Jump to content
ADI Forums
flyhigher87

Distributors marketing contribution$$

Recommended Posts

I'm killing myself for not thinking about this before I signed the contract. I asked my distributor how much he would contribute to our marketing budget(monetary).

They said $0 per forever.    So I'm not excited about that. 

Anyhow, do your distributors contribute to marketing?  If so how much? And in what ways?  I.e.  Pay for ads, buy coasters/stirrers Pos stuff. 

Please help I don't want to start a fight I shouldn't.

thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No. In fact, the other way around, expect us to share costs associated with their sales activities: split sample costs, pay for tables at industry events, provide swag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A distributor distributes what sells.  You make, market and sell spirits.  If you don't think you should be the one marketing and selling, your distributor won't be distributing very much.

  • reaction_title_1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bluestar hit it right. When the time comes to push the sales of your spirits expect your distributor to come to you looking for money, to "help" make it happen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The distributor I've been in discussion with as I get close to having my first product ready has told me we'd go 50/50 on marketing materials (posters, signs, table tents, etc). Now that's not in writing so could change when paper hits pen but I'm still an optimist enough to believe they'll follow through on their word.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the whiskey summit this weekend, someone really summed up what a distributer does: they take orders, warehouse product, and deliver product.  Salesmen or brand ambassadors are the ones who really do the work to drive the sales.  The best way is to have your own brand ambassador and let the distributer handle the delivery.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys this has definately cleared up a few things for me.  I think my distributer was just sweet talking me into a contract.  They told us they would be out selling everyday and promoting like crazy, which they were doing when we were in negociations.  Pretty much the ink hadn;t even dried when they decided to compeletly stop promoting.  Major disappointment for a newbie that was really hoping for a little help to get our product out the door and starting to move.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahh, ye ‘ol distribution conundrum. How do you get these guys to actually shift product?

Coming from the TV biz, I have had a LOT of experience with distributors of all kinds. I can tell you, it will be very difficult for you to really get their attention and here is why...

In a nutshell, their business model is fundamentally different from the distiller.  The distillery model seems straightforward. Brew up some hooch give it to the distributor and let the cash roll in. The key being - the distributor has to sell ALL of your product for you to succeed.

The distributor though, knows that he probably won’t sell much of your stuff unless there is something super special about it. But, he needs it in his catalogue to make him look like he has a comprehensive selection to offer. So, in his business model he only needs to sell a few cases of a wide variety of products to make money. This diversification ensures the distributor can pay the bills and make a profit, but it won’t help you at all.

If you look closely, you’ll probably see the distributor has 2 or 3 big offers and everything else is fair to middling. That pattern builds up because of how a distribution company grows from their first big client.

I’ve dealt with this frustration for years, as I continually berate my poor distributors to get off their asses and do some work, but the reality is - they are largely order takers and delivery people. Therefore, the solution is to drive the business to them and overwhelm them with how great your product turned out to be.

A way to do this affordably, is to make sure you know who the company actually delivers to. Target the stores you want to be in. Get a map and map it out. Then get into the press with an interesting story: magazines, newspapers, tv news, radio, social media, or whatever in those areas and get people into those stores asking for your product. Positive stories and mentions in media will do more for your brand than almost anything else.

Then make sure you don’t fully fulfill the orders coming in, keep em backlogged - yet random. Build pent up demand. This old school marketing strategy is very tactical, takes time, and is not easy.  But, nothing in this business is, except tasting the product of course...

  • reaction_title_1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of the replies guys. I just hate the fact that this distributor got one over one me. Promising to sell constantly and promote our product like their company depends on it. 

Anyhow we have a great brand ambassador now and he s doing a great job. And a lady who is helping us with events and publicity. Both are doing great jobs. Just hope a few orders start rolling in to get a little cash flow. And help me sleep a little better at night. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have what we call LMFs set up where the distributor and I both put a buck a case into a local fund for use in that market. This is money to help cover cost of tastings, special menu printings, specialty POS items, events and promotions, cosponsored marketing material, help offset cost of holiday VAPs etc. We monitor the balance of the account with the distributor and we both have to agree for any money to be used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, SlickFloss said:

We have what we call LMFs set up where the distributor and I both put a buck a case into a local fund for use in that market. This is money to help cover cost of tastings, special menu printings, specialty POS items, events and promotions, cosponsored marketing material, help offset cost of holiday VAPs etc. We monitor the balance of the account with the distributor and we both have to agree for any money to be used.

My previous distributor had a "program" to split the cost of tasting reps for events. My current distributor sometimes arranges events for all their brands, requests our participation, and charges a table fee (more or less, depending on if we supply personnel).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×