We talked about trust and communication among dealers and manufacturers in our last blog, and there still seemed much more to explore on this topic. This week’s blog will focus on building strategic dealer relationships.
Strategic relationships create strong partnerships and support for each other’s businesses and provide better service to the end user. In order to create strong and fruitful relationships, manufacturers and dealers must establish alliances that are open to the idea of creating, sharing, and implementing winning marketing and sales strategies and working together to find creative solutions to customers’ material handling challenges. Business partners in agreement on brand positioning and sales strategies create stronger alliances, realize significant improvements in sales, and create a strong and loyal customer base.
In today’s interactive age, there are several opportunities for manufacturers and dealers to create a stronger awareness of the brand. Manufacturers have the ability to showcase their products and market their brand right from the time it is manufactured. When a manufacturer’s brand has already gained recognition in the marketplace, dealers are in a better position to market and sell these products. In order to be able to create a harmonized brand marketing strategy for the product that the manufacturer and dealer are both attempting to sell, they must both believe in the same message. When there is consistency in messaging and branding, the end user develops a stronger affinity toward that brand and is in a better position to make a positive buying decision.
Bluff Manufacturing has made great strides in increasing our Internet presence. Our Website, blogs, and social media interactions are not only meant to inform and educate our partners and end-users about our products, but they also help build greater brand equity. Private-labeling Bluff products only thwart all the brand-building efforts and weaken the sales strategy for both the manufacturer and the dealer. When a great deal of effort has been spent building a brand, it is better to ride on that wave of success, rather than attempt to re-create the wheel (private label) and hinder all the marketing and sales efforts. I cannot emphasize enough the need for combined brand-building efforts.
Information sharing is vital as well and both the manufacturer and dealer can benefit from sharing best practices and implementing tactics. For instance, at Bluff Manufacturing, we provide valuable training to our dealers that help them gain a better understanding of our products and how to best apply them to create optimal docking solutions for our end users. Similarly, dealers can provide us, their go-to-solution-provider, constructive customer feedback and market research, that will help us manufacture products to suit the current needs of the marketplace.
Strategic alliances born out of information sharing help create product development opportunities such as new product lines and modifications to existing products. Offering a broader line-up of products not only maximizes the sales efforts of manufacturers and dealers, but it also offers the end-users customized solutions and a broader range of products to choose from.
When it comes to creating strategic dealer alliances, building trust, communication and consensus in selling our brand – the Bluff brand – is creating a winning strategy.