We regularly answer marketing questions here on Branding Strategy Insider. Today we hear from Mike, a Vice President of Global Marketing in Atlanta, Georgia who writes…
“We are a mid sized software company that is starting to grow into geographic areas where we will go to market with a distributor versus investing in putting our own people and offices into the region. We are discussing a brand architecture for these ‘master resellers’ as the first few we are working with want to go to market using our brand. Of course we hesitate here as it is our brand but we also recognize the fact that it is our brand that is getting traction and it makes it more difficult for them to penetrate the market with a different name, etc. from the company and product they are reselling.
What is the best way forward?”
Thanks for your question Mike. When selling your brand through others, it is important to select the right partners who will represent your brand well. It is also important to arm the distributors with the following:
- A selling script that outline’s your brand’s unique value proposition and key selling points
- Brand identity system and standards/guidelines
- Consider creating a digital asset management system so that distributors will be forced to present your brand accurately and consistently while creating high quality brand marketing materials more easily
- Consider offering brand training sessions to your distributors – you must make sure they understand what your brand promise is and the importance of delivering on that promise
- Consider establishing regular brand communication with the distributors, providing them with brand stories and “selling points” and increasing your brand’s mindshare with them
You might also consider drawing up a contract/agreement with them that allows you to sever the relationship should they not present your brand properly.
When considering expanded distribution into new geographic markets, if those markets are comprised of different cultures and different languages, make sure your brand name, tagline and brand messaging translate and are interpreted properly in those new markets.
Finally, if you are considering creating a variation of your brand’s identity for some master resellers, consider some sort of brand endorsement that indicates they are a “certified reseller,” “platinum distributor,” “official distributor,” or something to that affect.
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