and sell your products.

Proctor and Gamble, arguably the best marketing company in the world, realized this partnership arrangement was necessary years ago.  They even established an office in Bentonville, Ark the home of Wal Mart.  This was done well before any other manufacturer.  This office has worked closely with Wal Mart in almost every business area effecting both P&G and Wal Mart.  Now dozens of Companies have offices in Bentonville.

A more recent example is Pepsico.  Pepsi is introducing a product called Fuelosophy in Whole Food stores.  This product will not mention Pepsico in its packaging and is targeted specifically to the Whole Foods health conscience customer.  So, here is an example where a major manufacturer has actually developed a product specifically to be distributed at a “partner” retailer. 

So, how do you become partners with your customers?   Ask them.  They will tell you what you need to do better and how you can work together so you both benefit.  You are in this together… so, why not “combine” forces and really make your relationship productive?

Rich

Bizvice:  Strategy, Marketing & Entrepreneurship

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