18 April 2016

The Next Great Brand

By Hector Saulnier | hector@bevproconsulting.com

You know you have a great brand and you have found a local agent that has set up a meeting with the Provincial Liquor board. Great!  Or is it?  Have you done your homework or has the agent done their homework?  Well let’s hope so because you only have one chance to make a first impression.

So what are you going to tell them or sell them in the 45 minutes you have in front of the Buyer?

You will probably introduce your company, years in business, expertise, success you have had in other markets, how your product stacks up in the category.  How you have learned from past success or failures and now how you will bring all this together with the local agents expertise to ....... Times up.  What was the result did you get the sale or did you get to a position that they wanted to know more? 

In my time in meeting with agents and suppliers from around the world I could quickly tell which ones I should be interested to work with, that I believed would bring value to the category and help me succeed at doing my job.  In those cases I was always interested in continuing to explore developing a possible win-win relationship.

In other cases, I met suppliers and agents that had an interesting product but did not know the market, the category players, possible case sales, how the product could be positioned to the customers in our market, did not know or understand the liquor board’s timelines for listings or promotional programs.  In many a meeting I would have to try to explain what they needed to know and be prepared to do for consideration in the market and sure enough after the meeting at some point the agent would submit a listing application and then be surprised when it was rejected.

When your considering entering into a new market, you need to understand the market and the customers yes, but you also need to understand the motivations of the gate keepers  (the Buyers).  Do they have a listing review schedule? Do they submit product calls?  How far in advance do they schedule promotional programs?  What promotional programs would best for your type of product?  How big is the category (# of brands), what are the case sales for the brands in the category?  Rank them.  Do you know who the bottom 10% are?  Do you believe that in the first year your case sales would be in the top 40%?  Based on your forecasted case sales what would be your dollar investment to achieve this forecast?  What promotional programs with the Liquor Board would you invest in and when to achieve this plan?  Does your plan just steal share or does it also grow the category? 

The Buyer is interested when they can see that you understand how to position your brand for success and help them grow or premiumize the category.  This is step 1, next what is the plan for future growth forecast the trend for the next 3 years and possible brand expansion what does that mean.

So you know you have a great brand, and you know you have what it takes to succeed, but do you have the right understanding of what the buyer is looking for in a partner to help them succeed.  The category mix changes every year the bottom 10% is always at risk, coming prepared to present your proposal in a way that demonstrates you are a proactive partner can open the door to exploring a win-win business partnership.

Achieving success with your brand in the Canadian market requires a strong understanding of the market, customers and consumers.  Navigating this can be challenging and we are here to help you maximize your brands potential.   We are a team of former Canadian beverage alcohol Buyers, Category Managers and Marketers whose focus is to help you achieve success.  We provide you with a customized strategy to help you ensure you meet your goals.

Hope this is helpful.  I know we can be. 

Call me at Bevpro Canada Inc. 1 (416) 214-7743

Our Experience is your Advantage.

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