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TWOBADD

How do you market your product?

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I am in the beginning phase of starting a distillery and trying to find ways to market my product. What can I expect from my distributor? Are on sight tastings worth the effort? Do distributors get upset if you go around them and speak directly to the customer? I work in sales, but this seams to be a different animal than I am used to. 

I appreciate any help you may offer.

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51 minutes ago, TWOBADD said:

What can I expect from my distributor?

square root of fuck-all. 

 

51 minutes ago, TWOBADD said:

Are on sight tastings worth the effort?

You mean at the distillery or retail locations? We dont do tasting in the distillery but do them as frequently as possible in public. If ppl come to your distillery they are seeking out your product. At retail outlets, you have an opportunity to introduce them to your product. We do public tasting as often as we're able.

 

53 minutes ago, TWOBADD said:

Do distributors get upset if you go around them and speak directly to the customer?

Of course not. If you sell product, they still make money and they've done zero work. Not they they'll do more than zero very often.

 

Do not fall for the line of bullshit you'll get from the distributor that they'll advocate on your behalf.  Unless they're selling tens-of -thousands of cases they simply want to have you in their line-card in case you hit it big.

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laws regarding what the 1st tier (you the distiller) and 2nd tier (distributor) are allowed to do vary from state to state. In Texas i could not enter a bar or liquor store to sell my spirits without the presence of one of my distribution reps.

 Check your local laws. 

Onsite tastings are huge to growing your business beyond the tasting room

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3 hours ago, indyspirits said:

Do not fall for the line of bullshit you'll get from the distributor that they'll advocate on your behalf.  Unless they're selling tens-of -thousands of cases they simply want to have you in their line-card in case you hit it big.

Yep, most people think you just sign with a distributor and bam, your in the big leagues. All a distributor does is open you up to further distribution chains. You are still responsible for selling your product and pull through. IMO it's best to wait for distribution until you have maxed out local sales and done all you can as a self distributor. Once you are with a distributor your sales rep can then focus on "babysitting" the distributor to increase sales outside the initial market and hope that relationships are solid so you don't lose the initial market as well. As said, all states 3 tier system is different so it will be best to start there to design your model. Were luck in CO that we can self distribute and have relaxed tasting room laws. Over all its best to just focus on tasting room sales since that is where the money. For us outside sales is just supplemental to max out production. 

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