Distribution strategy is critical in bringing products and goods to the market. Whether your company wants to gain repeat customers or boost brand recognition, the right product distribution strategy can make all the difference. This article examines distribution strategies and channels to help you decide what works best for your business.
Understand Your Customers
It’s vital to comprehend your customers to establish a robust business. This approach enables you to recognize and fulfill their requirements, leading to their contentment and recommendations.
There are many ways to understand your customers, including customer feedback, reviews, surveys, interviews, and monitoring the market and industry news. Make sure to collect this data and implement changes regularly.
Identifying and meeting your customer’s needs can help you tailor nearly every aspect of your business, including your distribution strategy. For example, if your customers want more functionality, implementing that feature into your product could increase sales. The same goes for emotional needs. For instance, if your audience loves taking photos, they may prefer a phone with high-quality camera capabilities.
Know Your Competition
Performing a competitive analysis can help you determine what customers are looking for. However, be careful to only copy your competition after evaluating whether their tactics will satisfy customers’ needs. For example, if your competitors are lowering their prices, it might be tempting to do the same. Lower prices can decrease customer perception of your brand’s quality, so that you may consider a different approach.
Start by identifying your direct and indirect competitors. Your direct competitors offer a similar product and operate in your geographic area. Indirect competitors provide products or services that don’t compete directly with yours but still appeal to the same audience.
Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition
Your USP should be deeply rooted in your company’s values and be evident throughout your products and customer service. Taking all the information you’ve gathered, sift through it to find something that makes your business unique. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something unique in and of itself, but it should be an element that resonates with your target audience’s needs.
For example, if you’re the only company that sells lion-taming equipment, this could be your unique selling point. This should also be reflected in your company’s name and evident through your product. A strong unique selling proposition (USP) can be beneficial in attracting new customers and reducing client turnover. Moreover, it sets you apart from your competitors. You want to avoid getting caught up in a marketing gimmick that doesn’t hold up over time.
Determine Your Distribution Channels
The method by which your products are delivered to consumers is called a distribution channel. It’s important to consider all options and choose a channel that aligns with your business goals, such as the sales you want to generate through each avenue.
Distribution channels can include wholesalers, retailers, online marketplaces, and shipping companies that deliver goods directly to end-consumers. The number of intermediaries in your distribution network impacts the profit margins you receive from each sale.
Once you’ve chosen your distribution channels, you must continue collecting data and monitoring trends. This will allow you to stay on top of customer expectations and preferences as they change, such as the shift from online shopping to buy-online, pick-up-in-store (BOPIS). It also enables you to improve your marketing strategy to increase efficiency in your distribution channels.
Create a Marketing Plan
Creating a marketing plan is a great way to keep your marketing team on track. It will help you set clear goals and understand how each marketing campaign will drive awareness, sales, or signups.
Choosing an intensive, selective, or exclusive distribution strategy might work best for your business, depending on the product you’re selling. Routine purchases (like hand soap or paper towels) can be sold in many locations, while more premium products may benefit from exclusivity and limited availability to maintain brand image.
Setting long-term marketing objectives and breaking them down into measurable ones is key to developing a winning distribution strategy. These should be SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound). Then it’s time to identify your tactics.