What Is The Supplier Obligation?

I have two kids.  They are wonderful kids and like siblings, they argue about nearly everything.  Who does what?  Who is responsible for what and who gets credit for what?  Those are my kids’ struggles but that same scenario can play out with my supplier clients.  Suppliers that are with ANY distributor lament the lack of effort on behalf of their brand.  Suppliers, like my kids, think that mom and dad will handle it all and they will be the recipient of the benefits of being our kids or with distribution.  That is just not true!

The way the adult beverage world is now is that major suppliers are really logistic companies for brands.  They deliver, they collect, and they repeat.  Unless, as I have always stated, you are one of the chosen ones, the top 300 brands nationally, they will just be a resource for your brand to make it to a shelf or back bar somewhere in America.

What is the supplier obligation in the three-tier system and how can any maker support their own success?  We work with over 114 SKU’s and 24 suppliers and each supplier is different and approaches the sales process differently.  Some makers are the hobbyist  and some make a craft product and depend on sales to support their life. The enthusiast or “weekender” is hard for us to handle. If you are eager enough to be in this business than you cannot be an enthusiast. You will lose your ass.  No doubt about it.  You will be outspent, outsold, and basically underperformed by brands that pay 100% more attention then you do.  It is ok the be that “guy or gal” but set your expectations accordingly, because the liquor business will spit you out.

The best client and the best supplier is the supplier that is 100% engaged.

  1. Be available to your brand ambassador, sales arm, distributor and us
  2. Visit the market UNANNOUNCED – visiting a market announced with ride alongs will only paint the very best picture.  Surprise market visits will show you what your distributor and sales teams are really doing. Do you ever call your kids and tell them EXACTLY when you will be home, of course, you do not.
  3. Over support with marketing slicks, POS and POP material.  In a crowded marketplace, consumers will shop visually.  Be ready for visual selling
  4. Know your rights- bother your distributor for account info, depletion reports, and market reaction documents.  This is your right and will make you more powerful in your market.  Last week we had a CA sales person visit 108 accounts in a five day period.  That same period for that same brand, a big 5 distributor rep showed the brand 16 times.  If you look up bogus in the dictionary, that would be the definition.
  5. Know that now is the time.  If it does not happen in the next 75 days from a selling perspective, it will not happen at all and for sure not again until March 2018.  My dad, a globally known liquor retailer, would say the following, “if you lose the Super Bowl the regular season record does not matter”!  Who agrees with that??
  6. Take responsibility!  Whether you are a small distributor, large distributor or a disruptor like LibDib, it is still the maker’s responsibility to fight for your brand.  Our company fights for suppliers all the time but our bark is nothing compared to a maker bite and paying attention in a given market.
  7. Pull data.  TTB and state websites have data about license address, locations, spend, business size and other critical info to help pinpoint the sale opportunity.  Do the work and the results will come.
  8.  Let your pricing vary by channel, location, and incentive

4th quarter is when lookers become buyers.  We at BevStrat spend 9 months selling, making relationships, identifying opportunity and pinpointing attention points for the 4th quarter.  The supplier responsibility is to be right there with whomever they choose to support the brands they own. A supplier has the preverbal one child in their brand, SWS has 9000 children and like my own family, it is impossible to pick a favorite.

Your obligation, Mr Supplier, is to watch, nurture, protect and pay attention to your kids!

Credits: Brian D Rosen

www.BevStrat.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now!

How Importers and Distributors Can Build a Strong Sales Force

At the USATT17 Conference, Josh Wand, Founder of BevForce, shared his insights on how importers and distributors can build a strong sales force for the U.S. market. As Wand explained, it’s all about hiring the best team possible. he outlined two of the keys to employee retention: offering fair market value compensation and building a healthy, positive sales culture.

About Josh Wand :

Josh Wand is the Founder & Motivator in Chief of BevForce, a boutique recruiting and staffing agency that specializes in hiring strategies and organizational design for beverage companies. Wand developed BevForce to provide the beverage industry with a full-service hiring and job search platform that connects good people to great jobs.

BevForce is a comprehensive recruiting and staffing resource, providing services including executive recruiting, interim placement and a targeted industry job board at www.BevForce.com. BevForce is headquartered in New York, NY with an additional office in Los Angeles, California.

Prior to creating BevForce, Josh held positions at Southern Wine & SpiritsAV Imports and Sidebar Spirits. His role included business development, management of a national sales and distribution network, staffing the organization and instituting educational training programs for hotels and restaurant groups.

About the USA Trade Tasting:

USATT is an annual show for retailers, sommeliers, bartenders, importers and distributors to network, learn and find new opportunities to grow.

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium-sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Visitor trade registrations are now open.

About the Event Organizer:
Beverage Trade Network (BTN) is a leading online marketing and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry. BTN provides a selection of sourcing solutions for importers and distributors as well as an extensive range of marketing and distribution services for international suppliers. BTN also runs a line-up of B2B trade shows around the world. For more information about BTN, please visit www.beveragetradenetwork.com

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now.

Office Hours with Importers and Distributors at USATT 2017

USATT17 Office Hours Q&A Session was hosted by Steven Raye, President of Bevology. The audience had a chance to ask one-on-one questions about building a successful brand to members of an expert panel: Martin Sinkoff of Frederick Wildman, Rob Bradshaw of Cape Classics and Michael Yurch of Blue Sky Group.

USATT’s Office Hours effort was led by Sid Patel, Founder, and CEO of USA Trade Tasting and Beverage Trade Network and was hosted by Steve Raye, president of consulting firm Bevology.

About USA Trade Tasting:

USATT is an annual show for retailers, sommeliers, bartenders, importers and distributors to network, learn and find new opportunities to grow.

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium-sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Visitor trade registrations are now open.

About the Event Organizer:
Beverage Trade Network (BTN) is a leading online marketing and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry. BTN provides a selection of sourcing solutions for importers and distributors as well as an extensive range of marketing and distribution services for international suppliers. BTN also runs a lineup of B2B trade shows around the world. For more information about BTN, please visit www.beveragetradenetwork.com

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now.

10 Important Factors That Will Get Your Brand Picked Up By National Chains and Large Retailers

Jonathan Newman, CEO, and chairman of Newman Wine shared his insights on 10 Important Factors That Will Get Your Brand Picked Up By National Chains and Large Retailers. You’ve been doing alright with independent distributors thus far. But do you want to go to the next level? Learn how to customize your programs for chains and large retailers.

About Jonathan Newman : 

Jonathan Newman, CEO, and chairman of Newman Wine, has been recognized as one of the top leaders in the wine industry. In 2003, he was named Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Man of the Year.

Jonathan has also received numerous significant industry awards, including the American Wine Society’s Award of Merit and the Guild of Sommeliers’ highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, for outstanding contributions to the wine industry. He was also named by Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch Magazine as one of the top five leaders in the alcoholic beverage industry and was a keynote speaker at Shanken’s Impact Seminar. As chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Jonathan was instrumental in many initiatives, including the creation of the Chairman’s Selection program, Sunday sales and the creation of wine festivals in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

He was the recipient of the Rotary Club’s Vocational Service Award and was a keynote speaker at the Bar and Nightclub convention. Jonathan is very active in his community. He served for three terms over 9 nine years as a board member of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (“Visit Philadelphia®”) and as a member of the Governor’s Privatization and Innovation Task Force. He also served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission and on the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Racing Commission.

Jonathan was also a member of the board of trustees of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He is past chairman of three prestigious boards, including the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners, the Disciplinary Board of Pennsylvania Lawyers and the Attorney General’s Policy Council on Violence Prevention. Jonathan sits on the board of Pacer Funds Trust and is a contributing editor for both Beverage Dynamics and StateWays magazines

About USA Trade Tasting:

USATT is an annual show for retailers, sommeliers, bartenders, importers and distributors to network, learn and find new opportunities to grow.

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium-sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Visitor trade registrations are now open.

About the Event Organizer:
Beverage Trade Network (BTN) is a leading online marketing and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry. BTN provides a selection of sourcing solutions for importers and distributors as well as an extensive range of marketing and distribution services for international suppliers. BTN also runs a line-up of B2B trade shows around the world. For more information about BTN, please visit www.beveragetradenetwork.com 

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now.

7 Ways That Brands Can Optimize Their Domestic and International Logistics

Thomas Barfoed, Managing Director of JF Hillebrand USA, who had discussed the “7 Ways That Brands Can Optimize Their Domestic and International Logistics.” For example, he discussed how small and mid-size brands can optimize their shipments to the U.S., what logistical factors might impact margins and pricing, and how different modes of transportation can impact your go-to-market strategy.

About Thomas Barfoed

Thomas Barfoed is the Managing Director at JF Hillebrand USA, a company specialized in global logistics for wines, spirits, and beer. In the 17 years, he has been with the company, Thomas has held various leadership roles in key wine and spirits markets – starting first in his home country of Denmark, then Russia, Chile, Canada and now in the USA. He credits his time attending high school in Kansas City as part of the reason why the USA has always held a special interest for him; not only because of his experiences then but also for the diverse market and business opportunities today.

“Learning from different cultures and professional environments has always fascinated me and being able to foster development and expand business within those frameworks has become my personal motivation.” In his current role, Thomas oversees all activities involving import, export, domestic transport and integrated beverage logistics in the USA. He is based out of the JF Hillebrand USA headquarters in New Jersey where he lives with his family.

About The USA Trade Tasting:

USATT is an annual show for retailers, sommeliers, bartenders, importers and distributors to network, learn and find new opportunities to grow.

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium-sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Visitor trade registrations are now open.

About the Event Organizer:
Beverage Trade Network (BTN) is a leading online marketing and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry. BTN provides a selection of sourcing solutions for importers and distributors as well as an extensive range of marketing and distribution services for international suppliers. BTN also runs a line-up of B2B trade shows around the world. For more information about BTN, please visit www.beveragetradenetwork.com 

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now.

Highlights from Day 2 of USATT 2017

After an exciting first day at the USATT 2017 conference that featured nearly 1,500 attendees, 138 exhibitors and the first-ever public U.S. tasting of wines from Chateau Rongzi in China, the second day continued with two new Master Classes, two VIP expert panels and a number of different speaker presentations focusing on how emerging brands can enter the U.S. wine and spirits market.

The second day kicked off with an interactive audience Q&A that focused on the specific problems and needs of foreign wine and spirits brands attempting to enter the U.S. market. The panel, moderated by Steve Raye of Bevology, featured Martin Sinkoff of Frederick Wildman, Michael Votto of Votto Vines, Michael Yurch of Blue Sky Group and Rob Bradshaw of Cape Classics. This group of experienced wine industry veterans shared their perspectives of what importers and distributors are really looking for when selecting a new brand for their portfolio.

As the panelists explained at the outset, importers and distributors get lots of cold calls, so you need to be interesting and stand out. As Rob Bradshaw pointed out, unique stories can instantly connect you with importers and distributors, so you need to make some kind of emotional bond with a buyer. Always have your story ready when talking with importers and distributors. Michael Votto emphasized that you always need to know what your specific category looks like in the U.S market and what your competitors are doing. And Martin Sinkoff suggested that you need to understand where your product fits within an importer’s portfolio.

Along the way, the panel’s participants fielded questions on everything from how global warming and climate change are impacting the wine industry to a discussion of new, non-traditional routes to navigate a very complex U.S. market. Michael Yurch noted that the bigger the distributor’s portfolio, the harder you have to work to become an important part of that portfolio. You need to be your own advocate. The difficulty, says Martin Sinkoff, is that, “The wine business is not one thing. It’s a very complex organism. Each retailer is looking for something different.” So you have to be constantly innovating.

The morning session also featured a Master Class on Portuguese wines, focusing on the wines of the Tejo region. Participants learned about Portugal’s winegrowing tradition and how the wines of the Tejo region are distinct. They also had a unique chance to sample some of the best wines from the region.

As on Day 1, the United States Trade Tasting 2017 event also featured a busy day on the showroom floor. Over 130 exhibitors from 20 countries showcased their products. Alongside wines from traditional wine producing countries like France and Italy were new wines from Eastern Europe (including Slovenia and Moldova), South Africa and China.

USATT 2017

In the afternoon session of the conference, participants had a chance to hear from Thomas Barfoed, Managing Director of JF Hillebrand USA, who discussed the “7 Ways That Brands Can Optimize Their Domestic and International Logistics.” For example, he discussed how small and mid-size brands can optimize their shipments to the U.S., what logistical factors might impact margins and pricing, and how different modes of transportation can impact your go-to-market strategy.

Gerry Schweitzer, the legendary marketing genius behind Leblon Cachaca, made a special appearance in the afternoon. He illustrated the right way to go about pitching a distributor, focusing on how to tell a convincing brand story. Your brand story, he says, has to be compelling, personal and easy to remember. It has to explain why your brand is unique and how to build your brand.

In some cases, as in the example of Leblon, you can own not just a category, but also the entire drink (as in the example of cachaca and the Brazilian caipirinha). Schweitzer provided plenty of relevant marketing examples from Leblon, including many tactics that today’s marketers might refer to as “guerilla marketing” (e.g. re-painting a DHL delivery truck as a hip and trendy cachaca delivery truck).

Richard Halstead, Chief Operating Officer of Wine Intelligence, then gave a talk on, “How to Win Retailers and Influence Them With Effective Merchandising and Programming.” He was joined on stage by Stephen Fahy of Wine Library, who was also a special guest during Day 1 of the event. The two talked about the best strategies and tactics for getting specialist retail stores to carry your specific product.

When thinking about specialist wine retailers that might carry your product, they suggested, it’s important to think in terms of two very different types of consumers – the consumers who are very brand-driven and the ones who are very “involved” and care a lot about how a specific product fits into their lifestyle. In general, these more involved consumers are younger, and they are starting to account for a larger and larger percentage of retail wine consumers.

Then, a press panel on “The Do’s and Don’ts For Getting Press Coverage For Your Brand in the USA” featured moderator Steve Raye of Bevology; Gregg Glaser, Publisher/Editor of Modern Distillery Age; William Tish, Managing Editor of Beverage Media; and David Spencer, Publisher, and Editor of iSante. The panel covered both the big picture view of how to generate media buzz for your product, as well as some of the granular details of marketing, such as how to prepare a pitch e-mail for editors of both online and offline publications.

The afternoon session concluded with a Beaujolais Master Class, in which participants had a chance to re-discover the light red wines of the Beaujolais wine region in France. The Master Class covered the unique characteristics of each of the Beaujolais Crus.

And, of course, the day ended with more activity on the main showroom floor. Even in the last hours of the event, importers and distributors were mingling with the exhibitors, looking for the perfect new product for their portfolio.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now.